From the shortest road course on the schedule to one of the shortest ovals. The Lionheart IndyCar Series roars into Milwaukee on a short week of rest, for a race that will be tall on action! The oldest race track in America plays host to the virtual IndyCars of the Lionheart series at the Simpit 200 from the Milwaukee Mile.
Last week at Mosport was a wild ride for the Lionheart Series. Sage Karam was on poll, but it was Adam Blocker getting the jump on Karam. To good a jump it turned out, as Blocker would be penalized with a stop and go penalty for jumping the start. Tyler Graaf spun trying to pass a lapped car out of a strong 4th place, collecting 5th place Andrew Kinsella. Both drivers would continue on, but finished well back of where their pace deserved. There were several incidents at the Moss corners, with Damon Martinez notable getting loose a couple of times, loosing himself positions. In the end, Karam would not be denied a win, with George Sandman and Michael Goodman rounding out the podium. Adam Blocker battled back from outside the top 20 after his early penalty to finish 4th, stretching his points lead further in the process, while Connor Harrington finished 5th.
A different sort of challenge awaits the Lionheart drivers at their next event. The flat Milwaukee Mile is notoriously tough to pass, and tire wear will be a factor all day long as the drivers battle not only themselves, but the conditions and track as well.
Dan Geren is one who needs a bounce back race. The Midwest driver had a tough time at Mosport finishing 26th after several incidents put him back in the field. The Synergy Motorsports driver is still lying 2nd in the points, 162 behind Adam Blocker, despite having the most incidents points on the roster. Geren could really use a clean race to jump start his season and mount a charge against Blocker.
Lying 5th in championship standings, Stephen Laarkamp has been getting strong and stronger this season, with consistent to 10 finishes the last few races. With his rookie of the year rival from last year, Connor Harrington, lying just ahead of him in 4th place, the sophomore driver is solely working his way into the championship conversation.
Of course, the man all 3 of these drivers are chasing is Adam Blocker. Despite the penalty at Mosport, Blocker managed to maintain his 9-race streak of top 5 finishes to start the season, and last Wednesday’s 4th place represents the lowest finishing position so far, the season for the Adrenaline Motorsports driver. At this stage, and with the form Blocker is in, it is safe to say that only misfortune might be able to derail the season for Blocker.
If there ever was a track with that potential, it could be Milwaukee. Tire degradation plays a huge part in the races here and nailing the strategy could be the difference between a win and finishing outside the top 20. Then there are the curbs. Milwaukee is one of the few oval tracks that actually has raised curbing at on the inside of the track at both ends. Hit the curbing right and it could be the fast way around the track. Hit it wrong, however and there is a good chance you will be spinning into the path of another car, creating a chain reaction crash that can take out several cars at once.
Watch on Wednesday June 26th as the Lionheart drivers tackle the Milwaukee Mile at the Simpit 200 at 10:35pm eastern only on the iRacing eSports Network presented by GSRC.
It might as well have been a Sunday cruise to the beach for Sage Karam. The NTT IndyCar Series competitor led all but three laps en route to his second win of the season, capturing the Thumbs Up, Cancer Down Grand Prix of Mosport Wednesday night.
Karam beat George Sandman by over 16 seconds.
“That was a pretty calm, good night,” Karam said. “There was more lapped traffic than on a bigger course, and it’s a fast track. It can get sketchy with lapped traffic...but everyone was good tonight.”
A much anticipated duel between Karam and defending Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment champion Adam Blocker never developed.
Blocker jumped the initial start of the race and was black flagged by the sim, causing an early trip to pit lane.
Blocker fought his way back through the field to finish fourth, in a true championship-caliber drive.
Sandman worked his way around Michael Goodman early and had a comfortable run to second, his best finish in the IndyCar series.
“Sage just left us in the dust,” Sandman said. “At that point on, I just wanted to maintain a distance on Goodman behind me. I pitted a little early to avoid lapped traffic and that seemed to help. I wish I would’ve been closer to Sage but he just pulled away.”
Goodman - who led a lap during pit cycles - finished third, with Blocker running out of time in his pursuit of a podium.
“I actually finished without hitting anything,” Goodman joked when asked if he had any exciting moments in his race. “It was a good race. I’m just happy to finish one of these things. No driver error, I’ll take it.”
The event ran caution free.
Blocker finished ahead of Connor Harrington to cap the top five.
Andrew Kinsella was the only other leader, pacing the field for two laps during pit stops. Kinsella finished eleventh.
A few expected contenders encountered problems and ended the race with disappointing finishes.
An internet connection issue saw former road course winner Dustin Wardlow retire after just eleven laps. Wardlow finished 29th.
Championship runner-up Dan Geren struggled to a 26th place finish, three laps down. Geren was also the only driver penalized for excessive incidents, losing three more championship points.
Blocker’s point lead looks almost insurmountable at such an early stage in the season, but drop weeks have yet to be factored in and the Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment allows for three such weeks.
Blocker leads Geren by an astounding 162 points. Both double points races, including the Lionheart Indy 500, have yet to be run as well, and could swing the points dramatically.
The Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment continues a run of three consecutive race weeks with a return to ovals and a short track.
The Simpit 200 at the historic Milwaukee Mile is set for Wednesday night. The race can be seen live on the iRacing eSports Network, with Global SimRacing Channel producing the action, at 10:35 p.m. EST.
The Toronto Raptors are NBA champions. A phrase most NBA fans never thought they would utter. Fittingly, Toronto is also the next stop on the Lionheart IndyCar Series’ calendar. Just down the road from the largest theme park, “Canada’s Wonderland” lies a roller coaster of a different variety. The sweeping turns and rolling hills of Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, better known as Mosport, play host to round 9 of the Lionheart IndyCar Series, for the Thumb Up Cancer Down Grand Prix of Mosport.
Last-time out at Twin Ring Motegi, our defending champion Adam Blocker made Lionheart history, becoming the first driver in series history to win 3 straight race. After taking both races in Detroit, Blocker used timely fuel strategy and a very light right foot to pull away from the field at the end of the race at Motegi. Blocker has simply dominated the season, having yet to finish worse then 3rd in any race this year. Ron Hacker and Joe Hassert also fuel-saved their way to top 3 finishes, While Damon Martinez and Brandon Limkemann rounded out the top 5 with there respective best finishes of the season.
The story of the season however is Blocker. The Adrenaline Motorsports driver has kicked off his title defence with the strongest 8 races Lionheart has ever seen to start the season. Despite 2 wins of his own, Dan Geren finds himself 131 points back, with Andrew Kinsella a massive 187 points back in 3rd. And with another road course race on the horizon, it doesn’t seem likely that Blocker’s form will change anytime soon. Blocker has 2 wins and a 2nd through 3 road courses so far this season. An unprecedent 4th straight win seems much more likely then not at this point.
The only other driver to win on a road course this season is real-world IndyCar and Rallycross driver Sage Karam. Karam was able to stay out in front at the fast sweeping Watkins Glen track in round 2. Mosport is a track with similarly fast, high commitment corners, so if anyone is going to be able to stop Blocker it might be Karam.
In last year’s race, the drive of the race might have belonged to Andrew Kinsella, who went from 21st on the grid to finish 3rd. This is a hometown race for the Canadian driver, who lives only a few hours from the track. If Kinsella can qualify better this year, maybe the Adrenaline driver will even have a shot at hist teammate.
One driver to keep an eye on is Damon Martinez. Martinez has been slowly getting faster and faster throughout his rookie season, and is now knocking on the door of the top 10 in points. Martinez has qualified well at each of the road course races so far, but it is keeping out of trouble that has been his biggest issue so far. If Martinez keeps the nose clean, don’t count out the independent driver from factoring into the action.
The track at Canadian Tire Motorspots track is a unique challenge for the drivers of Lionheart. It is a short lap, only just over 1 minute in length, but off camber corners, and steep drops make this one of the most fun, high commitment tracks on the service. Which ever driver wins today will have to deal with traffic, navigate the course, and fend off some hungry competitors.
Who will win? Tune in Wednesday June 19th at 10:35pm eastern for the Thumbs Up Cancer Down Grand Prix of Mosport, only on the iRacing eSports Network presented by GSRC.
Adam Blocker can’t be beat right now. The defending Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment champion made stretching fuel look easy, while others cars dropped lap after lap, to win the Global Electronic Technology 200 at Twin Ring Motegi Wednesday night.
“I knew Laarkamp couldn’t make it when he went past me,” said Blocker, who has won the last three events. “With eight to go I just went for it. I knew we had it.”
Ron Hacker picked up a career-best second place, while Big Joe Hassert claimed the final podium spot.
“I started lifting early with 15, 16 to go and just tried to stretch it,” Hacker said. “I had about a lap left at the end of the race. We were good to go.”
Hassert dropped ten positions in the final laps while trying to pedal the car and save gas, and went from outside the top 15 to third as a result of his efforts.
“I was up to almost fifth and Jason (Galvin) had a scare and I dropped back again,” Hassert said. “I was letting people by and when I hit my number I got back in the gas with four to go and got back up to third.”
Blocker took the lead from Stephen Laarkamp with 11 laps to go, after he was confident he had saved enough fuel running around in second.
“From the beginning of the stint, I was the first car that pitted,” Blocker said. “I tried to past some slower guys and was just lifting and coasting in three and four, trying to save as much as I could with cars in front of me at the beginning.”
Dustin Wardlow moved into second, but had to hit pit road with three laps left. Justin Weaver followed suit coming to the white flag.
Tyler Graaf was the first car to run out of fuel, and a litany of others followed, throwing the top ten into disarray.
When the dust settled, it was Hacker and Hassert who made it work, with Damon Martinez coming home fourth and Brandon Limkemann coasting home to finish the top five.
Scott Bolster, Tony Showen, Mike Rigney, Andrew Kinsella and Scotty Johnson completed the top ten, all with various amounts of motor cough as the cars gasped for more fuel.
Dan Geren and Connor Harrington - who led a race-high 74 laps - were amongst the drivers who dominated up front but did not pit on the final caution, and lost a lap while making green flag stops late in the race.
The race was slowed by five cautions for 20 laps. The final caution threw everyone into a fuel frenzy.
Justin Kirby chopped the nose of Kinsella on lap 86, spinning into the turn four wall to end his race. Teams were expected to get about 38 laps on a full tank of fuel, but the green came out with 41 laps remaining, testing the ability of drivers to balance fuel saving and speed.
The fourth caution came out on lap 69. Joe Flanagan contacted the wall exiting turn four, apparently suffering from aero-push while running about one second behind Brian Beard. The resulting flip brought out the caution.
Just three laps earlier, Sage Karam also hit the wall exiting turn four. Karam was able to hold on and finished the race seven laps down in 33rd.
Jason Galvin was part of the two previous cautions.
The defending race winner worked his way up to fifth before clipping the apron in turn one, entering a long drift and hanging on. The stack up likely led to contact later in the lap between David Altman and Flanagan.
Altman smacked the wall in turn three, ending his race.
Just two laps after the restart, Bob Mikes got into the back of Galvin in turn three, with Galvin getting the worst of it and bringing out a caution.
The opening yellow came on lap eleven when Shaun Cole went around in turn three after running into Kirby, who had checked up for a slower car.
An early wreck failed to bring out a caution, after Karam and Chris Stofer were victim of netcode. Stofer spun down the back straight, ending his race.
Blocker extended his championship lead to 131 points over Geren, with Kinsella jumping to third.
The Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment next heads to Canada and the rolling hills of Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Mosport, for the Thumbs Up, Cancer Down Grand Prix of Mosport. The race can be seen live on the iRacing eSports Network with production by Global SimRacing Channel on June 19 at 10:35 p.m. EST.