Lionheart heads to the magic mile
The gruelling end of season schedule continues for the Lionheart Series on Wednesday afternoon, as the
series breezes up to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the Skidmark Motorsports 200. Skid Mark
Motorsports is a sim racing team that races in all disciplines within iRacing. While starting out racing in
endurance events the team expanded into different road racing leagues piloting NASCAR vehicles and
GT3 cars. In 2017 the team moved into open wheel racing and found a home in the Lionheart Indycar,
Retro and Challenge series.
Last time out at Iowa, chaos reigned supreme, and the championship contenders couldn’t decide who
was going to give it away first. It started lap one. After starting back to back in line in 15 th and 17 th
respectively, Adam Blocker and Andrew Kinsella went roaring into turn 1 nose to tail. By the exit of turn
two Blocker had made up 2 positions while Kinsella git the notorious Iowa bump and spun into the
infield. Fortunately he was able to get away unscathed, albeit back at the back of the field. An incident
between Pete Edwins and Scott Bolster in the same corner would slow the field for the first caution of
the night. After the green flag flew again, up at the front Dan Geren and polesitter Connor Harrington
swapping the position before Harrington eventually started to pull away.
Back in the championship battle, it was Blocker’s turn to blink. On the next set of stops, under yellow, a
lap car made a late decision to enter pit road. This caused a huge checkup in which a number of cars
including Blocker suffered damage. Blocker would require a rear wing replacement, sending him to the
back of the field. By this point Kinsella was just outside the top 10, having avoided the chaos on pit road.
On the next set of green flag stops, the pendulum would, however, swing back violently in Blocker’s
favour. Kinsella had worked his way up to 3 rd behind Harrington and Justin Weaver.
Kinsella and Harrington would pit first, then as Weaver attempted to make his stop, he misjudged the
rejoining car of Chris Stofer. The 2 made contact, sending the then leader of the race to the showers.
Kinsella was trapped behind the pace car due to some unfortunate timing and unique iRacing pace car
rules. Blocker, meanwhile was 1 of 5 cars still yet to pit. This handed Blocker an insurmountable 2 lap
advantage over Kinsella, who was down in 18 th place. Blocker restarted 3 rd and was quickly into 1 st and
checking out. As Blocker caught traffic, Kinsella was able to track him down and get one of his laps back
the hard way, however that was as close as he would get. A late caution and restart did little to change
the order at the top, with Blocker sealing the win on the last lap over a charging Michael Goodman.
Scott Johnson charged from 29 th starting spot to finish 3 rd , while Chris Lanini and Dan Geren finished 4 th
and 5 th , the later the first car 1 lap down. Kinsella rallied to finish 10 th , salvaging all he could from a race
he would rather forget.
Looking forward to New Hampshire, leaves little time for rest for these Lionheart drivers. New
Hampshire represents the 3 race in as many weeks for the tired drivers, and it is sure to be a tough one.
Much like Milwaukee earlier in the season, New Hampshire is a flat 1 mile oval with very little
forgiveness and an even more difficult passing proposition.
Last season has good memories for Kinsella, as he overtook the future 3-time champ Jake Wright around
the outside with only a handful of laps to go for the win. Similar to this season, Kinsella had just come off
an off race at Iowa, where he lost a win in the closing stages to Wright. This season Kinsella is hoping to
return the favour on Adam Blocker. With a 45 point deficit to overcome, he is going to need every point
he can get.
At the similarly configured Milwaukee Mile earlier in the season, it was not Kinsella, but Brian Yaczik
who dominated the race, leading all but 7 laps. Yaczik has since seen his championship aspirations
derailed to a certain extent (he now sits 5 th , 154 points back of the leader Blocker), however with a
double points race in the finally, he still cannot be entirely discounted.
Dan Geren is another who should not be discounted. The qualifying king of Lionheart has finally shaken
off his bad race luck of late, and has been strong for several races in a row now. This has put him 3 rd in
points, just 102 points back of Blocker. With how difficult passing could be, Geren’s qualifying prowess
may just be enough to see him into victory lane.
Dark horse favourites for the win include Joe Branch, Big Joe Hassert and Pierre Daigle. All 3 have been
strong on short tracks this season, and are looking for their first win.
From the rookies, Stephen Laarkamp, Justin Weaver, Connor Harrington have all been strong this
season. Laarkamp and Weaver have been trading the Rookie of the Year lead these last few races, with
Laarkamp currently 2 points ahead of Weaver. Harrington meanwhile has come in late, but already
earned 2 poles in 2 races, and if he can do it again, he might be able to out-Dan-Geren Dan Geren.
In the teams standings, No Name continued their off season, as the 3 time champs fell to 3 rd behind
Synergy Motorsports. Adrenaline remains way out in front.
Thune in to the iRacing Esports network presented by GSRC for all your Lionheart action. Catch the the
Skidmark Motorsports 200 this Wednesday at 10:35pm eastern.
From the sun and fun down-under to the golden cornfields of Iowa, the Lionheart series trades a rolling road course for the most exciting short oval on the schedule for the Iowa 200 Presented by Birky Trucking. Tom Birkenstock owner of Birky Trucking operates his company out of Burlington Iowa, and has been a proud supporter of Lionheart for several seasons. Iowa has become a special place for the Lionheart Series as it has run every season at the bullring since being formed in July of 2014. The short track also has played host to the annual Lionheart league meet up. Each season, lionheart members have converged to the Iowa Speedway for a weekend of tail gaiting, fun and shared stories of all the exciting action members have experienced over the years. The members also watch the real-world IndyCar Series drivers compete in the Iowa Corn 300.
Last time out at Philip Island, it was another strong road performance from Adam Blocker that brought the Carolina driver the win. Blocker got the fuel mileage right and fended off strong challenges from Michael Goodman, and Sage Karam. Goodman lead for 14 laps, however the 3 stop strategy he opted for did not pan out as he had hopped, relegating the New York driver to a 5th place finish after he could not pass Andrew Kinsella in a thrilling duel over the final 6 laps of the race. Sage Karam meanwhile rebounded from a 7th place qualifying in his Lionheart debut to race at the front all day, even leading a couple of laps. Fuel would ultimately undue Karam’s race as well, as he had to save fuel over his final stint, allowing Dan Geren to pass him for 2nd. Adam Blocker extended his lead to 31 points over Kinsella via his victory at Phillip Island. Dan Geren leap frogged Brian Yaczik, who finished 7th, to take 3rd, 105 points back of Blocker. With 7 races remaining it’s still anyone’s championship.
Jake Wright was last seasons race winner who will not be present to defend his win. Wright has focused his attention to defending his Retro Championship while working with another former Lionheart IndyCar Series Champion, Jesse Vincent, in Race Control for the IndyCar.
After 17 Rounds Ron Hacker leads the Iron Man standings with 3,315 miles and 1,981 laps completed the Illinois driver who is a previous Cleanest Driver of the Year winner has been consistent all year with 3 top 10 finishes and a single top 5 on the year currently sits in P15. Consistency is a big part of Iowa as the short track has produced much excitement in the past. Will Hacker’s consistency earn him a trip to victory lane this week?
The Rookie of the Year battle is tighter than ever with Weaver and Laarkamp being separated by just 1 point. The duo has been contenders for not only the Rookie honors but combined have 20 top 10’s and 8 top 5’s and Weaver has found victory lane this year.
Dan Geren, coming off of a podium finish at Phillip Island, returns to his home track in search of his second victory of the season. Geren has showed pace at the short track securing the Pole Position last year and had a podium finish in Season 3.
Will we have a new first-time winner at Iowa? Iowa has been the home to several first-time winners. Jorge Anzaldo found his one and only Lionheart victory and Ian Adams also found his first Win at the Iowa Speedway. Sage Karam made his Lionheart debut on the road course last week and finished 3rd, will he be able to repeat that type of performance on the short oval of Iowa?
Adrenaline has dominated the team championship fight however the battle has now shifted to which team will take the 2nd spot in the standings. No name leads Synergy Motorsports by just 20 points, while 4th through 7th is separated by less than 150 points.
The Iowa 200 Presented by Birky Trucking will go off Wednesday October 17th at 10:35pm eastern only on the iRacing eSports Network presented by GSRC.
Adam Blocker knows he has an advantage over championship adversary and Adrenaline Motorsports teammate Andrew Kinsella on road courses.
And yet that pressure, on top of alternate fuel strategies and the debut of a five-time Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 starter didn’t phase him.
Blocker dominated the American Cancer Society Grand Prix of Phillip Island Wednesday night, leading 29 laps en route to his series-leading sixth win of the season.
“Anytime I win at one of my worst road circuits, it’s a good day,” Blocker said. “I had to figure out what everyone’s strategy was. It made for a fun race. I just had to be patient and hit the fuel number.”
Blocker is seeking his first championship in the Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment.
The race went to plan for the South Carolina native, although he had to wait out Michael Goodman, who tried to stretch his fuel after starting on a three-stop strategy, but was unable to complete the race on two stops.
“Obviously we had a big save in the middle stint to get to 16 laps,” Blocker said. “I knew in the second stint that Goodman was not going to make it, so I sat behind him and saved my fuel and drafted off him.”
Goodman fell to fifth, despite leading 14 laps.
Kinsella finished fourth, and managed to keep Blocker from pulling away too much in the title fight.
Blocker’s lead sits at 31 at the two-thirds mark of the season. Seven races remain, including road course events at Road America and Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Blocker has won all but one road course event this season, his only oval win coming at the Indianapolis 500.
Defending race winner Dan Geren had another strong showing, finishing second and rallying to third in points after a disastrous start to the season.
“I’m glad I have the monkey off my back now,” Geren said. “I love this track. We got the win here last year, runner-up again is good, especially after winning at Charlotte last week.”
IndyCar driver Sage Karam came home third in his virtual debut with the Lionheart IndyCar Series.
Karam made his league debut in the Lionheart Retro Series presented by HPP Simulation two weeks ago, battling for a win before being eliminated in a crash not of his doing.
The race was run without incident up front. 28 of the 36 starters finished the race.
The Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment returns stateside and to the ovals Wednesday night.
The Iowa 200 presented by Birky Trucking is set for Wednesday, October 17. All 229 laps can be seen live on the iRacing eSports Network, presented by Global SimRacing Channel, at 10:35 p.m. EST.
After a brief swing through the American south, the Lionheart heads further south. So far south that the Southern Cross rides high upon your shoulder. That’s right all the way down under in sunny Australia for the American Cancer Society Grand Prix of Phillip Island. The American Cancer Society is a nationwide voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer. Established in 1913, the society is organized into eleven geographical divisions of both medical and lay volunteers operating in more than 900 offices throughout the United States.
Last time out in Charlotte, it was Dan Geren finally getting the monkey off his back by leading 119 laps enroute to his first win of 2018. Geren had 6 poles going into Round 16, but had not managed to convert any of them to victory. This time, it was rookie Connor Harrington who started from pole on debut, with Geren to his outside. Geren made a strong move to take the lead early in the race, then seldom looked like he was going to surrender it. Brian Yaczik charged from 8th to 2nd, while Andrew Kinsella used an outside pass with 2 laps remaining to go from an 18th starting spot to the bottom step of the podium. Justin Weaver and Adam Blocker were up front for most of the night and finished 4th and 5th respectively. Adam Blocker currently leads the championship over Kinsella by 15 points after Charlotte.
The last time the series ran Phillip Island it was used to pay tribute to a lost friend Patrick Taylor. Jesse Vincent driving the virtual DW12 machine of Taylor led the field around the Australian track as the drivers celebrated the life of their fellow friend and league member.
This will be the 3rd running of Phillip Island for the Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment. Jake Wright won the first ever running holding off a determined Dan Geren. Geren would not be denied the following season putting in close to 1000 laps in an attempt to best Wright. Geren’s hard work paid off and he came home victorious on a road course. Geren will certainly have a much different field to contend with this season. With Wrights absence from the 2018 season new drivers have stepped in and shown great speed. Adam Blocker has shown that he has the twisty courses figured out the best this season, however, don’t count out guys like Yaczik, Justin Weaver, Kinsella, Michael Goodman, Dustin Wardlow. If Geren wants to win, he will have to contend with some of the series best.
Then comes the great unknown. The league is pleased to welcome real world IndyCar driver Sage Karam onto their roster. Karam competed in the Retro Series event at Gateway and looks to make his Lionheart IndyCar debut at Phillip Island. Will Karam be able to translate his real-world skills onto the virtual track and take on the series best? One thing is certain, with all the talent in the Lionheart series right now, the top 10 is going to be crowded from here on out.
James Krahula is currently leading the cleanest driver standings with just 15 incs on the season for an average of just 1.15 incs per race. Krahula has had a strong season with a win and 4 top 5’s and 9 top 10’s. Krahula is sitting P9 overall.
Adrenaline Motorsports has dominated the team championship this season. They have seemingly checked out over the competition and lead 3-time defending champion No Name Racing by 335 points. Meanwhile, Gap SRT has announced that their team will be changing names they will now be NHR Esports.
Catch all the Lionheart action from the American Cancer Society Grand Prix of Phillip Island live at 10:35pm on Wednseday October 10, 2018 only on the iRacing eSports Network presented by GSRC.