Just a few weeks ago we ended our first attempt at a challenge series. The MX-5 Challenge Series made for some stress free, yet intense racing! So were back to start up another season!
This new season we wont be using the Mazda MX-5 though, we will be racing something new...something more powerful...the Radical SR8! The Radical SR8 is a high downforce sports car, about 2.4x the horse power of the Mazda MX-5!
The schedule consists of 11 specially chosen tracks consisting of 9 Road courses &
2 Ovals! The races will be using Rolling or Standing Starts depending on the track!
- Round 1 11/23/16 Lime Rock Park
- Round 2 11/30/16 Barber Motorsports Park
- Round 3 12/7/16 Summit Point Raceway
- Round 4 12/14/16 Iowa Speedway
- Round 5 12/28/16 Circuit Zolder
- Round 6 1/4/17 New Hampshire Road w/south oval
- Round 7 1/11/17 Long Beach Street Circuit
- Round 8 1/18/17 Donington Park
- Round 9 1/25/17 Lucas Oil Raceway
- Round 10 2/1/17 Mid Ohio Sports Car Course
- Round 11 2/15/17 Sebring International Raceway
So come out and join us as we start the new season at Lime Rock Park On November 23rd!
The race lived up to its lofty expectations, a fitting end to a hotly contested season in the Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment. In the end, the Lionheart Championship 300 at Auto Club Speedway featured a tight battle between the league’s top two points finishers.
Two-time defending series champion Jake Wright dominated the night, but late race cautions allowed second place points finisher Dan Geren, the polesitter, to make his move. The two swapped leads furiously over the final 15 laps, until Wright made his move too early in turn three with 2 laps to go.
The two touched, sending Wright careening into the SAFER barrier, and handing Geren his second win of the season.
“I have no words,” Geren said. “I automatically called it a racing deal, I didn’t know what happened...Jake and I talked immediately, and he took the blame for what happened.”
Geren led 51 laps, with Wright leading 78. The two were in complete control over the course of the 150 lap race.
“I picked up my first ever Triple Crown win, but I wanted it to go green,” Geren said.
The third and final Triple Crown event of the season saw double points dished out, and a few mid-race issues caused a massive shakeup in the back half of the points.
But it was the battle up front that captivated the audience.
“That’s all on me,” Wright said graciously. “I just turned in too early. I’m disappointed, but what a great season. I have so much fun in this league. I look forward to each and every race.”
Wright won eight races en route to his second straight championship. Geren came home second, and Rookie of the Year Jonathan Goke, deployed in Turkey with the United States Air Force, missed the final third of the season, but held onto a podium points finish behind four wins.
“I can’t believe it,” Goke said via satellite from Turkey after the race. “Dan wins the race, I finished third in points. What a day!”
Ian Adams finishes a strong second at Auto Club after the Wright wreck caused the race to finish under caution. Adams started 20th but drove through the field. Chris Stofer finished third, with Michael Goodman and Joe Branch rounding out the top five.
On the points front, Jason Robarge held onto fourth despite missing the first two events of the season and being wrecked in the finale. James Krahula came home fifth.
Several postseason awards were announced after the event, including Patrick Taylor earning the Dan Wheldon Driver of the Year award from First Medical Equipment.
“I’m speechless,” Taylor said. “What an incredible honor. Thank you to everyone in this league.”
Ron Hacker was named the league’s cleanest driver, while Pierre Daigle earned the CART Retro Series Iron Man Award for completing the most laps. No Name Racing earned the team championship and cleanest team awards.
Series sponsor First Medical Equipment announced it would return for Season 5. Series founder Jorge Anzaldo announced next season will be carried once again by Global SimRacing Channel and will start at Homestead-Miami Speedway and end at Auto Club Speedway once again.
The 24 race slate will see the series make a trip to Imola for the first time, while returning to stalwarts like Watkins Glen, Iowa and Pocono.
A new Lionheart Challenge Series was also announced. Free to all official and practice roster members, the series will rotate short seasons in unique cars, starting with the Radical. The league is also in the process of acquiring the CART Retro Series, utilizing the Lotus 79 in a throwback to the glory days of Indy car racing.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the team we have here,” Anzaldo said. “I never thought we’d grow this league this big. It’s amazing. Thank you to Brandon Limkemann and First Medical Equipment for making it all possible. The drivers deserve so much credit, we truly run the best IndyCar league on iRacing and the support we receive and the caliber of drivers we have prove that.”
The 2017 season will begin March 1, 2017 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, but an All-Star race will precede the race on February 8 at Daytona International Speedway. GSRC will also carry that event.
For more information on the Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment, visit www.LionheartRacingSeries.com.
The Lionheart Indycar Series presented by First Medical Equipment has a lot to celebrate this week. The 150-lap Lionheart Championship 300 will officially bring the iRacing league's fourth season to a close on Wednesday night.
“I would like to personally thank Brandon Limkemann and First Medical Equipment for being Lionheart’s title sponsor. I would also like to thank all of the race sponsors, including those individuals that sponsored other prizes. It is due to the overwhelming support that Lionheart provided its biggest payouts in league history,” said league president Jorge Anzaldo in a recent letter to league members.
“It is each and every member that has made this league what it is today. I thank you all for allowing me to be a part of something so special. Together we can continue to stand tall as one of the elite IndyCar leagues on the iRacing service.”
By all accounts, the 2016 season has been the most successful in league history. Through 21 races, the series has averaged 35 Dallara DW-12's on the starting grid, with 40 virtual Indycars taking the green flag for the season opener at Homestead. Impressively, the lowest-attended event of the season still drew 30 sim racers to take the green flag!
The racing has certainly remained closer-than-ever. Thus far, ten different sim racers have visited victory lane, with only three winning more than once. Jake Wright's win at Phillip Island was the closest road course finish in league history and Chris Stofer's photo-finish victory at Kansas was the closest oval finish since the league's first season.
Heading into the season finale, only one spot – first overall – has actually been clinched. More than twenty-five positions remain separated by 10 points or less. With double points on the line in Wednesday's Triple Crown finale, drivers will earn a minimum of 10 points for starting, ensuring that the final standings could look very different after Wednesday night's race.
With Jake Wright's second-consecutive championship already assured, the focus turns toward the runner-up position. Dan Geren holds the spot by 48 points over his currently-deployed teammate Jonathan Goke. With Goke unable to race, fourth-place Jason Robarge is Geren's closest competitor sitting 70 points back. Robarge will need a stellar performance at Auto Club to jump ahead of Geren. He needs to finish first or second to even have a shot and he'll also need Geren to score the minimum points. Could Robarge's first victory of the season come at exactly the right time?
The more intense battle is for third overall, which offers $125 and a stylish plaque. It would be a major accomplishment for Goke to secure the spot despite missing numerous races but with Robarge only 22 points behind, it doesn't seem likely. James Krahula is still in the mix as well sitting 55 points back. Krahula will also need a strong race and must finish sixth or better to have a chance. (Ironically, Krahula finished seventh at Auto Club last season!)
Jason Galvin scored his second win of the season two weeks ago at Atlanta and the victory ensured that he still has a shot at fourth overall. Galvin would likely need another win to secure the spot but a top five finish is very possible. Galvin won't have it easy as the standings begin to tighten considerably below him. Joe Hassert, Ron Hacker, Michael Gray, and Pierre Daigle are all still eligible for fifth, while Dylan Lee, Joe Branch, Jorge Anzaldo and Joe Flanagan are all still mathematically in the hunt for sixth.
With so much on the line, who has the edge in the race?
Joe Hassert's last win came in the season opener so there's no doubt “Big Joe” would like to bookend his 2016 campaign with another victory. Luckily, he has the credentials at Auto Club Speedway to do just that. He's the only active Lionheart driver with a win at the track, and he's also the all-time leader in laps led. In fact, Hassert was dominating the race last season before an incident with a lapped car ended his evening early. Can “Big Joe” turn around his luck and end his season the way it started?
Hassert's biggest challenger may come from within his own team. Jake Wright secured the pole at Auto Club last season, and there's little doubt that he'll be near the front of the field again. For added motivation, a win in the finale would give the back-to-back series champion 11 career wins, tying him with fellow two-time champion Jesse Vincent for first on the all-time list.
Other sim racers to keep an eye on this week include the Adrenaline Motorsports duo of Joe Branch and Chris Stofer, both of whom are chasing their second victories of the season. Stofer has been on a tear lately, finishing first and second in his last two races. Branch, meanwhile, finished second at Auto Club last season. Impressively, the Indiana-based sim racer has finished on the podium in four of the last five Lionheart Triple Crown races.
The Lionheart Championship 300 will be broadcast live on the Global Sim Racing Channel (GSRC) and iRacingLive on Wednesday, November 9th, beginning at 10:35PM ET.
Lionheart's fifth season is slated to start in March of 2017. For more information about the Lionheart Indycar Series presented by First Medical Equipment, please visit www.lionheartracingseries.com