Two weeks after the series' first Triple Crown race of the season at Pocono Racway, the Lionheart Indycar Series Presented by First Medical Equipment heads to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin and the famous Road America. The 100-mile race on May 11th will be the second road course of the 2016 season, and the first of back-to-back road events.
The Flamingos 100 could provide an opportunity for Jake Wright to widen his 17 point lead in the championship. Wright won the series' first road course race of 2016 at Watkins Glen, and finished a close second at Road America last season to Michel de Jonge, who is not racing in the series this year. While the door may be open for Jake to earn his second win of the season, there are several challengers who will do everything they can to keep him from running away with the championship.
The most notable challenger may be Team #NailedIt's Jonathan Goke. Goke sits third in the championship, just 19 points behind Wright despite one fewer start. More impressively, Goke is coming off a big win at Pocono, which made him the only two-time winner of the season. It's unclear if he can challenge Wright for the lead on a road course, but he has followed through on his Pocono victory-lane promise to run “hundreds of laps” in preparation for the race. Could the extra effort push him to the next level?
Goke wasn't the only Team #NailedIt driver to enjoy success at Pocono. Dan Geren finished a very competitive second at the “tricky triangle” and seems to have shaken some early-season bad luck. Geren finished fifth at Road America last season, and while he may not have the outright speed to catch Jake, a consistent race could put him in good position to capitalize if Wright has any issues during the race.
Not to be overlooked is Adrenaline Motorsports' Christian Steele, who is also coming off a solid run at Pocono. More importantly, Steele won the pole at Watkins Glen earlier in the season and was the only driver to truly challenge Jake for the win. It's entirely possible he could find himself on the pole once again at Road America.
Dark horse picks for Road America include Jason Robarge and James Krahula. Robarge has been on a solid run this season after missing the first few events, and he finished fourth at this event last season. Krahula quietly finished third at Watkins Glen, gaining little attention for an incident-free run behind Wright and Steele. A similar effort at Road America could lead to another solid finish for the driver who currently sits second in the championship.
The race will be a special one for league founder Jorge Anzaldo, who will celebrate his fiftieth career start in the Lionheart Indycar Series at Road America. Anzaldo has enjoyed a string of solid finishes in recent events, and will be looking to crack the top ten in the overall standings with another good result this week.
One notable name missing from this weeks race will be “Big Joe” Hassert, who has been forced to miss the event due to another commitment. A field of more than thirty DW-12 Indycars will take the checkered flag at 10:50PM ET. The race will be broadcast on the Global Sim Racing Channel (GSRC) beginning at 10:35PM ET.