July 1, 2014 is the day where an idea was put into motion and became reality. This idea simply came from the desire to compete against friends and take IndyCar racing on iRacing to the next level. After several months of careful planning the Lionheart Racing Series league was officially created.
July 3, 2014 hosted the very first Lionheart races at Michigan International Speedway. The response to the league was so overwhelming especially with the recent release of the DW12. 67 drivers showed up to the inaugural event and as a result splits were created. Michael Chinn won Race 1 over Marc Melcher. Race 2 saw Danno Brookins win over Kouichi kitamura. Lionheart was not the first IndyCar league on iRacing but it was certainly one of the first to utilize the new Dallara. Dan Wheldon himself had the honor of being the first to test drive the new car. Even more fitting that the league would be used as a means to pay homage to the fallen Indy 500 Champion.
Speaking of friends, I began my journey on iRacing alone with the sole purpose of competing in the virtual IndyCar Series. I was invited to a private chat server by a fellow iRacer Justin Lane who was friendly and welcoming. It was through this chat server that I met many of the original members of Lionheart many of which are still racing with us today. Who knows if I hadn’t stumbled upon and met Justin perhaps, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to have met so many of the people that helped make Lionheart a reality back in year one?
An idea alone would not be enough to push the league forward and gain the momentum that it would need to continue expanding each and every year into what it is today. To the “founding fathers” of Lionheart who were there in the early days helping me take this dream of mine and set it on the right path I owe you my sincerest gratitude. Joe Hassert, Drew Motz and Robert Blouinare a few of those that were there at the beginning brainstorming, planning and discussing all of the “what if’s” which were instrumental in creating our rulebook and overall strategy in how we would run the league.
We also cannot forget Ryan Lewis, friend and fellow iRacer who was there in the beginning as we searched and struggled for a name? Boy did we go through so many different possible names! Ryan who seemed to just come out of nowhere uttered the words “Why don’t we call it Lionheart?” Being the huge Dan Wheldon fan that he was it made sense that he came up with that idea. From there we decided that yes, Lionheart was a perfect name and the league would be a perfect platform to honor him.
Over the years I have had the pleasure of working with some amazing people. All of which have given their time and shared their talents so generously to the league. The Lionheart Administration team and its support staff have supported me and this league through the last 5 years I would like to thank the following individuals for their efforts in making Lionheart what it has become. Patrick Taylor, Joe Hassert, Drew Motz, Robert Blouin, Pierre-Alexandre Daigle, David Korty, Andrew Kinsella, Tyler Graaf, Alex Saunders, Jason Galvin. Thank you all and everyone that has sacrificed their personal time to help keep the league running in the manner it has been over the last 7 seasons.
I would also like to give thanks to all the drivers past and present who have competed in Lionheart. Without our drivers there is no league. The admin team has worked tirelessly to provide the best racing and atmosphere for its members. Our members have responded with a level of dedication any league owner would be proud of. They respond week in and week out providing some of the most exciting Sim Racing on the iRacing service. My hat goes off to you all as it has been an absolute honor racing with you all over the past 5 years. I look forward to all the battles and stories that will be told as we look ahead to the next 5 years.
Lionheart has also had the pleasure of having nearly all of its races broadcast since the finale of Season 1 at Auto Club Speedway. To all the staff at Global SimRacing Channel thank you for your professionalism and service to our series, its members and fans. All that you do blends perfectly into one amazing incredible production. One that has helped grow the popularity of the league each and every season. Sean Ambrose thank you for your friendship and guidance in the early years and for being a part of so many of our broadcasts. Amjed and Joe Peak your work keeping everything running smoothly, Dougie with the best cameras in Sim Racing. Soup thank you for continuing to work with us and Richie for coming on board adding that extra element to the commentary. Big thanks as well to Adam Young, Jason Galvin, Brian Yaczik and all the others who have been a part of a Lionheart broadcast.
I wanted to take the time to give thanks to all our sponsors. It is because of you that this league has grown the way it has and allowed us to provide some of the most amazing prizes to our drivers. I thank you for putting your trust in Lionheart to represent your brands with integrity and honor. Big thanks to all our season sponsor’s First Medical Equipment, SimXperience Racing Simulators, The ButtKicker, SMC and Sam Maxwell, Scott Rhea with Plasma-Tracks Race Track Wall Art and Motorsports Trophies, Minus273, Scott MacKenzie with Clipping That Apex, IracingIflag, Turn Racing, Shaun Cole at The Simpit, Tyler Graaf with GRAAFix, all the guys over at Guys Games and Beer, the The DMLC Racing Channel, Scott Rupp with Midwest Simulations, Jennifer Harrington with Viva Motorsport, and Trak Racer.
Thank you to all of the Lionheart members who have sponsored races each and every season. It is so very much appreciated and we cannot thank you enough!
Dustin Wardlow, Loud Pedal Motorsports, Brian Greenlee, Marc Lavry Cohn, Marc Aumick, Patrick Taylor Family, Bob Mikes, Scott Johnson, and each and every member who has sponsored a race. Thank you so very much.
Brandon Limkemann and all the family and First Medical Equipment,I wanted to personally thank you for being the title sponsor of our Lionheart IndyCar Series for the past 4 seasons and for your friendship. Your support has been pivotal in providing all of the operating and logistical services for its drivers. Everyone at Lionheart owes you a great deal of gratitude.
I want to thank our Series Champions. Jesse Vincent IndyCar Series Seasons 1 &2. Jake Wright IndyCar Series Seasons 3,4 and 5. Adam Blocker Season 6. Jake Wright Retro Series Season 1. Adam Blocker Retro Series Season 2. Congratulations on your accomplishments.
Let’s see what the next 5 years will bring?
HAPPY BIRTHDAY LIONHEART!