The Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by Overdrive Graphics heads to Sonoma Raceway for the series’ first of four stops at a road course. This 34 lap race is sure to provide lots of drama with varying pit strategies and several drivers serving penalties resulting from the series’ last race at Iowa.
Road course races in the Lionheart IndyCar Series also feature a different set of rules from the oval tracks. The most glaring difference, is that full course caution flags are turned off, meaning all 34 laps will be run under green flag conditions. There are however local cautions to warn drivers of incidents in corners. The race incident limit is raised to 15 (12 on ovals). Lastly, qualifying is increased to 4 laps, with a full tank of fuel.
Tuesday Practice Race
Tuesday’s practice race saw many drivers on different pit strategies, with the majority of drivers opting for a two-stop strategy versus trying to complete the race in just one stop. Austin Espitee posted the quickest lap in qualifying with a lap of 1:15.202. Jake Wright from No Name Racing qualified second with a lap of 1:15.582. Unacceptable Racing teammates Ricky Hardin and James Krahula filling the second row. Goin’ Broke Racing’s Justin Laxton rounded out the top 5.
Espitee led the field to the green, and led the first 11 laps before yielding the lead for a pit stop. Wright would lead the remainder of the race with Espitee finishing second, and Pierre Daigle from No Name Racing finishing third. Zach Trull would finish fourth with Terry Matthiensen finishing fifth.
GSRC Sonoma 75 Race Preview
Some of the fastest laps of the week have been turned by Daniel Roeper and Michel de Jonge with Austin Espitee following closely behind. Those three have shown the speed, but haven’t been able to capitalize in a race setting. In addition to those three, James Krahula, Justin Laxton, and Jake Wright have all won practice races leading up to tonight’s race and are likely contenders.
As was touched on earlier, many drivers are trying different pit strategies, differing between trying to make the race on one pit stop, and taking two pit stops. That pit strategy has paid big dividends for some, but as the week has progressed, the advantage of taking a single pit stop has softened.
In addition to the pit strategy, another item of note is that all drivers who finish inside the top 20 in points after tonight’s race, will be locked in for next week’s C.F.D. Heroes 150 from Richmond International Raceway.
Drivers to Watch:
Pierre Daigle: Pierre is always one of the better drivers on road, and has been very constant in practice over the last week. Pierre is looking to solidify his position within the top 20 in points.
Allen Boes: Allen is a DWC/Pro driver, and won the televised B-Open split from Watkins Glen. In limited practice last night, Boes was able to turn the 7th fastest time. Will this be the week Allen finds victory lane?
Jorge Anzaldo: Jorge is red-hot following his win at Iowa. He currently sits fourth in points, and through three races this season he does not have an incident and has completed all 400 laps. In the practice race, he had 0 incidents as well. Another solid finish will bring Anzaldo into the championship discussion.
Terry Matthiensen: Terry currently sits 8th in points, just 25 points behind the leader. He’s looking to rebound from his 16th place finish last week at Iowa.
Tonight’s Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by Overdrive Graphics, GSRC Sonoma 75 will be broadcast live on the Global SimRacing Channel at 10:35pm.
For more information on the series, you can visit their website at lionheartracingseries.com.