In the end, it all worked out like it should. At least, that’s what Jason Galvin thought. The Bakersfield, Calif. driver led the most laps in a mostly dominating victory in the Simpit 200 at the virtual Milwaukee Mile Wednesday night.
But the race was not without its oddball moments and featured a thrilling finish on the tight one-mile oval.
“The last ten laps were like hold on for dear life,” Galvin said. “The car was light on fuel, the track was hot, the tires were old. I thought I was wrecked in turn one on the final lap. But it all worked out.”
The win was the fifth of his career for Galvin in the Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment.
After capturing his first career pole, Galvin jumped out to an early lead before the race was red flagged following the opening caution on lap five. A race session error caused officials to call for a complete restart, including qualifying.
Over the final 15 laps, Blocker closed the gap to Galvin and made multiple attempts to complete a pass on the outside to no avail.
On the final lap, Galvin’s car pushed wide in turn two, allowing Blocker to get a run down the back straight. After popping to the outside and even taking the lead by a nose in the final corner, Galvin powered back in front on the bottom and won by a half-car length.
The final margin of victory: 0.062 seconds.
“Adam and I have had our moments in the past,” Galvin said. “But we’ve raced so well together this year in the few times we’ve been able to. I respect him so much. He ran clean all night.”
Blocker said he did everything he could to get around Galvin, but ran out of laps.
“As Jason said, I kinda screwed up the strategy a little bit,” Blocker said. “I guess it could’ve gone either way depending on how cautions went. Then we had a incident on the next pit stop, there was a checkup and I hit (Dustin) Wardlow. It was enough to give him a rear wing change and me a front. That put me back.
“Just slowly over the green runs made up track position, taking advantage of others' mistakes in traffic. The last stint, I knew Jason would pit early. I figured he would come out in front of me but I’m not in a position to risk short-pitting because of the points. It worked out because Galvin caught some traffic and I had much better tires, and it really allowed me to attack. Good race to Galvin, that was fun. We raced clean.”
Galvin said he didn’t disagree with the call to form a new session, but was nonetheless selfishly disappointed. In the second session, Galvin qualified third behind championship leader Adam Blocker and Justin Weaver.
Blocker’s decision to pit on a lap 27 caution ultimately may have been the difference in the race.
Galvin stayed out - along with several other top ten cars - and inherited a lead that he would only lose during pit cycles.
“I knew track position was important, I wanted to be out front,” Galvin said. “I don’t think I was the fastest car. I think Adam and Justin and even Mike were all better than me honestly. But track position was everything.”
Michael Goodman came home third, having run in the top five the entire race.
“I had a great night,” Goodman said. “I made a mistake early on and lost some confidence. Then I almost lost the car. I wanna apologize to Justin, it probably ruined his race. But it just feels good to have all the hard work, and see some good results.”
Goodman was part of the biggest scare amongst contenders. On lap 132, the top four of Galvin, Goodman, Weaver and Blocker overtook then-leader Samuel Reiman, who was on the tail end of his fuel run.
As Goodman exited turn two, behind the dirty air of Galvin, the car stepped out. Justin Weaver nearly clobbered Goodman, and Blocker made an evasive move to the inside to jump from fourth to second.
Weaver would pit under a caution two laps later, banking on more wrecks that would allow the Nashville driver to get to the end on fuel.
But the lap 134 caution for Isaiah Dupree’s spin proved to be the final of seven yellow flags.
Weaver inherited the lead for a few laps late in the event, but had to hit pit road with 10 laps remaining for a splash of fuel. Weaver settled for fifth, right behind Dan Geren. Big Joe Hassert was sixth after starting 25th, the biggest mover in the race.
Weaver’s fuel stop setup the dramatic dash to the end between Galvin and Blocker, leading to the closest finish in Milwaukee history in the Lionheart series.
The 2019 running of the Simpit 200 was much cleaner than last year’s event. After a record 17 cautions in 2018, the seven yellow flags this year were seen as a surprise.
19 of the 34 starters finished the race. 12 cars finished on the lead lap.
Blocker’s points lead improved to 172 over Geren. Andrew Kinsella missed the event, falling to eighth in points. As a result, Michael Goodman jumped to third, a stark 71 points behind Geren.
The Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment returns this week. The LPM 200 at Texas Motor Speedway is set for Wednesday, July 3 at 10:35 p.m. EST. The race can be seen live on the iRacing eSports Network with Global SimRacing Channel producing the action. Justin Weaver is the defending winner of the event.
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!
From the shortest road course on the schedule to one of the shortest ovals. The Lionheart IndyCar Series roars into Milwaukee on a short week of rest, for a race that will be tall on action! The oldest race track in America plays host to the virtual IndyCars of the Lionheart series at the Simpit 200 from the Milwaukee Mile.
Last week at Mosport was a wild ride for the Lionheart Series. Sage Karam was on poll, but it was Adam Blocker getting the jump on Karam. To good a jump it turned out, as Blocker would be penalized with a stop and go penalty for jumping the start. Tyler Graaf spun trying to pass a lapped car out of a strong 4th place, collecting 5th place Andrew Kinsella. Both drivers would continue on, but finished well back of where their pace deserved. There were several incidents at the Moss corners, with Damon Martinez notable getting loose a couple of times, loosing himself positions. In the end, Karam would not be denied a win, with George Sandman and Michael Goodman rounding out the podium. Adam Blocker battled back from outside the top 20 after his early penalty to finish 4th, stretching his points lead further in the process, while Connor Harrington finished 5th.
A different sort of challenge awaits the Lionheart drivers at their next event. The flat Milwaukee Mile is notoriously tough to pass, and tire wear will be a factor all day long as the drivers battle not only themselves, but the conditions and track as well.
Dan Geren is one who needs a bounce back race. The Midwest driver had a tough time at Mosport finishing 26th after several incidents put him back in the field. The Synergy Motorsports driver is still lying 2nd in the points, 162 behind Adam Blocker, despite having the most incidents points on the roster. Geren could really use a clean race to jump start his season and mount a charge against Blocker.
Lying 5th in championship standings, Stephen Laarkamp has been getting strong and stronger this season, with consistent to 10 finishes the last few races. With his rookie of the year rival from last year, Connor Harrington, lying just ahead of him in 4th place, the sophomore driver is solely working his way into the championship conversation.
Of course, the man all 3 of these drivers are chasing is Adam Blocker. Despite the penalty at Mosport, Blocker managed to maintain his 9-race streak of top 5 finishes to start the season, and last Wednesday’s 4th place represents the lowest finishing position so far, the season for the Adrenaline Motorsports driver. At this stage, and with the form Blocker is in, it is safe to say that only misfortune might be able to derail the season for Blocker.
If there ever was a track with that potential, it could be Milwaukee. Tire degradation plays a huge part in the races here and nailing the strategy could be the difference between a win and finishing outside the top 20. Then there are the curbs. Milwaukee is one of the few oval tracks that actually has raised curbing at on the inside of the track at both ends. Hit the curbing right and it could be the fast way around the track. Hit it wrong, however and there is a good chance you will be spinning into the path of another car, creating a chain reaction crash that can take out several cars at once.
Watch on Wednesday June 26th as the Lionheart drivers tackle the Milwaukee Mile at the Simpit 200 at 10:35pm eastern only on the iRacing eSports Network presented by GSRC.
It might as well have been a Sunday cruise to the beach for Sage Karam. The NTT IndyCar Series competitor led all but three laps en route to his second win of the season, capturing the Thumbs Up, Cancer Down Grand Prix of Mosport Wednesday night.
Karam beat George Sandman by over 16 seconds.
“That was a pretty calm, good night,” Karam said. “There was more lapped traffic than on a bigger course, and it’s a fast track. It can get sketchy with lapped traffic...but everyone was good tonight.”
A much anticipated duel between Karam and defending Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment champion Adam Blocker never developed.
Blocker jumped the initial start of the race and was black flagged by the sim, causing an early trip to pit lane.
Blocker fought his way back through the field to finish fourth, in a true championship-caliber drive.
Sandman worked his way around Michael Goodman early and had a comfortable run to second, his best finish in the IndyCar series.
“Sage just left us in the dust,” Sandman said. “At that point on, I just wanted to maintain a distance on Goodman behind me. I pitted a little early to avoid lapped traffic and that seemed to help. I wish I would’ve been closer to Sage but he just pulled away.”
Goodman - who led a lap during pit cycles - finished third, with Blocker running out of time in his pursuit of a podium.
“I actually finished without hitting anything,” Goodman joked when asked if he had any exciting moments in his race. “It was a good race. I’m just happy to finish one of these things. No driver error, I’ll take it.”
The event ran caution free.
Blocker finished ahead of Connor Harrington to cap the top five.
Andrew Kinsella was the only other leader, pacing the field for two laps during pit stops. Kinsella finished eleventh.
A few expected contenders encountered problems and ended the race with disappointing finishes.
An internet connection issue saw former road course winner Dustin Wardlow retire after just eleven laps. Wardlow finished 29th.
Championship runner-up Dan Geren struggled to a 26th place finish, three laps down. Geren was also the only driver penalized for excessive incidents, losing three more championship points.
Blocker’s point lead looks almost insurmountable at such an early stage in the season, but drop weeks have yet to be factored in and the Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment allows for three such weeks.
Blocker leads Geren by an astounding 162 points. Both double points races, including the Lionheart Indy 500, have yet to be run as well, and could swing the points dramatically.
The Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment continues a run of three consecutive race weeks with a return to ovals and a short track.
The Simpit 200 at the historic Milwaukee Mile is set for Wednesday night. The race can be seen live on the iRacing eSports Network, with Global SimRacing Channel producing the action, at 10:35 p.m. EST.
The Toronto Raptors are NBA champions. A phrase most NBA fans never thought they would utter. Fittingly, Toronto is also the next stop on the Lionheart IndyCar Series’ calendar. Just down the road from the largest theme park, “Canada’s Wonderland” lies a roller coaster of a different variety. The sweeping turns and rolling hills of Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, better known as Mosport, play host to round 9 of the Lionheart IndyCar Series, for the Thumb Up Cancer Down Grand Prix of Mosport.
Last-time out at Twin Ring Motegi, our defending champion Adam Blocker made Lionheart history, becoming the first driver in series history to win 3 straight race. After taking both races in Detroit, Blocker used timely fuel strategy and a very light right foot to pull away from the field at the end of the race at Motegi. Blocker has simply dominated the season, having yet to finish worse then 3rd in any race this year. Ron Hacker and Joe Hassert also fuel-saved their way to top 3 finishes, While Damon Martinez and Brandon Limkemann rounded out the top 5 with there respective best finishes of the season.
The story of the season however is Blocker. The Adrenaline Motorsports driver has kicked off his title defence with the strongest 8 races Lionheart has ever seen to start the season. Despite 2 wins of his own, Dan Geren finds himself 131 points back, with Andrew Kinsella a massive 187 points back in 3rd. And with another road course race on the horizon, it doesn’t seem likely that Blocker’s form will change anytime soon. Blocker has 2 wins and a 2nd through 3 road courses so far this season. An unprecedent 4th straight win seems much more likely then not at this point.
The only other driver to win on a road course this season is real-world IndyCar and Rallycross driver Sage Karam. Karam was able to stay out in front at the fast sweeping Watkins Glen track in round 2. Mosport is a track with similarly fast, high commitment corners, so if anyone is going to be able to stop Blocker it might be Karam.
In last year’s race, the drive of the race might have belonged to Andrew Kinsella, who went from 21st on the grid to finish 3rd. This is a hometown race for the Canadian driver, who lives only a few hours from the track. If Kinsella can qualify better this year, maybe the Adrenaline driver will even have a shot at hist teammate.
One driver to keep an eye on is Damon Martinez. Martinez has been slowly getting faster and faster throughout his rookie season, and is now knocking on the door of the top 10 in points. Martinez has qualified well at each of the road course races so far, but it is keeping out of trouble that has been his biggest issue so far. If Martinez keeps the nose clean, don’t count out the independent driver from factoring into the action.
The track at Canadian Tire Motorspots track is a unique challenge for the drivers of Lionheart. It is a short lap, only just over 1 minute in length, but off camber corners, and steep drops make this one of the most fun, high commitment tracks on the service. Which ever driver wins today will have to deal with traffic, navigate the course, and fend off some hungry competitors.
Who will win? Tune in Wednesday June 19th at 10:35pm eastern for the Thumbs Up Cancer Down Grand Prix of Mosport, only on the iRacing eSports Network presented by GSRC.
Adam Blocker can’t be beat right now. The defending Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment champion made stretching fuel look easy, while others cars dropped lap after lap, to win the Global Electronic Technology 200 at Twin Ring Motegi Wednesday night.
“I knew Laarkamp couldn’t make it when he went past me,” said Blocker, who has won the last three events. “With eight to go I just went for it. I knew we had it.”
Ron Hacker picked up a career-best second place, while Big Joe Hassert claimed the final podium spot.
“I started lifting early with 15, 16 to go and just tried to stretch it,” Hacker said. “I had about a lap left at the end of the race. We were good to go.”
Hassert dropped ten positions in the final laps while trying to pedal the car and save gas, and went from outside the top 15 to third as a result of his efforts.
“I was up to almost fifth and Jason (Galvin) had a scare and I dropped back again,” Hassert said. “I was letting people by and when I hit my number I got back in the gas with four to go and got back up to third.”
Blocker took the lead from Stephen Laarkamp with 11 laps to go, after he was confident he had saved enough fuel running around in second.
“From the beginning of the stint, I was the first car that pitted,” Blocker said. “I tried to past some slower guys and was just lifting and coasting in three and four, trying to save as much as I could with cars in front of me at the beginning.”
Dustin Wardlow moved into second, but had to hit pit road with three laps left. Justin Weaver followed suit coming to the white flag.
Tyler Graaf was the first car to run out of fuel, and a litany of others followed, throwing the top ten into disarray.
When the dust settled, it was Hacker and Hassert who made it work, with Damon Martinez coming home fourth and Brandon Limkemann coasting home to finish the top five.
Scott Bolster, Tony Showen, Mike Rigney, Andrew Kinsella and Scotty Johnson completed the top ten, all with various amounts of motor cough as the cars gasped for more fuel.
Dan Geren and Connor Harrington - who led a race-high 74 laps - were amongst the drivers who dominated up front but did not pit on the final caution, and lost a lap while making green flag stops late in the race.
The race was slowed by five cautions for 20 laps. The final caution threw everyone into a fuel frenzy.
Justin Kirby chopped the nose of Kinsella on lap 86, spinning into the turn four wall to end his race. Teams were expected to get about 38 laps on a full tank of fuel, but the green came out with 41 laps remaining, testing the ability of drivers to balance fuel saving and speed.
The fourth caution came out on lap 69. Joe Flanagan contacted the wall exiting turn four, apparently suffering from aero-push while running about one second behind Brian Beard. The resulting flip brought out the caution.
Just three laps earlier, Sage Karam also hit the wall exiting turn four. Karam was able to hold on and finished the race seven laps down in 33rd.
Jason Galvin was part of the two previous cautions.
The defending race winner worked his way up to fifth before clipping the apron in turn one, entering a long drift and hanging on. The stack up likely led to contact later in the lap between David Altman and Flanagan.
Altman smacked the wall in turn three, ending his race.
Just two laps after the restart, Bob Mikes got into the back of Galvin in turn three, with Galvin getting the worst of it and bringing out a caution.
The opening yellow came on lap eleven when Shaun Cole went around in turn three after running into Kirby, who had checked up for a slower car.
An early wreck failed to bring out a caution, after Karam and Chris Stofer were victim of netcode. Stofer spun down the back straight, ending his race.
Blocker extended his championship lead to 131 points over Geren, with Kinsella jumping to third.
The Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment next heads to Canada and the rolling hills of Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Mosport, for the Thumbs Up, Cancer Down Grand Prix of Mosport. The race can be seen live on the iRacing eSports Network with production by Global SimRacing Channel on June 19 at 10:35 p.m. EST.
There is no rest for the Lionheart IndyCar drivers. Just one week after completing the series first ever dual in Detroit, the drivers make the long journey east to the Land of the Rising Sun for the Global Electronic Technology 200 from the high banks of the Twin Ring Motegi oval in Japan!
Last time out in Detroit, it was Adam Blocker sweeping both of the 32 lap races. In the first, Blocker lead home strong efforts by Tyler Graaf and Damon Martinez. George Sandman and Brian Yaczik rounded out the top 5 in a race filled with attrition. Only 19 of 37 starters were running at the end, and only 8 were on the lead lap. Early race incidents saw contenders Dustin Wardlow, Michael Goodman, Andrew Kinsella, and Bryan Carey all fall by the wayside. While Dan Geren had significant damage, and Connor Harrington made a late race mistake to ruin a shot at the podium. Race 2 was a slightly more composed affair after a hairy first lap where Yaczik spun infront of the field coming out of the 2nd corner on lap 1. A short yellow flag followed with Yaczik, Kinsella and Chris Stofer all taking damage and needing to pit for repairs. The race settled down at that point, and it was Blocker leading Harrington and Geren across the line, this time by only 7 seconds. Sandman replicated his race 1 results with another 4th place finish, while Wardlow made up for his lap 1, race 1 incident with a 5th. With the sweep, Blocker now has 2 wins on the season and an amazing record of not finishing off the podium through 7 rounds, with an average finishing position of 2.14. In a field as deep as Lionheart’s is this year that is truly an accomplishment.
Coming into Motegi, it is hard to bet against that type of record and consistency. That being said, if there is one type of track that could leave Blocker vulnerable it might just be the egg-shaped Japanese oval. Motegi is known for it’s wide racing surface, and the flat-out nature of turns 1 and 2 often leads to action on the back stretch as the draft is most certainly in play. This means tight racing where a mistake, even not of your own doing, could mean the end of your day. All that being said, betting against Blocker right now would not be a smart move.
2nd in points remains Dan Geren, and if there is one other driver who should be considered a threat to Blocker this season, it would be Geren. The Midwest driver also has 2 wins on the season, although the consensus best qualifier in the field so far only has 1 pole position. Look for Geren to change that at Motegi, a track where nailing the right line means tenths not just hundredths of a second.
Another driver to watch is Big Joe Hassert. Hassert, the self-professed oval specialist, broke through and won here earlier this season when the sister Retro Series driving the Lotus 79 visited the track. This was Bog Joe’s first Lionheart win since 2017, and rumour has it that he is feeling his mojo again. Smart money says that Hassert will be among the contenders at the end of the day.
In the team standings, there were no significant changes. Adrenaline Motorsports Red maintained it’s lead over Synergy East on the strength of Blocker’s 2 wins. Adrenaline Motorsports Black trails in 3rd, over Synergy West and the 2 Loud Pedal Motorsports teams in 5th and 6th. 7th through 11th is where all the team action currently lies, as you could throw a blanket over NHR e-sports, Skid Mark Black, 8 Ball Motorsports, Controlled Chaos, and NLR Sim Racing.
The Global Electronic Technology 200 from Twin Ring Motegi will go off this Wednesday, May 29th, 2019 at 10:35pm eastern. Tune in for all the action only on the iRacing eSports Network present by GSRC.
It’s been nearly a month since the IR-18’s have turned a competitive lap, however the drivers have not been idle in the meantime. This Wednesday, the drivers will face their most challenging night yet, with not one but two 75-mile races around the picturesque Belle Isle street circuit in the Loud Pedal Motorsports Dual in Detroit. Full points will be on offer in each race, making it doubly important that the driver knows the track well. Add to that the tough nature of the track, with unforgiving concrete walls lining the track, and you will not find a more challenging night in Lionheart this season.
In the month off, it wasn’t all practice for Lionheart members, however, as the iRacing Indy 500 saw tremendous success from the Lionheart contingent participating. Of the 1900 drivers who participated in at least one of the 4 running’s of the 500; Brian Greenlee finished 2nd in his split, Bart Workman, Stephen Laarkamp, Tony Showen, and former series driver Jonathan Goke all were victorious in lower splits, while Adam Blocker and Andrew Kinsella both had top split victories in the first 2 time slots of the event. The Lionheart Series would like to extend congratulations to all Lionheart drivers who participated in the annual event.
Last time out at Pocono, Dan Geren became the first 2-time winner this season, edging out Adam Blocker by 0.3 seconds. Jason Galvin shook off his hard-luck start to 2019 with a 3rd place finish, while Tony Showen and Brian Yaczik rounded out the top 5. Adam Blocker remains at the top of the standings 38 points in front of Geren, with Andrew Kinsella, Dustin Wardlow and rookie Bryan Carey rounding out the top 5.
From one of the longest, fastest and widest ovals to the tightest, twistiest and slowest road course, these races will require a completely different style and mindset from the drivers. One mistake will very easily put a driver in the concrete wall, and with no fast repair available, it will mean the end of one of the races, and many lost championship points.
Adam Blocker, Lionhearts road course king since the retirement of Jake Wright, will be looking to continue his reign at Detroit. With Sage Karam tentative due to his real-life Indy 500 commitments, it could be Adam’s races to lose. But the Carolina driver has spent much of the last month preparing for the iRacing Indy 500, so that has opened the door to the like of Dan Geren or Tyler Graaf to potentially step in and steal the victory. Both drivers have logged hundreds of laps in preparation for this race, and look like they could have the speed to challenge for victory.
One of the key aspects to the race will be merely keeping the car between the concrete walls, and pointed straight. In that area, rookies Bryan Carey and John G. Hill might be at an advantage. Carey drove a very smart race at Watkins Glen, passing faster cars as they made mistakes, while Hill has yet to incur an incident in over 1000 simulated miles so far this year. If both drivers remain clean on Wednesday, look for both of them to be in the top 10 at the finish of either race.
In the team championship Adrenaline Motorsports Red maintains the lead with all 3 of their drivers in the top 5 in points. Synergy East is 2nd on the back of 3 wins in 5 rounds. Loud Pedal Motorsports was the big mover last week on the back of Galvin’s 3rd and Yaczik’s 5th place finishes, and their teams sit 5th and 6th respectively.
For 2 times the action, tune in this Wednesday, May 22nd for the Loud Pedal Motorsports Dual in Detroit at 10:35pm eastern only on the iRacing eSports Network presented by GSRC.
One year ago, Dan Geren had his eyes on a win at Pocono Raceway. His internet connection had other ideas.
On Wednesday night, Geren earned redemption. The Iowa native and Synergy Motorsports driver recovered from a poor - by his standards, at least - start spot to lead the most laps and win the iRacingiFlag 300 presented by Fat Dog Racing.
Geren retook the lead from championship rival Adam Blocker with 10 laps to go and pulled away, earning his second win of the season in the Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment.
“I wasn’t feeling it all week, all day,” said Geren, who started 12th. “Ron Hacker had to pull me out of it. This is redemption, Pocono owed me one.”
Geren nearly lost the race on its final restart.
A lap 90 caution following Chris Stofer’s single car crash allowed the leaders to top off the fuel tank and take tires for a final dash to the finish. Loud Pedal Motorsports driver Jason Galvin jumped to the outside of Geren on the restart, allowing Blocker to draft up from third and make a three-wide pass into turn two.
Blocker would lead from lap 95 until 110, holding off Geren and Galvin. But Tyler Graaf exited the pits ahead of Blocker early in the run, and despite being a lap down was able to hold Blocker at bay for over 10 laps.
When Blocker got a run on Graaf coming to 10 laps to go, the second-year driver moved over on the exit of turn three. That’s when Geren saw his opportunity to strike, using the draft and the long front straightaway at Pocono to slingshot past Blocker and back to the lead.
“I found a little bit of a pick-me-up in a couple of turns, and it allowed me to stick with Adam the whole time,” Geren said. “He’s so good. I just snuck by him. I got around Blocker.”
Blocker was less than thrilled with Graaf.
“To be honest, I think I would’ve been able to keep (Geren) back if the lapped car wouldn’t have been unpredictable,” Blocker said. “(Graaf) said he was going to let us by on the straight but he started to pull over in the corner, and it caused me some aero wash. But I’ll take second. I wasn’t always up there in this race.”
Galvin was able to run down Blocker but said he used too much tire in the process, settling for third. It was the first finish of the season for Galvin, who was wrecked while in position to win at Kentucky.
“That was a fun race,” Galvin said after driving through the field from 21st on the grid. “I didn’t think I had much for Dan or Adam but then that last run I was able to stay with them. It makes me wish I did things different on the final restart. But those two are the best we have on oval tracks, so if you finish third behind Dan and Adam that’s a good night.”
The 120 lap race took one hour and 45 minutes to complete. The event was slowed by six cautions, including a wreck with two laps remaining that forced the checkers to fly along with a yellow flag.
Blocker’s Adrenaline Motorsports teammate Tony Showen led 16 laps early but settled for fourth, while Galvin’s teammate Brian Yaczik finished fifth after his pit crew cost him three positions on the final stop.
Bob Mikes, Connor Harrington, Justin Weaver, pole winner Mike Rigney and Andrew Kinsella rounded out the top ten.
Blocker leads Geren by 38 points after round five of the 25 race season. Kinsella sits third, 44 points behind Geren.
The Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment takes a month off, but the break is a welcome one. The series is set to debut at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park in Detroit for its first ever dual event.
Both 32 lap Loud Pedal Motorsports Dual’s in Detroit will take place on Wednesday, May 22. The events can be seen live on the iRacing eSports Network with production by the Global SimRacing Channel, with the broadcast beginning at 10:35 p.m. EST.
After a tough race last time out at ISM, things don’t get any less “tricky” for the Lionheart IndyCar Series drivers as they get back into action this week for the first of the triple crown races, IracingIflag Pocono 300 Presented by Fat Dog Racing.
Nicknamed the “tricky triangle” the famous raceway in Long Pond Pennsylvania features 3 unique corners that each present a different challenge to the drivers. Turn 1, clocking at 14 degrees of banking, is modeled after turns 3 and 4 of the now defunct Trenton Speedway. Turn 2, also known as the tunnel turn, has 9 degrees of banking and is modeled after the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Unlike Indy, the tunnel to access the infield of the track runs under this turn, creating the signature hump in the middle of the corner that has caught many a driver out over the years. Finally turn 3 is the flattest of the 3 (yes, 3) corners on the track, and is modelled after the Milwaukee Mile. With 3 corners as distinctive as these, it is often very difficult to make the car work in all 3 corners, and engineers are often forced to settle for 2 corners. Normally either turn 1 or 3 are sacrificed, as turn 2 is often taken flat out. This unique race track is the first jewel in the Lionheart Triple Crown.
Last week at ISM, it was Dustin Wardlow working the pit strategy and the fuel to perfection, running out of fuel as he crossed the line for his first win of 2019. In fact, in 4 races, we have had 4 different drivers in Victory Lane. Dan Geren, Scotty Johnson and Sage Karam being the other 3. Karam took 2nd place at ISM to move up to 5th in the championship, while Adam Blocker, Andrew Kinsella and Chris Stofer swept the bottom of the top 5. The win has vaulted “the Candy Man” into 2nd place in the championship. Dewar’s candy has seemed to given Wardlow an extra boost this season, although word on the street is his car passed tech inspection after the ISM race, so we know the candy is not going into the fuel tank!
At the top of the drivers standings is Adam Blocker. While Blocker has yet to win this season, the South Carolina driver has also yet to finish off the podium through 4 races. Your defending series champion, Blocker is showing the type of consistency and prowess that will make him extremely hard to catch if this form holds. In case you were thinking of betting against the points leader, Blocker finished 2nd here last season to his teammate Andrew Kinsella.
Speaking of Kinsella, the Canadian has had an uncharacteristically quiet start to the season. Yes he has 3 top 5’s through 4 races, but no podiums and no wins mean a much slower started compared to last year, where he had 3 wins through the first 5 races. The last of those, coming at this very race track, was the last win for Kinsella in the Lionheart series, meaning a full calendar year has gone by since the Canadian won a race. With Blocker, Wardlow, Karam and Geran all winning in the interim, you can bet this will be one hungry Canadian on Wednesday. He will have one major hurdle to overcome however…Now in Season 7, there are still no two-time Pocono winners ever in Lionheart history. Will Kinsella be able to turn that tide this season?
Dan Geren is coming of an uncharacteristically quiet night at ISM where he finished just 23rd. The Midwest driver has still had a good start to the year, however, after his win in the opener at Homestead and is sitting 3rd in the championship battle. Geren is famous in the Lionheart series for his blistering pole runs; in fact, he sits tied with Jake Wright for all time Pole Positions in Lionheart History at 26. The next time Dan Geren secures a Pole he will become the all-time leader in most Pole Positions. To give you an idea as to just how dominant these 2 have been Jesse Vincent sits in 3rd with 9. That being said, this writer, despite the tie, will still give the tip of his cap to Geren as the greatest qualifier in Lionheart history. Why? Because Wright, while fast on ovals, collected the majority of his poles on road courses, where the gaps tend to be bigger. Geren does have on reason NOT to go for pole position, however, that is that the pole sitter has never won the race at Pocono in Lionheart History. If Geren is looking to win on Wednesday, he may better to wait until Belle Isle to go for a pole run.
This brings us to the track. As mentioned above, Pocono is unique circuit, but it is also a big one. 2.5 miles to be exact, and Lionhearts adoption of the dynamic skyboxes iRacing implemented last year has turned the track into and adventure. The track temperatures are fluctuating as the track entering and exiting the cloud cover, with temperatures in practice from the 80’s through temps into 110’s. Due to the size of the track, some corners may be shaded while others aren’t leading to temperature changes corner to corner. The hotter temps are creating more understeer which is making passing difficult. With an anticipated in-sim start time of approximately 12:40 local time, the track is also anticipated to cool down over the course of the afternoon. Look for the drivers to make their moves as the track cools off.
All the action from the IracingIflag Pocono 300 Presented by Fat Dog Racing can be seen live Wednesday 24th at 10:35 pm Eastern only on the iRacing eSports Network presented by GSRC.