Summer time in picturesque Elkhart Lake Wisconsin has, for many years, been synonymous with one thing; the roar of an IndyCar around the magnificent Road America circuit. Now it may not be summer in the real world, but the beauty of sim racing is it can always be racing season! The Lionheart drivers pack up from Iowa 2 weeks ago and head due north for the Rogue Buck 125 at Road America presented by Irish Whitetail Distillery.
Last time out at Iowa it was Dan Geren surviving till the finish to take his 4th win of the season by 1 second over Brian Yaczik. Geren dominated the race, leading 192 of the 229-lap event. No one else lead for more then 11 laps, and only 5 drivers finished on the lead lap after a tough race. Tony Showen, Big Joe Hassert and Joe Branch dueled for 3rd place with Showen eventually taking it, with Hassert just piping Branch at the line by less then a tenth of a second. Championship leader Adam Blocker did not have a good night, finishing down in 24th place after getting knocked around and finally ending his day in the fence. This has put a delay in Blocker’s victory party, but he still leads the championship by 217 points over Geren. While Geren will be unlikely to catch Blocker, one thing his win did do was stretch his lead over Andrew Kinsella, who missed the race with computer problems. This has created a log jam for 3rd place, with Justin Weaver 4 back of the Canadian, and Stephen Laarkamp 3 back of Weaver. With 5 rounds to go. 3rd place is the battle to watch in this championship.
No from one of the shortest tracks on the schedule, to the longest. The Lionheart drivers will tackle the fast straights and tight turns of the picturesque Road America circuit. First opened in 1955, Road America is a quintessential American road course, with its elevation changes, off camber corners, and tight confines. Road America provides plenty of braking zones where over taking will be relatively easy, so get ready for some serious action from this road course this week.
Adam Blocker will be looking to rebound from his poor Iowa showing, and there is no better track from the South Carolina driver than a road course, where he has dominated this year. With a good result, Blocker could open the possibility of clinching the championship as early as the New Hampshire race; however, if something were to happen and Blocker would DNF again, it could stretch the battle out longer, to either Kansas, Laguna Seca, or even the finale.
While the odds may be slim at this point, you can bet that one man who will not be giving up is Dan Geren. The Midwestern driver recently announced that he will be taking a break from full time driving duties next season. Geren has finished 2nd in each of the last 3 season championships. As long as he still is mathematically alive, you know that Geren will look to go out with a bang this year.
3 drivers to watch out for this week will be Sage Karam, Connor Harrington and Justin Weaver. All 3 have been very fast on road courses this season, but it is the consistency that has bit all 3 in the results column. That being said, it is unlikely that bad luck will befall all 3 this round, so look for at least one of them to be up there challenging Adam Blocker for the win.
In the rookie battle, Mike Rigney has pulled out a lead over Damon Martinez and John Hill. So far of the 3, Martinez has shown the most promise on the road course, but just like the 3 drivers mentioned above, it is the consistency that has been the rookies biggest impediment this year. Will Martinez have the patience at Road America to take a big chunk out of Rigney’s lead? Or will it be another unforced error costing him valuable points in the rookie of the year fight?
For all the simulated action, tune in this Wednesday, November 6th at 10:35pm eastern time only on the iRacing eSports Network presented by the one and only GSRC.