Sage Karam fresh off his 2nd consecutive win this season heads into Mosport with the points lead possibly the momentum he needs to make it 3 in a row. A feat that has only been accomplished one time in the history of the series back in Season 2 when Alex Saunders won rounds 6 through 8.
Karam has come close to the 3 peat twice in his Lionheart Retro Series presented by DMLC Racing Channel career. Season 3 was definitely a dominant year for Sage winning 5 times on road courses and had 3 in a row in his sights after winning Rounds 15 and 16 but was unable to make the race. Fate would have it that the race he needed to win to make it 3 in a row was Mosport.
Fast forward to 2020, Sage is back in position to become one of two drivers ever to win 3 consecutive races in the Retro Series. This being accomplished only one other time in series history is certainly a testament to the depth of talent in the roster.
There are quite a few drivers that certainly will have their say in how all this plays out. Ryan Otis the defending race winner and series champion sat on pole last year with an average speed of 130.603 MPH and knows how to get around the Canadian circuit. After gaining a position in the standings and currently sitting 4th Otis needs a good finish to gain ground on the top 3 who are separated by just 20 points.
George Sandman is sitting currently in 2nd place overall and would love to grab his 2nd win of the year. Having won the season opener at Homestead, the veteran and road master would love nothing more than to take a win and the points lead for his primary sponsor HPP Simulation.
Alex Saunders who sits on top of the series power rankings for the 2nd straight round will be pushing his Nighthawk Motorsports Lotus 79 machine to the limit in search of his 1st win of the 2020 season and 12th of his Retro Series career. Saunders currently leads the league with 11 career victories, 14 poles and 1058 laps led. In short this is shaping up to be an epic battle between the Lionheart Retro Series road aces.
The Lionheart Retro Series presented by DMLC Racing Channel will be live on the iRacing eSports Network April 30th, 2020 for the HPP Simulation Grand Prix of Mosport.
Race coverage begins at 9:35 PM CST and will be provided by the Global Sim Racing Channel.
Race Link: https://youtu.be/Asb3IJKf2Io
Sage Karam is locked in, and there doesn’t appear to be an end to his dominance in sight.
The NTT IndyCar Series competitor captured his second consecutive win in the Lionheart Retro Series presented by DMLC Racing Channel Thursday night, with a near-perfect performance in the Classic IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Donington.
“I think I enjoy this car more now with the new tire model,” Karam said. “Later in the race the car really comes to me. I was more confident heading into Watkins (Glen), but this race worked out. I’m having fun with it.”
Karam captured his eighth career pole and lost the lead only during the lone pit cycle of the race, leading 50 of the 51 laps en route to his eighth career Retro Series victory, and his third of the year in the Lionheart Racing Series powered by HyperX. Karam also won the IndyCar event at Watkins Glen.
But the race wasn’t all roses for Karam. With four laps remaining, Karam caught David Altman in a tough section of the track, coming up the hill from turn four.
Karam committed to the left side of the track, when Altman appeared to also try and move left to allow the leader clear track. The two made contact, and Karam slid off the track, losing five seconds and bending his front wing.
Karam didn’t appear to realize how big the moment was.
“Same place, same time kind of thing, it wasn’t his fault,” Karam said, just before seeing the replay. “Oh there it is...oh wow, that is a big moment. I had no idea I was that crossed up, pretty funny.”
Alex Saunders, the 2018 championship runner-up, mounted a fierce rally to finish second after sliding off the track in the opening corner. Saunders ran wide while battling defending series champion Ryan Otis, falling back to fifth. But Saunders was able to save an extra lap of fuel, leading a lap in the process and overcoming a six-second deficit to Otis to take second.
Otis settled for third after taking several unsuccessful shots at Saunders in the final laps.
“I have to say, Saunders is the master at saving fuel,” Otis said. “I was doing all I could to save fuel, and I was sputtering coming into the pits. And then Saunders did another lap. What is going on here? He’s unreal.”
Christopher Ragan took advantage of a last-lap mishap by George Sandman to move into fourth, relegating Sandman to fifth.
Sandman also lost the points lead to Karam, who jumped out front in the championship battle by five points.
Saunders and Otis are both within eight points of Karam as well.
The only major incident occurred on lap eight, when Marty Davis spun exiting turn four. As Davis attempted to back off the racing line, James Paulson arrived on scene and darted off the track to try and miss Davis. The two collided, sending Davis airborne and ending the race for both drivers.
26 cars finished the event, with 10 on the lead lap.
There’s more bad news for Lionheart Retro Series presented by DMLC Racing Channel competitors on the Karam front. The next event, the HPP Grand Prix of Mosport at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, is one Karam has had circled since the schedule was released.
“It’s my favorite track in the world,” Karam said.
After the broadcasters joked about finding a sponsor to challenge Karam to start last and still win, Otis quipped “What does it take to sponsor Sage so that he starts at the back?”
You can watch all of the virtual Lotus L79 action on the iRacing eSports Network, with Global SimRacing Channel producing the action, on Thursday, April 30 at 10:35 p.m. EST.
The Lionheart Retro Series presented by DMLC Racing Channel looks ahead to Round 3 as it prepares to take on its 2nd in a string of 3 straight road courses. For the first time in league history the series will head to Donington Park. The Classic IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Donington is sponsored by the Classic IndyCar Series (CIS), another premier open wheel league on iRacing utilizing the IR-05 IndyCar.
The Classic IndyCar Series uses open setups for its events adding an increased level of realism to their championship seasons. Founded in 2015 and quickly growing in popularity both series share a common interest in their passion for open wheel racing with cars from earlier eras.
“We’re extremely excited to have the opportunity to collaborate with CIS in this way,” Lionheart founder Jorge Anzaldo said. “Lionheart has had a great relationship with CIS and its founder Robert Grosser over the past few years. CIS has helped promote Lionheart and our series has created their championship plaque for a few seasons. They’ve been great friends.”
While Donington is new to the Retro Series, Lionheart has had one visit to the track which is located in Leicestershire England. Season 5 saw Jake Wright victorious over Adam Blocker, a feat which few drivers can claim over the current defending Lionheart IndyCar Series champion.
George Sandman continues to hold on to the points lead through the first two rounds. Defending series champion Ryan Otis dropped 3 spots after a disappointing result at Watkins Glen. Other big movers were Aaron Morgon who climbed 20 spots after a fantastic podium run at the Glen and now sits 10th overall. Chris Ragan also moved up 16 positions after a strong 6th place finish.
The Classic IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Donington will be aired live on the iRacing eSports Network Thursday, April 16th, 2020 courtesy of the Global Sim Racing Channel. Coverage begins at 9:35pm CST.
Race Link: https://youtu.be/arJ8EebQhUA
The Classic IndyCar Series boosted by Virtual Race Car Engineer resumes Sunday, April 19th 2020 at 1800 GMT with coverage provided by RACESPOT
Sage Karam is sick and tired of Watkins Glen International.
But he’s not tired of winning there.
Karam captured his third virtual win at the track in an eight day span, dominating the SimXperience Grand Prix at The Glen Thursday night.
It was his first win of the season in the Lionheart Retro Series presented by DMLC Racing Channel, and his second-consecutive Watkins Glen win in the series.
“I am absolutely sick of this place, I’m ready to get out of here,” Karam said laughingly after the race. “But obviously winning is great, and this place has been really good to me.”
Karam also won the Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment race at Watkins Glen one week ago, making him the first driver to pull the double in the Lionheart Racing Series powered by HyperX this season.
Karam also handily won the IndyCar iRacing Challenge event at Watkins Glen.
“I did so many laps for the IndyCar race we did here in Lionheart, and then the Challenge race we did,” Karam said. “I’ve been non-stop on the sim. It’s pretty impressive that my girlfriend still loves me.”
Karam led every lap from the pole, a feat he also accomplished in 2019. Alex Saunders, the 2018 series runner-up, came home second, nearly seven seconds behind Karam.
“This was my first experience with the Lotus on the new tire,” Saunders said. “I found it was enough of an experience just trying not to wreck it, so I was kind of happy to just ride around with myself.”
The battle for third ended up riveting fans over the final laps, as Aaron Morgan first passed, and the held off road course ace George Sandman for the final podium spot.
“I never thought coming into this week I’d be racing George,” Morgan said. “I can’t believe I actually passed him on track. Exceeded my expectations by far.”
Richie Hearn captured his first Lionheart top-five with his fifth place finish.
Defending series champion Ryan Otis had an eventful race. Otis first spun while battling inside the top-five, and then incurred damage in a crash with Jorge Anzaldo and Ricky Hardin, among others. Otis rebounded to finish 14th, the final car on the lead lap, but it wasn’t the result he was looking for.
20 of the 33 drivers to start the race made it to the end, with numerous single and two-car accidents eliminating or hampering the efforts of strong cars.
Sandman extended his points lead to 13 over Karam, who jumped all the way to second with his win. Saunders sits third after two rounds.
The Lionheart Retro Series presented by DMLC Racing Channel heads across the pond to Donington Park for the inaugural Classic IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Donington on Thursday, April 16.
The race can be seen live on the iRacing eSports Network, with Global SimRacing Channel producing the action, at 10:35 p.m. EST.