After 7 rounds complete in the 2020 season, drivers will start to shift their focus on the 2nd half of the season with unquestionably the most important race of the entire year. The ButtKicker Indy 250. The Round 8 event will be the 4th running at the Brickyard in as many seasons with tension building up to the drop of the green flag.
The 2nd leg of the 2020 triple crown holds extra importance as it will be a double-points paying event. The championship battle has remained close up front despite Sage Karam’s dominance this season. Karam who won 4 times this year is trailing the defending series champion Ryan Otis by 21 points despite Otis only reaching victory lane once in 2020. Otis has remained consistent though, which has proven to pay off for the 6-time series winner by scoring 5 top 5 finishes so far. Not to be forgotten George Sandman who currently sits in 3rd overall is just 39 points back from first place. Sandman known for being a road ace, has shown his pace and the ability to win on the ovals as evident by his season opening victory at Homestead Miami Speedway.
Series race engineer Andrew Kinsella has brought a new setup package for this year’s running at Indianapolis, aimed to produce a challenging but rewarding drive for those able to navigate traffic and stay in the draft. The high ground effects producing Lotus 79 was never designed or intended for oval racing, which has been a challenge for league setup engineers as well as drivers over the last 4 seasons. Pocono would certainly be a perfect example on how difficult the car can become as the fuel load lightens and heat builds into the tires. Dean Moll who experienced heartbreak while so close to a possible win experienced the sudden oversteer that drivers have come to expect with the L79 on ovals. The changes made for this year look to provide a stable handling car and in turn exciting racing for the fans.
Adrian Fernandez Known for his 11 IndyCar victories as well as former American Le Mans 2009 Championship teammate Luis Diaz continue to acclimate themselves to the Lionheart Retro Series and look to be strong competitors for the race. Richie Hearn who also shared the track with Fernandez during the CART era of IndyCar in real life will reunite on iRacing once again this Thursday night.
The ButtKicker 250 will also carry the biggest prize list in league history for a single event. Series sponsors ButtKicker, SimXperience, HyperX, Minus 273 and Espo Designs have all participated in making this event special for drivers. In total the prize and purse package is close to $1500.
The Lionheart Retro Series presented by DMLC Racing Channel returns to action Thursday, 6/25/20 live on the iRacing eSports Network courtesy of the Global Sim Racing Channel with coverage beginning at 9:35 PM CST.
For more information on the ButtKicker brand of products visit www.thebuttkicker.com Fans may also use promo code LION20 for 20% off orders.
For more information on the Lionheart Racing Series powered by HyperX visit www.lionheartracingseries.com
Race Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JE2zsbMtlKc&feature=emb_title
Lionheart continues its month of june celebration with second minus 273 grand prix
Lionheart Racing Series powered by HyperX continues its “Month of June” at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. For the second straight week, the cars and stars of Lionheart’s crown jewel prepare to do battle in their virtual IR-18 machines.
The Minus 273 Grand Prix of Indy will be the second race to hold the same title out of 5 events spanning across the month of June. Both the Lionheart IndyCar Series powered by HyperX and the Lionheart Retro Series presented by DMLC Racing Channel will race the oval and road course configurations. The IndyCar series will also host a special qualifying broadcast for the first time in league history where drivers will compete in a traditional fastest 4 lap average format.
The last time the series visited the road course configuration at Indy was back in Season 3 on October 14th 2015. Michel de Jong took home the victory over eventual Season Champion Jake Wright by 4.878 seconds. Michel would also sweep both events at Indy that year by winning the series’ first 500-mile event as the league had run only 250 miles at the famed speedway through its first two seasons.
This week drivers will also have to contest with the newly released ability of adjusting the in-car tools adding a new dimension and challenge for the remainder of the season. Front and rear anti roll bars can now be adjusted along with the cars weight jacker on the fly allowing drivers to adjust to varying changes in the cars handling throughout the race. iRacing also has also implemented the ability to adjust fuel map ranges for fixed setups which can aid a driver in saving fuel and matching the power curve for each track.
The championship battle continues to heat up as Andrew Kinsella climbed up one spot in the standings. Kinsella now sits behind points leader Sage Karam by 70 points. 2020 has produced four different winners across the first 7 races, however Karam is certainly favored coming into the event. Karam kicked off the month by winning the inaugural Retro Series event at the Indy GP and has been on a hot streak in the IndyCar. Karam nearly won the last 3 races in a row however third place driver Connor Harrington put an end to that streak with the big win at Motegi Oval.
Lionheart returns to action Wednesday June 17th 2020 for the Minus 273 Grand Prix of Indianapolis with race coverage being brought to live on the iRacing eSports network courtesy of the Global Sim Racing Channel.
Coverage begins at 9:35 PM CST
Race Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkyvHjCv8TA&feature=emb_title
Sage Karam was admittedly not on his game at Phillip Island.
His focus was never in doubt Thursday night.
Karam dominated the Minus 273 Grand Prix of Indianapolis, collecting his 10th career Lionheart Retro Series presented by DMLC Racing Channel win in the process.
“It was definitely a good bounce back race,” Karam said. “We had two races in a row that didn’t really go to plan. I felt a lot more confident coming into today.”
Karam captured the pole, and held a one second lead over points leader and defending series champion Ryan Otis by the end of the opening lap.
The NTT IndyCar Series driver lost the lead only during the lone pit cycle en route to a nearly 10 second victory.
“I felt like if I could break the draft early on it would be a big difference here,” Karam said. “It worked out. I got like a one point two second lead early on and that really helped.”
Otis attributed a poor opening lap to being the difference in the race, noting he could match pace at times but never consistently.
“This is such a tough track to drive,” Otis said. “The setup was really challenging, I thought it was great fun. My plan was to try and stay in the draft with Sage and I just lost the nose in the last right hander on the opening lap and lost the draft. Then I had to try to keep up on merit, and that’s always hard.”
Series newcomer Mike Rasimas shocked the world. In his first Lionheart Racing Series powered by HyperX start, Rasimas started seventh and worked his way to the front, grabbing the final podium spot after Richie Hearn’s contact with Ryan Cornes on the penultimate lap.
“I’m pretty comfortable with the track, it was just about learning the setup,” said Rasimas, who runs the open setup official Lotus 79 iRacing series. “I find it really educational to me to have to deal with other peoples setup and find out what makes it tick. You have to adjust your driving to the car, instead of adjusting the car to your driving.”
George Sandman held onto third in the championship standings with his fourth place finish, while Hearn limped a crippled car around to finish fifth.
The race marked the debut of a pair of real life world champions, but both found their first Lionheart starts to be a challenge.
Adrian Fernandez, winner of eleven races in his CART and IndyCar career, and his 2009 American Le Mans Series LMP2 championship winning teammate Luis Diaz, both experienced spins while running inside the top 10.
Diaz battled back, but again found trouble late in the race, dropping to 12th. Fernandez, a superstar and racing icon in his native Mexico, was swept up in a crash between Scott McClendon and Mike Rigney midway through the event.
McClendon was disqualified from the race for causing contact with multiple drivers and then speeding down pit road at over 130mph while serving a penalty, and was ultimately removed from the league.
The rest of the event was relatively clean, with drivers suffering solo spins but no major incidents.
18 of the 32 starters finished on the lead lap, with just six cars retiring early.
With the win, Karam closed to within 21 points of Otis. Sandman sits 39 points back of the points lead in third.
The beginning of the event was punctuated by the exciting announcement that HyperX is giving fans of the Lionheart Racing Series powered by HyperX an opportunity to win top-of-the-line gaming hardware this month.
Fans who correctly guess the pole winner, top five qualifying cars, leader of the race at halfway, winner and driver with the fastest lap during the HyperX Indianapolis 500 will be entered to win a combination of prizes including the Cloud Alpha S Blackout Gaming Headset, Alloy Elite RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, FURY Ultra RGB Mouse Pad and Pulsefire Dart Gaming Mouse.
More details will be announced in the coming week, but entries will open via Twitter by using the hashtag #HX500 on June 21, and entries will close prior to qualifying on June 24.
The Month of June continues for the Lionheart Racing Series powered by HyperX with the Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment taking to the Indy GP circuit Wednesday, June 17 for its Minus 273 Grand Prix of Indianapolis.
On Wednesday, June 24, the IndyCar stars take to the IMS oval for the first ever HyperX Race for the Pole. On Thursday, June 25, the Retro drivers return for the ButtKicker Indianapolis 250. And the month concludes with the HyperX Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, June 28 for the IndyCar’s.
All of the events can be seen live on the iRacing eSports Network, with Global SimRacing Channel producing the broadcasts, at 10:35 p.m. EST on their respective dates.
Adrian fernandez to make iracing debut in retro series inaugural running of indy gp
The Lionheart Retro Series presented by the DMLC Racing Channel is heading to Indianapolis as part of Lionheart’s “Month of June” celebration. The Lotus 79 will kick things off when it returns to action June 11th 2020 for the inaugural running of the Minus 273 Grand Prix of Indianapolis. 2020 has been an exciting season so far with a championship battle of the ages between defending series Champion Ryan Otis and real-world NTT IndyCar Series driver Sage Karam who currently sits behind Otis by just 28 points.
As sim racing has continued to gain in popularity, it has drawn in more real-world professional drivers to compete in eSports events. Lionheart has enjoyed competing along side some real-world IndyCar drivers such as Tony Kanaan, Sage Karam, Richie Hearn and Matheus Leist.
Adrian Fernandez a legend of IndyCar is about to make his iRacing and Lionheart debut Thursday night.
Fernandez scored 11 IndyCar victories and drove one of the most iconic liveries in motorsports with Quaker State and Tecate sponsorship. His red, green and white paint scheme was a favorite among fans.
Fernandez also found success in the American Le Mans Series reaching victory lane 9 times. Fernandez also took home the Championship in 2009 alongside teammate Luis Díaz.
Díaz who was introduced to the Lionheart Racing Series by Fernandez is no stranger to iRacing. Having scored 35 wins in official road races the Mexican driver will be another welcome addition to the Lionheart roster which is already packed with talented sim racers.
The series will also welcome Mike Rasimas to the series. Rasimas a talented sim racer joined iRacing in 2018 but has already put up some big numbers. Boasting an Oval iRating of nearly 5500 and a Road iRating of over 3900 he has found victory lane 58 times between both disciplines.
“I am so excited to announce the addition of our latest drivers to the Lionheart Roster,” said Lionheart founder Jorge Anzaldo. “Adding drivers such as Adrian Fernandez and Luis Díaz add another level of prestige to our series and we are all excited to have this opportunity. Being a long time IndyCar fan and having the opportunity to share the virtual track with these amazing drivers is a dream come true for me.”
The trio of drivers is certain to climb the standings ladder before the season comes to a close in December.
The Lionheart Retro Series presented by the DMLC Racing Channel returns to action Thursday, June 11th, 2020 live on the iRacing eSports Network courtesy of the Global Sim Racing Channel. Coverage begins at 9:35 PM CST.
For more information on the Lionheart Racing Series visit: www.lionheartracingseries.com
For more information on Minus273 visit. www.minus273.biz
Race Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIf0VJltkjQ&feature=emb_title
Sage Karam was off his game.
Ryan Otis pounced.
The defending Lionheart Retro Series presented by DMLC Racing Channel champion, Otis captured his first pole of the season and led every lap of the FISCH Motors Grand Prix of Phillip Island Thursday night, winning for the first time in 2020.
“I put in a lot of time just trying to make sure I brought my A game,” Otis said. “I was expecting it to be a knife fight this week. I feel like I’m spent. It probably looked boring, but I was doing my best to drive the wheels off that thing.”
The win catapulted Otis into the point lead after Karam’s second-consecutive DNF.
The NTT IndyCar Series driver started second, but finished 19th after a series of incidents.
The trouble started before the green flag, when Karam slid off track in turn 10 on the pace lap.
Once the action got under way, Otis checked out quickly while Karam attempted to fend off teammates Chris Ragan former IndyCar winner Richie Hearn.
On Lap 8, it was Hearn who tried a tricky pass in turn 9, but after slight contact with the rumble strip, Hearn bounced off Karam and spun off track. Karam, still battling a slide from the contact, nearly lost control in turn 10, leading to contact with Ragan and Jason Bosse.
All three held on, while Hearn spent the remainder of the race battling back to finish sixth.
Karam’s adventures were still just getting started.
On lap 17, Ragan appeared to get on the binders too hard, and slid into Karam in the sharp hairpin known as Honda Corner.
Ragan was penalized by race control, taking a drive thru penalty and finishing 15th, a lap down.
Karam recovered once again, although with front wing damage, while David Clymer took advantage and moved into second place.
It appeared Karam had finally settled in, closing to within two seconds of Clymer before the final pit stop, when the glass slipper finally broke.
Karam appeared to miss the entrance to pit road, dropping the left side tires into the grass. The Pennsylvania native then chased the car across the access road, sliding off on the right side. Karam’s attempts to save the car became futile when he slammed into the tire barrier at pit entrance, ending his race.
Karam was quick to apologize, telling leaguemates he simply did not practice enough after suffering simulator burnout over the previous week.
Karam’s loss was Clymer’s gain, as the Avatar Auto Racing leader ran a clean race to comfortably finish in second.
“I had some decent pace tonight but I definitely didn’t see a podium finish,” Clymer said. “It was cool. It felt like a little bit of redemption (after crashing from the lead at Homestead). It seems like every year I start a little slow, so maybe we’re turning it around.”
The strong finish came at a great time for Clymer, as the series heads to Indianapolis for the month of June. Clymer is the defending winner of the IMS oval race in the Retro series.
George Sandman had a remarkable drive after being caught up in a lap one crash in Honda Corner, as Pat Dotson was shoved into the Homestead winner. Sandman leap frogged Dustin Wardlow on the final pit stop to grab the final podium spot.
“I don’t know what really happened on the first lap,” Sandman said. “There was some other stuff that happened and I just had to start picking guys off one at a time. It was almost more fun that way.”
Aaron Morgan continued his consistent season, finishing fifth, just behind Wardlow.
Otis leads Karam by 28 points at the one-third mark of the season. Sandman sits three points behind Karam, and Morgan is just one point further back, setting up what appears to be a four car battle for the championship, although the season is still young.
The Lionheart Retro Series presented by DMLC Racing Channel kicks off an exciting month of June for the Lionheart Racing Series powered by HyperX, with the Minus 273 Grand Prix of Indianapolis.
The 48 lap inaugural event at the IMS road course for the Retro series can be seen live on Thursday, June 11, at 10:35 p.m. EST on the iRacing eSports Network, with Global SimRacing Channel presenting the action.
The Retro series then heads to the big oval on June 25 with the ButtKicker Indy 250, while the Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment also tackles the Indy GP circuit before the first ever HyperX Race for the Pole. The month of June ends with the HyperX Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, June 28.