Two rounds remain, two chances, two drivers locked in one of the tightest most exciting championship battles in lionheart history will face off at Road America and the finale at Auto Club Speedway. What a fitting end to an exciting second Retro Series season. The first of the two rounds will be on the greatest road course in the US; Road America, for the LPM Grand Prix at Road America. This is fitting as our two championship leaders have dueled this season to assert their road course dominance. However, the championship will be settled and won by the driver who dominates both road and oval disciplines. So far, Adam Blocker has proven to be the oval master, while Saunders has had the edge on the road.
Last time out in Montreal was the first time this season that someone not named Blocker or Saunders won the race, with real-world IndyCar driver capitalizing on a mistake by Alex Saunders in the last 10 laps en-route to a victory in only his second league start. Saunders would come home 2nd, with Adam Blocker 3rd. Andrew Kinsella was the only lead lap driver to run a 1-stop strategy, and used it to vault 3 places in the final standings to finish 4th. Marc Cohn came home an impressive 5th. With 2 races to go, the results in Montreal leave Saunders 18 points behind Blocker.
This fight certainly brings back memories of the S1 Lionheart championship which saw Jesse Vincent win the title over Richard Behr by just one point. A lot has changed since the Lionheart Racing Series was formed back in 2014. Back then, the only thing that was won was bragging rights, however, now the champions not only are winning the respect of their fellow drivers but now earn some serious prizes as well. This year the Retro Series Champion will win a set of HPP Simulation top of the line pedals valued at over $1300.
Four drivers still have a mathematical shot at winning the championship with over 180 points yet to be decided thanks to the finale being double points. Dustin Wardlow and Michael Goodman sit 3rd and 4th and will need a lot of help in order to make it happen. They’re not out of it yet and are sure to give it everything they have to win this championship, but will need a lot of help, starting with the round at Road America.
Sage Karam has had a strong start to his first few races in the Lionheart Series. Winning at Montreal over Alex Saunders. Certainly, if Blocker or Saunders want the championship title they will have to contend with Karam for every point, and Karam could be the wild card that decides this championship one way or the other.
James Brant has had a strong season in the Retro Series with 3 top 5 finishes and 7 top 10’s. After last round, he has gained 3 positions in the standings and is now 12th overall. Brant is certainly a driver to watch over the remaining two races. If Brant continues this seasons success he certainly can finish within the top 10 in points for 2018. Rumors around the paddock are that Brant will be moving over the IR-18 series full time for 2019.
The team championship has taken a swing after Montreal with Raven Motorsports gaining much needed ground over their closest rival 8 Ball Motorsports. The difference is 100 points currently and Road America will be the final road event where each team can make up or lose ground before heading into the finale where a strong running can be a nail in the coffin for the other team. Adrenaline Motorsports sits 150 points back, and still have a shot at the title as well.
Last year at Road America, Adam Blocker was victorious over Wardlow by 4.5 seconds. David Altman rounded out the podium, while Travis Jegerlehner and Jason Galvin rounded out the top 5.
The 2019 season schedule has been finalized by league officials it is confirmed that 18 rounds will once again make up the season schedule. The Lionheart series is happy to be officially announcing the inaugural running of both Imola and Sebring for season 3. Tune in to the season finale for more details .
But first, we have the penultimate round to get through. Tune in on Thursday November 1st, 2018 at 10:35pm eastern for all the fabulous Retro action only on the iRacing eSports Network and iRacing Live, presented by GSRC.
Sage Karam has spent the better part of five season working towards his first win in the Verizon IndyCar Series.
It took two weeks to capture his first win in the Lionheart Racing Series.
Karam took advantage of a late race pit stop by Alex Saunders, capturing the lead with three laps remaining and winning the Skidmark Motorsports Grand Prix of Canada Thursday night in the Lionheart Retro Series presented by HPP Simulation.
“Alex went off the track towards the end, and that was all I needed,” Karam said. “I saw that and figured I’d pit early for clear track, and it worked out. I was able to close the gap and get out in front after the last stop.”
Karam, the five-time Indianapolis 500 starter, battled in his series debut at Gateway Motorsports Park before being eliminated in a mid-race wreck.
But on the streets of Montreal, Karam was avoided trouble and was flawless, keeping the pressure on Saunders and Adam Blocker throughout the event.
When the championship contenders hit pit road with four laps remaining, Karam turned on the jets, sneaking past Saunders and holding the road course ace off over the final three laps at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
“That was definitely a fun race,” Karam said. “I learned I need to practice more. I maybe did ten laps before qualifying, but as the race went on I figured out the track a lot more. I put my best lap in at the end of the race.”
Saunders felt like he let one get away, and declined a post race interview.
Blocker was a distant third, finishing ten seconds back after the final stop.
“I made a mistake and cut the chicane, and Sage dive bombed me at one point,” Blocker said. “Alex made that error which minimized a bad day for me, so it’s still a good day in the points.”
Andrew Kinsella came home fourth, with Marc Cohn capturing his first series top five in fifth.
Blocker’s lead slipped to 18 points with two races remaining in the season. Dustin Wardlow fell to 101 points out of the lead following a disappointing sixth place finish after early damage.
The pass for the lead was the only change up front, as 15 of the 21 starters finished the event.
The penultimate race of the season is set to take place Thursday, November 1, at Road America. The LPM Grand Prix of Road America can be seen live on the iRacing eSports Network presented by Global SimRacing Channel at 10:35 p.m. EST.