a time to celebrate, a time to honor
It has now been over two years since we lost our dear friend Patrick Taylor. Taylor was everything that Lionheart could hope for in one of its members. Always showing up to turn lap after lap of practice, and greet everyone that entered the TeamSpeak lobby, Taylor was loyal, friendly, and committed. We will never forget Patrick, and so it is that with the final Canadian race of 2018, we once more honour our dear friend in the Patrick Taylor Memorial Grand Prix at Mosport.
Last time out at Laguna Seca, Ryan Otis wrapped up the championship with a 3rd place run. Otis was by far the most consistent driver in the Retro Series this season with just 2 wins, but 13 top 5’s, Otis was found near the sharp end of the field week in and week out, and has deservedly captured the crown with time to spare. In the last race, it was Sage Karam leading the way over Alex Saunders. The win was Karam’s 5th on the season, but too many DNF’s as well as having to miss races for real world rides in the NTT IndyCar Series did nothing to help his chances in the digital world. The rest of the top 5 was rounded out by George Sandman and Aaron Morgan.
Now there are just 2 races remaining on the calendar, but they should be good ones. The first is this week at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, otherwise known as Mosport. Mosport is a fast and unforgiving track just north of Ontario, Canada. It winds its way through the hillside, with sweeping corners and can may be the last of the true flat out road courses from the early 20th century to remain intact and in its original form. No chicanes slow down the drivers, and little run-off area awaits the drivers who are less than perfect.
While the championship may be wrapped up, there is still plenty to run for. The Rookie of the Year award is far from settled, with David Clymer, Paul Jenkins, Sage Karam and Marc Cohn all in with a shot at the trophy. Clymer holds the advantage here, however with a road course and a double points paying oval in the finale, there is still plenty of time for any of the 4 to take the trophy.
This week however, it might come down to 2 part time drivers. Last week, Alex Saunders gave Sage Karam a good run, finishing just 6 seconds back of the IndyCar driver. George Sandman, meanwhile had a spirited battle with Saunders and Otis throughout the race, and was right there until late race contact with Otis relegated Sandman to a 4th place finish. Nonetheless, Sandman has shown his speed on the road courses, and will be looking to be a factor at the end.
Looking to finish there seasons off strong, two more to watch for are Lionel Calisto and Chad Dalton. Dalton has been the steady presence, while Calisto has had some very bad luck relegate him to finishes that haven’t been reflective of his pace. If both of them can keep their nose clean in Canada, they should be able to come away with respectable finishes.
The Patrick Taylor Memorial Grand Prix will be broadcast live this Thursday December 12th, 2019 at 10:35pm eastern time only on the iRacing eSports Network, presented by GSRC.