In a sight all too common to their competitors, Ryan Otis and Jake Wright proved once again it will be hard to keep up in the Lionheart Retro Series Canadian Grand Prix presented by Dewar’s Candy Shop.
It was Otis’ second win in as many road course starts, leading all 37 laps from the pole with Wright in tow the entire way, the duo finishing more than a half lap ahead of third.
“That was a blast, a fast race wire-to-wire,” Otis said. “It was definitly close. I felt like as long as I could stay in front going into turn one, I’d be okay. But I was pushing the entire time, Jake was too. I knew I wasn’t going to get away from him.”
Wright stalked the points leader, and at one point mounted a charge late in the event, but Otis was too strong.
“Ryan was quite a bit faster,” Wright said. “I think we’re going to see a lot more races like that where I’m chasing down Ryan, he has these cars figured out.”
With the top two spots on the podium all but decided after qualifying, all eyes turned to third where a blanket could be thrown over three drivers for the entire event.
Jason Galvin, Dustin Wardlow and Travis Jegerlehner finished within three seconds of each other, but the gap was never more than about two seconds from third to fifth during the race. The three ran nose-to-tail for 37 laps, even hitting pit road together.
In the end it was Galvin, who jumped into third on the start, who held on after a heated battle with his two closest rivals in the series.
“I’m pretty sure I can say without a doubt that was the best race I’ve ever driven,” Galvin said. “I’m not a road course racer, I’ve never been one, but to hold off Dustin and Travis in this car, on this track, those two are exceptional road course racers. It was a blast.”
For Wardlow, piloting a Dewar’s Candy Shop entry, the finish was satisfying.
“I think all three of us were so evenly matched that any mistake would cost us dearly, and we were just lucky to stay clean,” Wardlow said. “But what a ton of fun this was. I think traffic ultimately settled it for us.”
Scott Bolster came home sixth, followed by David Altman, the top 10’s biggest mover from eleventh to 7th. Andrew Kinsella, Pierre Daigle and Chris Stofer, the final car on the lead lap, rounded out the top 10.
One major crash garnered attention, when Vincent Bluthenthal blew his entry to the final chicane and collected Matthew Mercer.
24 of the 28 drivers to start the event finished.
Otis opened his points lead to 17 over Wright, despite missing an event. Bob Mikes sits third, followed by Galvin and Tony Showen.
The Lionheart Retro Series takes their Lotus L79 entries back to the oval side on Thursday, April 20th for the Indy Elite Grand Prix of Loudon on the Magic Mile of New Hampshire Motor Speedway. That race can be seen live on the Global SimRacing Channel at 10:40 p.m. EST.
For more information on the Lionheart Retro Series, or the Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment, head to www.LionheartRacingSeries.com.