THE FIGHT TO THE FINISH STARTS AT MONTREAL
Pierre Daigle has seen little time off these past 2 weeks…the Quebecois driver has been very busy teaching his fellow league members enough French to get by in his native province. That’s right, the Lionheart IndyCar series is heading north for the No Name Racing Grand Prix of Montreal. Montreal saw its first appearance in Lionheart in 2015 for Season 2 which saw Jesse Vincent win the inaugural running for the series. The series would not return again until Season 4 with Jake Wright claiming victory on the Canadian circuit. With Wright’s absence from the series in 2018 it will create a 3rd different winner.
Last time out, Dan Geren was good to the last drop at New Hampshire, winning by less the 0.1 seconds over Andrew Kinsella. Geren ran out just has he was crossing the line, having stretched his fuel to the very limit. Kinsella hounded him for the final 15 laps of the race, but was unable to find a way past. James Krahula finished 3rd after leading the majority of the race followed by Justin Weaver and Chris Stofer. Points leader Adam Blocker came home 10th. Kinsella has gained some ground back in the championship standings, currently sitting 31 points back from Blocker. Geren via his victory has solidified 3rd, overall 52 points clear of Michael Goodman. Brian Yaczik came home 7th and gained 4 points on Goodman, now sitting 11 points behind the New York driver in 5th.
Weaver has finally created some separation between himself and Stephen Laarkamp in the Rookie of the Year fight. Now by 14 points, the gap is larger than it has been in several races, however this is one battle which will clearly be going down to the wire.
Looking ahead to this week, it is a battle of a tight road course, which naturally skews the tables in the direction of Adam Blocker. Blocker has been nearly untouchable on road courses this year, and will look to rebound from New Hampshire with a win.
Don’t count out Dan Geren, however. Geren has finally caught fire after he seemingly could not buy a bit of good luck for the first half of the season. With just over 90 points separating Geren and Blocker, Geren will need every point he can get from the remaining 5 races to challenge for the championship in the finale. Based on Geren’s propensity for qualifying on the front row, that could mean that the already tight turn 1 will take on even greater significance, as the man who leads after turn 1 could very well be the winner of the race.
Andrew Kinsella, meanwhile has been using strategy rather then outright speed on road courses. On the last road course at Phillip island, the Canadian stretched out his first stint, allowing him to go full out as others fuel saved later in the race. This strategy netted him 4th. Will the Canadian be able to get closer in Montreal?
In the Iron Man standings, Matt Mercerhas 2,372 laps completed for 3,655.40 miles to take the lead in this catagory. Ron Hacker and James Krahula sit P2 and P3.
Synergy Motorsports has finally made up ground on No Name Racing moving into the number 2 spot in the Team Championship standings. No Name Racing is just 39 points back. This may be the storyline for the team fight for the remainder of the season as Adrenaline Motorsport has placed a stranglehold on the top spot.
Tyler Graaf, Tony Showen and Chris Stofer were the biggest movers after New Hampshire each gaining 3 spots in the standings. In total 14 drivers climbed between 1-3 spots after Round 18.
Chris Lanini is a driver on a bit of a hot streak. Lanini has really upped his game during the second half of this season qualifying close to the front in the last few races. He has led 77 laps on the year with 1 top 5 and 7 top 10’s he certainly is a candidate for this year’s turning point award.
Many drivers are already looking ahead towards 2019 in anticipation for the upcoming “silly season” and have officially thrown their hats into the ring looking to join teams with openings. The off season is going to be an interesting one with many drivers fighting for roster spots. 43 spots are allotted for the Lionheart series and the series anticipates the addition of 7-8 rookies joining the series for 2019.
The No Name Racing Grand Prix of Montreal fires off on Wednesday November 7th at 10:35pm eastern only the iRacing Esports Network presented by GSRC