CAN BLOCKER MAKE IT 3 IN A ROW AT MOTEGI?
There is no rest for the Lionheart IndyCar drivers. Just one week after completing the series first ever dual in Detroit, the drivers make the long journey east to the Land of the Rising Sun for the Global Electronic Technology 200 from the high banks of the Twin Ring Motegi oval in Japan!
Last time out in Detroit, it was Adam Blocker sweeping both of the 32 lap races. In the first, Blocker lead home strong efforts by Tyler Graaf and Damon Martinez. George Sandman and Brian Yaczik rounded out the top 5 in a race filled with attrition. Only 19 of 37 starters were running at the end, and only 8 were on the lead lap. Early race incidents saw contenders Dustin Wardlow, Michael Goodman, Andrew Kinsella, and Bryan Carey all fall by the wayside. While Dan Geren had significant damage, and Connor Harrington made a late race mistake to ruin a shot at the podium. Race 2 was a slightly more composed affair after a hairy first lap where Yaczik spun infront of the field coming out of the 2nd corner on lap 1. A short yellow flag followed with Yaczik, Kinsella and Chris Stofer all taking damage and needing to pit for repairs. The race settled down at that point, and it was Blocker leading Harrington and Geren across the line, this time by only 7 seconds. Sandman replicated his race 1 results with another 4th place finish, while Wardlow made up for his lap 1, race 1 incident with a 5th. With the sweep, Blocker now has 2 wins on the season and an amazing record of not finishing off the podium through 7 rounds, with an average finishing position of 2.14. In a field as deep as Lionheart’s is this year that is truly an accomplishment.
Coming into Motegi, it is hard to bet against that type of record and consistency. That being said, if there is one type of track that could leave Blocker vulnerable it might just be the egg-shaped Japanese oval. Motegi is known for it’s wide racing surface, and the flat-out nature of turns 1 and 2 often leads to action on the back stretch as the draft is most certainly in play. This means tight racing where a mistake, even not of your own doing, could mean the end of your day. All that being said, betting against Blocker right now would not be a smart move.
2nd in points remains Dan Geren, and if there is one other driver who should be considered a threat to Blocker this season, it would be Geren. The Midwest driver also has 2 wins on the season, although the consensus best qualifier in the field so far only has 1 pole position. Look for Geren to change that at Motegi, a track where nailing the right line means tenths not just hundredths of a second.
Another driver to watch is Big Joe Hassert. Hassert, the self-professed oval specialist, broke through and won here earlier this season when the sister Retro Series driving the Lotus 79 visited the track. This was Bog Joe’s first Lionheart win since 2017, and rumour has it that he is feeling his mojo again. Smart money says that Hassert will be among the contenders at the end of the day.
In the team standings, there were no significant changes. Adrenaline Motorsports Red maintained it’s lead over Synergy East on the strength of Blocker’s 2 wins. Adrenaline Motorsports Black trails in 3rd, over Synergy West and the 2 Loud Pedal Motorsports teams in 5th and 6th. 7th through 11th is where all the team action currently lies, as you could throw a blanket over NHR e-sports, Skid Mark Black, 8 Ball Motorsports, Controlled Chaos, and NLR Sim Racing.
The Global Electronic Technology 200 from Twin Ring Motegi will go off this Wednesday, May 29th, 2019 at 10:35pm eastern. Tune in for all the action only on the iRacing eSports Network present by GSRC.