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COHN PICKS UP SECOND WIN, MOVES INTO CHAMPIONSHIP CONTENTION AT GATEWAY

A new championship contender has officially arrived.

Two weeks after securing his first career victory in the Lionheart Retro Series presented by ButtKicker, Marc Cohn backed it up with a thrilling win over league veteran Dustin Wardlow in the Sinbad Vapors 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park.

The pair were wheel-to-wheel when the final caution came out with two laps remaining, with Cohn roughly a half-car length ahead.

“Oh my gosh, thank you to Dustin,” Cohn said after jumping out of the virtual Lotus L79. “That was some of the best racing I’ve had in a long time.”

Cohn and Wardlow battled throughout the final stint in the event, swapping the lead on several occasions.

“I have no idea how I got in front of him,” Cohn said. “I was struggling so much on the bottom. I thought it was going to end up being a photo finish to the line.”

Wardlow appeared poised to break through for his first win of 2019, after being wrecked out of the top five in three consecutive events.

But the Raven Motorsports driver had to settle for second as the final yellow flew for a wreck in turn four, when David Altman spun and collected two others.

“After the season I’ve had thus far, I’m totally thrilled with this,” said Wardlow, who led a race-high 49 laps. “Marc ran a really good, clean, hard race and that’s all anyone is asking for.”

Justin Kirby came home with a somewhat controversial third place finish, after contact with Joe Hassert on lap 141 sent the Motegi winner flying into the wall in turn two.

“I feel terrible about that,” Kirby said. “I thought it was a racing deal but I still feel bad about it.

“Hopefully we can keep running up front though. It was fun.”

Kirby was not penalized after race control ruled the duo made corresponding moves towards each other.

Points leader Ryan Otis came home fourth, with Mike Rigney completing the top five.

The race was slowed by eleven cautions for 40 laps, and the action started early.

Lionel Calisto didn’t make it out of turn two on the opening lap, after starting at the rear of the field. Calisto attempted to pass the slower Robert Blouin on the outside, but cut it too close and contact sent the man they call Little Train careening off the wall.

Sage Karam entered the race looking to rebound from an early crash at Motegi and reclaim the points lead, but contact with the wall exiting turn two led to a spin and Ken Hacker could not miss the wreck.

Both drivers retired after just 28 laps.

Karam maintained second in points, 50 back of Otis. George Sandman sits third, with Cohn up eight spots to the fourth position in points, 73 out of the lead.

The Lionheart Retro Series presented by ButtKicker now gets a month break, before gearing up for the first Triple Crown event of the year.

The Pocono 250 presented by DMLC Racing Channel is scheduled for Thursday, June 13. The broadcast is set to begin at 10:35 p.m. EST on the iRacing eSports Network, with Global SimRacing Channel handling production.

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LIONHEART DRIVERS PREPARE FOR FIRST EVER
​DUAL IN DETROIT

It’s been nearly a month since the IR-18’s have turned a competitive lap, however the drivers have not been idle in the meantime. This Wednesday, the drivers will face their most challenging night yet, with not one but two 75-mile races around the picturesque Belle Isle street circuit in the Loud Pedal Motorsports Dual in Detroit. Full points will be on offer in each race, making it doubly important that the driver knows the track well. Add to that the tough nature of the track, with unforgiving concrete walls lining the track, and you will not find a more challenging night in Lionheart this season.

In the month off, it wasn’t all practice for Lionheart members, however, as the iRacing Indy 500 saw tremendous success from the Lionheart contingent participating. Of the 1900 drivers who participated in at least one of the 4 running’s of the 500; Brian Greenlee finished 2nd in his split, Bart Workman, Stephen Laarkamp, Tony Showen, and former series driver Jonathan Goke all were victorious in lower splits, while Adam Blocker and Andrew Kinsella both had top split victories in the first 2 time slots of the event. The Lionheart Series would like to extend congratulations to all Lionheart drivers who participated in the annual event.

Last time out at Pocono, Dan Geren became the first 2-time winner this season, edging out Adam Blocker by 0.3 seconds. Jason Galvin shook off his hard-luck start to 2019 with a 3rd place finish, while Tony Showen and Brian Yaczik rounded out the top 5. Adam Blocker remains at the top of the standings 38 points in front of Geren, with Andrew Kinsella, Dustin Wardlow and rookie Bryan Carey rounding out the top 5.

From one of the longest, fastest and widest ovals to the tightest, twistiest and slowest road course, these races will require a completely different style and mindset from the drivers. One mistake will very easily put a driver in the concrete wall, and with no fast repair available, it will mean the end of one of the races, and many lost championship points.

Adam Blocker, Lionhearts road course king since the retirement of Jake Wright, will be looking to continue his reign at Detroit. With Sage Karam tentative due to his real-life Indy 500 commitments, it could be Adam’s races to lose. But the Carolina driver has spent much of the last month preparing for the iRacing Indy 500, so that has opened the door to the like of Dan Geren or Tyler Graaf to potentially step in and steal the victory. Both drivers have logged hundreds of laps in preparation for this race, and look like they could have the speed to challenge for victory.

One of the key aspects to the race will be merely keeping the car between the concrete walls, and pointed straight. In that area, rookies Bryan Carey and John G. Hill might be at an advantage. Carey drove a very smart race at Watkins Glen, passing faster cars as they made mistakes, while Hill has yet to incur an incident in over 1000 simulated miles so far this year. If both drivers remain clean on Wednesday, look for both of them to be in the top 10 at the finish of either race.

In the team championship Adrenaline Motorsports Red maintains the lead with all 3 of their drivers in the top 5 in points. Synergy East is 2nd on the back of 3 wins in 5 rounds. Loud Pedal Motorsports was the big mover last week on the back of Galvin’s 3rd and Yaczik’s 5th place finishes, and their teams sit 5th and 6th respectively.

For 2 times the action, tune in this Wednesday, May 22nd for the Loud Pedal Motorsports Dual in Detroit at 10:35pm eastern only on the iRacing eSports Network presented by GSRC.

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