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 JASON GALVIN WINS THRILLER AFTER BIZARRE NIGHT AT MILWAUKEE

In the end, it all worked out like it should. At least, that’s what Jason Galvin thought. The Bakersfield, Calif. driver led the most laps in a mostly dominating victory in the Simpit 200 at the virtual Milwaukee Mile Wednesday night.

But the race was not without its oddball moments and featured a thrilling finish on the tight one-mile oval.

“The last ten laps were like hold on for dear life,” Galvin said. “The car was light on fuel, the track was hot, the tires were old. I thought I was wrecked in turn one on the final lap. But it all worked out.”

The win was the fifth of his career for Galvin in the Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment.

After capturing his first career pole, Galvin jumped out to an early lead before the race was red flagged following the opening caution on lap five. A race session error caused officials to call for a complete restart, including qualifying.

Over the final 15 laps, Blocker closed the gap to Galvin and made multiple attempts to complete a pass on the outside to no avail.

On the final lap, Galvin’s car pushed wide in turn two, allowing Blocker to get a run down the back straight. After popping to the outside and even taking the lead by a nose in the final corner, Galvin powered back in front on the bottom and won by a half-car length.

The final margin of victory: 0.062 seconds.

“Adam and I have had our moments in the past,” Galvin said. “But we’ve raced so well together this year in the few times we’ve been able to. I respect him so much. He ran clean all night.”

Blocker said he did everything he could to get around Galvin, but ran out of laps.

“As Jason said, I kinda screwed up the strategy a little bit,” Blocker said. “I guess it could’ve gone either way depending on how cautions went. Then we had a incident on the next pit stop, there was a checkup and I hit (Dustin) Wardlow. It was enough to give him a rear wing change and me a front. That put me back.

“Just slowly over the green runs made up track position, taking advantage of others’ mistakes in traffic. The last stint, I knew Jason would pit early. I figured he would come out in front of me but I’m not in a position to risk short-pitting because of the points. It worked out because Galvin caught some traffic and I had much better tires, and it really allowed me to attack. Good race to Galvin, that was fun. We raced clean.”

Galvin said he didn’t disagree with the call to form a new session, but was nonetheless selfishly disappointed. In the second session, Galvin qualified third behind championship leader Adam Blocker and Justin Weaver.

Blocker’s decision to pit on a lap 27 caution ultimately may have been the difference in the race.

Galvin stayed out – along with several other top ten cars – and inherited a lead that he would only lose during pit cycles.

“I knew track position was important, I wanted to be out front,” Galvin said. “I don’t think I was the fastest car. I think Adam and Justin and even Mike were all better than me honestly. But track position was everything.”

Michael Goodman came home third, having run in the top five the entire race.

“I had a great night,” Goodman said. “I made a mistake early on and lost some confidence. Then I almost lost the car. I wanna apologize to Justin, it probably ruined his race. But it just feels good to have all the hard work, and see some good results.”

Goodman was part of the biggest scare amongst contenders. On lap 132, the top four of Galvin, Goodman, Weaver and Blocker overtook then-leader Samuel Reiman, who was on the tail end of his fuel run.

As Goodman exited turn two, behind the dirty air of Galvin, the car stepped out. Justin Weaver nearly clobbered Goodman, and Blocker made an evasive move to the inside to jump from fourth to second.

Weaver would pit under a caution two laps later, banking on more wrecks that would allow the Nashville driver to get to the end on fuel.

But the lap 134 caution for Isaiah Dupree’s spin proved to be the final of seven yellow flags.

Weaver inherited the lead for a few laps late in the event, but had to hit pit road with 10 laps remaining for a splash of fuel. Weaver settled for fifth, right behind Dan Geren. Big Joe Hassert was sixth after starting 25th, the biggest mover in the race.

Weaver’s fuel stop setup the dramatic dash to the end between Galvin and Blocker, leading to the closest finish in Milwaukee history in the Lionheart series.

The 2019 running of the Simpit 200 was much cleaner than last year’s event. After a record 17 cautions in 2018, the seven yellow flags this year were seen as a surprise.

19 of the 34 starters finished the race. 12 cars finished on the lead lap.

Blocker’s points lead improved to 172 over Geren. Andrew Kinsella missed the event, falling to eighth in points. As a result, Michael Goodman jumped to third, a stark 71 points behind Geren.

The Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment returns this week. The LPM 200 at Texas Motor Speedway is set for Wednesday, July 3 at 10:35 p.m. EST. The race can be seen live on the iRacing eSports Network with Global SimRacing Channel producing the action. Justin Weaver is the defending winner of the event.

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OTIS DOMINATES IMOLA FOR FIRST RETRO WIN OF 2019


All it took was one mistake, and Ryan Otis never looked back.

The points leader inherited the lead when rookie Dave Walsh crashed on lap eleven, and pulled away to a dominating 55 second victory in the Sam Maxwell Customs Grand Prix of Imola.

The win was the first of the year for Otis, the points leader in the Lionheart Retro Series presented by ButtKicker.

“It seemed like a really big win, but I was actually worried the entire time about Sage (Karam),” Otis said. “I did a lot of testing saving fuel and a few laps in I started saving fuel and Sage was catching me. Up until he pit late, I was worried he was doing an amazing job of saving fuel and was going to get me.”

Otis qualified second behind Walsh, and appeared to have similar pace early on. But Walsh made an unforced error in the tricky Alta chicane at the legendary Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari.

After Walsh wrecked, Otis went into attack mode, trying to gap the field in anticipation that championship adversary Sage Karam would try to make the race on just one fuel stop.

But Karam needed a second stop – and incurred a speeding penalty that knocked him off the podium – allowing Otis to win by a margin rarely seen in the fiercely competitive Lionheart series.

“When I saw Sage catching me when I attempted to do some fuel saving, I just went for it,” Otis said. “You had to be incredibly disciplined.”

Joshua Gayman spent the entire race in an incredible battle with J.P. Windschitl. Gayman was able to overtake Windschitl with six laps remaining, and then got around the only driver to one-stop the race – Travis Jegerlehner –  on the final lap to take home a career best second.

“We finally had one car that had just enough speed to stay ahead, and I got a really good exit out of the hairpin,” Gayman said of his pass on Windschitl. “When we got the next corner, I just held it down and got to the throttle as quick I could.”

Jegerlehner held off Windschitl on the final lap, running out of fuel as the car crossed the finish line.

“I can certainly say I didn’t do it on talent,” Jegerlehner joked. “I knew it would be tough to get a top ten on pace, but in practice I could save fuel and almost make race distance. I was determined to make a one stopper work and I ran out coming to the line.”

Windschitl finished fourth, but earned the respect of his peers and fans after a thrilling battle with Gayman that was featured prominently on the race broadcast.

“I was playing defense so hard,” Windschitl said. “That was the most fun I’ve ever had in a race, period.”

The only major multi-car incident occurred on the opening lap when James Paulson went wide and ran into Marc Cohn in the final corner. Cohn’s car went airborne and suffered too much damage to continue.

Paulson was penalized for an avoidable contact, and also suffered wing damage, slowing to finish one lap down in 17th.

Cohn, a championship contender, finished 27th in the 28 car field.

The race was run in honor of Cohn’s sponsor, Sam Maxwell Customs, and its namesake. Sam Maxwell lost his father just days before the event. A tribute to Sam Maxwell, Sr., opened the broadcast.

Otis leads Karam by 77 points. George Sandman missed the event and drops to third, 114 out of the lead.

The Lionheart Retro Series presented by ButtKicker heads back to America and the Magic Mile, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, for some short track Retro action in its next event. The Tower Rentals 175 is scheduled for Thursday, July 11 at 10:35 p.m. EST. The race can be seen live on the iRacing eSports Network with Global SimRacing Channel producing the show. Dustin Wardlow is the defending race winner.

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​LIONHEART RACING SERIES CELEBRATES ITS 5TH YEAR OF OPERATION 7/1/19

July 1, 2014 is the day where an idea was put into motion and became reality. This idea simply came from the desire to compete against friends and take IndyCar racing on iRacing to the next level. After several months of careful planning the Lionheart Racing Series league was officially created.

July 3, 2014 hosted the very first Lionheart races at Michigan International Speedway. The response to the league was so overwhelming especially with the recent release of the DW12. 67 drivers showed up to the inaugural event and as a result splits were created. Michael Chinn won Race 1 over Marc Melcher. Race 2 saw Danno Brookins win over Kouichi kitamura. Lionheart was not the first IndyCar league on iRacing but it was certainly one of the first to utilize the new Dallara. Dan Wheldon himself had the honor of being the first to test drive the new car. Even more fitting that the league would be used as a means to pay homage to the fallen Indy 500 Champion.

Speaking of friends, I began my journey on iRacing alone with the sole purpose of competing in the virtual IndyCar Series. I was invited to a private chat server by a fellow iRacer Justin Lane who was friendly and welcoming. It was through this chat server that I met many of the original members of Lionheart many of which are still racing with us today. Who knows if I hadn’t stumbled upon and met Justin perhaps, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to have met so many of the people that helped make Lionheart a reality back in year one?

An idea alone would not be enough to push the league forward and gain the momentum that it would need to continue expanding each and every year into what it is today. To the “founding fathers” of Lionheart who were there in the early days helping me take this dream of mine and set it on the right path I owe you my sincerest gratitude. Joe Hassert, Drew Motz and Robert Blouin are a few of those that were there at the beginning brainstorming, planning and discussing all of the “what if’s” which were instrumental in creating our rulebook and overall strategy in how we would run the league.

We also cannot forget Ryan Lewis, friend and fellow iRacer who was there in the beginning as we searched and struggled for a name? Boy did we go through so many different possible names! Ryan who seemed to just come out of nowhere uttered the words “Why don’t we call it Lionheart?” Being the huge Dan Wheldon fan that he was it made sense that he came up with that idea. From there we decided that yes, Lionheart was a perfect name and the league would be a perfect platform to honor him.

Over the years I have had the pleasure of working with some amazing people. All of which have given their time and shared their talents so generously to the league. The Lionheart Administration team and its support staff have supported me and this league through the last 5 years I would like to thank the following individuals for their efforts in making Lionheart what it has become. Patrick Taylor, Joe Hassert, Drew Motz, Robert Blouin, Pierre-Alexandre Daigle, David Korty, Andrew Kinsella, Tyler Graaf, Alex Saunders, Jason Galvin. Thank you all and everyone that has sacrificed their personal time to help keep the league running in the manner it has been over the last 7 seasons.

I would also like to give thanks to all the drivers past and present who have competed in Lionheart. Without our drivers there is no league. The admin team has worked tirelessly to provide the best racing and atmosphere for its members. Our members have responded with a level of dedication any league owner would be proud of. They respond week in and week out providing some of the most exciting Sim Racing on the iRacing service. My hat goes off to you all as it has been an absolute honor racing with you all over the past 5 years. I look forward to all the battles and stories that will be told as we look ahead to the next 5 years.

Lionheart has also had the pleasure of having nearly all of its races broadcast since the finale of Season 1 at Auto Club Speedway. To all the staff at Global SimRacing Channel thank you for your professionalism and service to our series, its members and fans. All that you do blends perfectly into one amazing incredible production. One that has helped grow the popularity of the league each and every season. Sean Ambrose thank you for your friendship and guidance in the early years and for being a part of so many of our broadcasts. Amjed and Joe Peak your work keeping everything running smoothly, Dougie with the best cameras in Sim Racing. Soup thank you for continuing to work with us and Richie for coming on board adding that extra element to the commentary. Big thanks as well to Adam Young, Jason Galvin, Brian Yaczik and all the others who have been a part of a Lionheart broadcast.

I wanted to take the time to give thanks to all our sponsors. It is because of you that this league has grown the way it has and allowed us to provide some of the most amazing prizes to our drivers. I thank you for putting your trust in Lionheart to represent your brands with integrity and honor. Big thanks to all our season sponsor’s First Medical Equipment, SimXperience Racing Simulators, The ButtKicker, SMC and Sam Maxwell, Scott Rhea with Plasma-Tracks Race Track Wall Art and Motorsports Trophies, Minus273, Scott MacKenzie with Clipping That Apex, IracingIflag, Turn Racing, Shaun Cole at The Simpit, Tyler Graaf with GRAAFix, all the guys over at Guys Games and Beer, the The DMLC Racing Channel, Scott Rupp with Midwest Simulations, Jennifer Harrington with Viva Motorsport, and Trak Racer.

Thank you to all of the Lionheart members who have sponsored races each and every season. It is so very much appreciated and we cannot thank you enough!
Dustin Wardlow, Loud Pedal Motorsports, Brian Greenlee, Marc Lavry Cohn, Marc Aumick, Patrick Taylor Family, Bob Mikes, Scott Johnson, and each and every member who has sponsored a race. Thank you so very much.

Brandon Limkemann and all the family and First Medical Equipment,I wanted to personally thank you for being the title sponsor of our Lionheart IndyCar Series for the past 4 seasons and for your friendship. Your support has been pivotal in providing all of the operating and logistical services for its drivers. Everyone at Lionheart owes you a great deal of gratitude.

I want to thank our Series Champions. Jesse Vincent IndyCar Series Seasons 1 &2. Jake Wright IndyCar Series Seasons 3,4 and 5. Adam Blocker Season 6. Jake Wright Retro Series Season 1. Adam Blocker Retro Series Season 2. Congratulations on your accomplishments.

Let’s see what the next 5 years will bring?

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LIONHEART!

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“SHORT” TURN-AROUND FOR LIONHEART AT MILWAUKEE

From the shortest road course on the schedule to one of the shortest ovals. The Lionheart IndyCar Series roars into Milwaukee on a short week of rest, for a race that will be tall on action! The oldest race track in America plays host to the virtual IndyCars of the Lionheart series at the Simpit 200 from the Milwaukee Mile.

Last week at Mosport was a wild ride for the Lionheart Series. Sage Karam was on poll, but it was Adam Blocker getting the jump on Karam. To good a jump it turned out, as Blocker would be penalized with a stop and go penalty for jumping the start. Tyler Graaf spun trying to pass a lapped car out of a strong 4th place, collecting 5th place Andrew Kinsella. Both drivers would continue on, but finished well back of where their pace deserved. There were several incidents at the Moss corners, with Damon Martinez notable getting loose a couple of times, loosing himself positions. In the end, Karam would not be denied a win, with George Sandman and Michael Goodman rounding out the podium. Adam Blocker battled back from outside the top 20 after his early penalty to finish 4th, stretching his points lead further in the process, while Connor Harrington finished 5th.

A different sort of challenge awaits the Lionheart drivers at their next event. The flat Milwaukee Mile is notoriously tough to pass, and tire wear will be a factor all day long as the drivers battle not only themselves, but the conditions and track as well.
Dan Geren is one who needs a bounce back race. The Midwest driver had a tough time at Mosport finishing 26th after several incidents put him back in the field. The Synergy Motorsports driver is still lying 2nd in the points, 162 behind Adam Blocker, despite having the most incidents points on the roster. Geren could really use a clean race to jump start his season and mount a charge against Blocker.

Lying 5th in championship standings, Stephen Laarkamp has been getting strong and stronger this season, with consistent to 10 finishes the last few races. With his rookie of the year rival from last year, Connor Harrington, lying just ahead of him in 4th place, the sophomore driver is solely working his way into the championship conversation.

Of course, the man all 3 of these drivers are chasing is Adam Blocker. Despite the penalty at Mosport, Blocker managed to maintain his 9-race streak of top 5 finishes to start the season, and last Wednesday’s 4th place represents the lowest finishing position so far, the season for the Adrenaline Motorsports driver. At this stage, and with the form Blocker is in, it is safe to say that only misfortune might be able to derail the season for Blocker.

If there ever was a track with that potential, it could be Milwaukee. Tire degradation plays a huge part in the races here and nailing the strategy could be the difference between a win and finishing outside the top 20. Then there are the curbs. Milwaukee is one of the few oval tracks that actually has raised curbing at on the inside of the track at both ends. Hit the curbing right and it could be the fast way around the track. Hit it wrong, however and there is a good chance you will be spinning into the path of another car, creating a chain reaction crash that can take out several cars at once.

Watch on Wednesday June 26th as the Lionheart drivers tackle the Milwaukee Mile at the Simpit 200 at 10:35pm eastern only on the iRacing eSports Network presented by GSRC.

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KARAM CRUISES TO SECOND WIN OF LIONHEART SEASON

 

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It might as well have been a Sunday cruise to the beach for Sage Karam. The NTT IndyCar Series competitor led all but three laps en route to his second win of the season, capturing the Thumbs Up, Cancer Down Grand Prix of Mosport Wednesday night.

Karam beat George Sandman by over 16 seconds.

“That was a pretty calm, good night,” Karam said. “There was more lapped traffic than on a bigger course, and it’s a fast track. It can get sketchy with lapped traffic…but everyone was good tonight.”

A much anticipated duel between Karam and defending Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment champion Adam Blocker never developed.

Blocker jumped the initial start of the race and was black flagged by the sim, causing an early trip to pit lane.

Blocker fought his way back through the field to finish fourth, in a true championship-caliber drive.

Sandman worked his way around Michael Goodman early and had a comfortable run to second, his best finish in the IndyCar series.

“Sage just left us in the dust,” Sandman said. “At that point on, I just wanted to maintain a distance on Goodman behind me. I pitted a little early to avoid lapped traffic and that seemed to help. I wish I would’ve been closer to Sage but he just pulled away.”

Goodman – who led a lap during pit cycles – finished third, with Blocker running out of time in his pursuit of a podium.

“I actually finished without hitting anything,” Goodman joked when asked if he had any exciting moments in his race. “It was a good race. I’m just happy to finish one of these things. No driver error, I’ll take it.”

The event ran caution free.

Blocker finished ahead of Connor Harrington to cap the top five.

Andrew Kinsella was the only other leader, pacing the field for two laps during pit stops. Kinsella finished eleventh.

A few expected contenders encountered problems and ended the race with disappointing finishes.

An internet connection issue saw former road course winner Dustin Wardlow retire after just eleven laps. Wardlow finished 29th.

Championship runner-up Dan Geren struggled to a 26th place finish, three laps down. Geren was also the only driver penalized for excessive incidents, losing three more championship points.

Blocker’s point lead looks almost insurmountable at such an early stage in the season, but drop weeks have yet to be factored in and the Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment allows for three such weeks.

Blocker leads Geren by an astounding 162 points. Both double points races, including the Lionheart Indy 500, have yet to be run as well, and could swing the points dramatically.

The Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment continues a run of three consecutive race weeks with a return to ovals and a short track.

The Simpit 200 at the historic Milwaukee Mile is set for Wednesday night. The race can be seen live on the iRacing eSports Network, with Global SimRacing Channel producing the action, at 10:35 p.m. EST.

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​CAN BLOCKER MAKE IT 4 IN A ROW AT MOSPORT?


​The Toronto Raptors are NBA champions. A phrase most NBA fans never thought they would utter. Fittingly, Toronto is also the next stop on the Lionheart IndyCar Series’ calendar. Just down the road from the largest theme park, “Canada’s Wonderland” lies a roller coaster of a different variety. The sweeping turns and rolling hills of Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, better known as Mosport, play host to round 9 of the Lionheart IndyCar Series, for the Thumb Up Cancer Down Grand Prix of Mosport.

Last-time out at Twin Ring Motegi, our defending champion Adam Blocker made Lionheart history, becoming the first driver in series history to win 3 straight race. After taking both races in Detroit, Blocker used timely fuel strategy and a very light right foot to pull away from the field at the end of the race at Motegi. Blocker has simply dominated the season, having yet to finish worse then 3rd in any race this year. Ron Hacker and Joe Hassert also fuel-saved their way to top 3 finishes, While Damon Martinez and Brandon Limkemann rounded out the top 5 with there respective best finishes of the season.

The story of the season however is Blocker. The Adrenaline Motorsports driver has kicked off his title defence with the strongest 8 races Lionheart has ever seen to start the season. Despite 2 wins of his own, Dan Geren finds himself 131 points back, with Andrew Kinsella a massive 187 points back in 3rd. And with another road course race on the horizon, it doesn’t seem likely that Blocker’s form will change anytime soon. Blocker has 2 wins and a 2nd through 3 road courses so far this season. An unprecedent 4th straight win seems much more likely then not at this point.

The only other driver to win on a road course this season is real-world IndyCar and Rallycross driver Sage Karam. Karam was able to stay out in front at the fast sweeping Watkins Glen track in round 2. Mosport is a track with similarly fast, high commitment corners, so if anyone is going to be able to stop Blocker it might be Karam.

In last year’s race, the drive of the race might have belonged to Andrew Kinsella, who went from 21st on the grid to finish 3rd. This is a hometown race for the Canadian driver, who lives only a few hours from the track. If Kinsella can qualify better this year, maybe the Adrenaline driver will even have a shot at hist teammate.

One driver to keep an eye on is Damon Martinez. Martinez has been slowly getting faster and faster throughout his rookie season, and is now knocking on the door of the top 10 in points. Martinez has qualified well at each of the road course races so far, but it is keeping out of trouble that has been his biggest issue so far. If Martinez keeps the nose clean, don’t count out the independent driver from factoring into the action.

The track at Canadian Tire Motorspots track is a unique challenge for the drivers of Lionheart. It is a short lap, only just over 1 minute in length, but off camber corners, and steep drops make this one of the most fun, high commitment tracks on the service. Which ever driver wins today will have to deal with traffic, navigate the course, and fend off some hungry competitors.

Who will win? Tune in Wednesday June 19th at 10:35pm eastern for the Thumbs Up Cancer Down Grand Prix of Mosport, only on the iRacing eSports Network presented by GSRC.

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