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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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RETRO SERIES PREPARES FOR ITS 3RD RUNNING OF THE TRICKY TRIANGLE

Deep in the Lehigh lies the strangest oval in America. 3 unique turns form this triangular race track, and one of the trickiest cars the Lotus 79, takes on iRacing’s trickiest track as the Lionheart Retro Series roars into Pennsylvania for the Pocono 250 presented by the DMLC Racing Channel.

Last time out at Gateway, it was Marc Cohn snatching his 2nd Retro victory of the season, as he fended off Dustin Wardlow over the closing stages of the race. Justin Kirby had a strong showing in 3rd while Mike Rigney and Ryan Otis rounded out the top 5. Cohn’s victory saw him vault up 8 positions into 4th overall in the standings, announcing Cohn’s candidacy for not just rookie of the year honors, but a legitimate shot at the overall championship. Otis remains the point leader, stretching the gap over 2nd place Sage Karam to 50 points a third of the way through the season. George Sandman has had a quietly consistent season going to sit 3rd in the standings, 7 back of Karam.

If there is one thing that this Retro season has taught us, it is to expect the unexpected. 32 different drivers have finished inside the top 10 at least once through the first 6 races. The only constant among those drivers…that’s right it is championship leader Ryan Otis, who has 5 top 5’s in 6 races. Otis has managed to avoid the carnage the best of all the drivers so far this season, and with a difficult race ahead, that ability to bring the car home will be key.

Sage Karam has had back to back poor finishes with DNF’s at the egg shaped Motegi and Gateway Ovals. That stretch of the schedule is behind us however, so will Karam’s form also rebound?

After a rough debut, Chad Dalton has strung together some strong finishes of late, finding himself 5th overall in points. Will Dalton be the next driver to step up and conquer a Lionheart series race?

If consistency is what you are looking for, however, look no further then series veteran Travis Jegerlehner. Jegerlehner has finished no worse than 20th through 6 races, which is the best worst finish of anyone. Unfortunately, with a best finish of 9th, Travis is not as far up the standings as we are accustomed to seeing. One thing we do know, however is that Jegerlehner is fast, and it is only a matter of time before he is contesting for wins again. Will it be this Thursday at Pocono?

In the team standings, Raven Motorsports Black extended their lead over NLR Sim Racing to 102. Interestingly, NLR has 3 of the 6 wins this season, but it is Raven with the consistent finishes putting them out front.

In the rookie standings, Karam maintains a slim lead over Sandman, Cohn and Dalton. The Rookie of the Year title always produces great finishes, and this year is shaping up to be no different.

Who will reign supreme at the trickiest triangle in America? Tune in on Thursday June 13th at 10:35pm eastern to find out, only on the iRacing eSports Network presented by GSRC.

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RED HOT BLOCKER WINS FUEL GAME AT MOTEGI

Adam Blocker can’t be beat right now. The defending Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment champion made stretching fuel look easy, while others cars dropped lap after lap, to win the Global Electronic Technology 200 at Twin Ring Motegi Wednesday night.

“I knew Laarkamp couldn’t make it when he went past me,” said Blocker, who has won the last three events. “With eight to go I just went for it. I knew we had it.”

Ron Hacker picked up a career-best second place, while Big Joe Hassert claimed the final podium spot.

“I started lifting early with 15, 16 to go and just tried to stretch it,” Hacker said. “I had about a lap left at the end of the race. We were good to go.”

Hassert dropped ten positions in the final laps while trying to pedal the car and save gas, and went from outside the top 15 to third as a result of his efforts.

“I was up to almost fifth and Jason (Galvin) had a scare and I dropped back again,” Hassert said. “I was letting people by and when I hit my number I got back in the gas with four to go and got back up to third.”

Blocker took the lead from Stephen Laarkamp with 11 laps to go, after he was confident he had saved enough fuel running around in second.

“From the beginning of the stint, I was the first car that pitted,” Blocker said. “I tried to past some slower guys and was just lifting and coasting in three and four, trying to save as much as I could with cars in front of me at the beginning.”

Dustin Wardlow moved into second, but had to hit pit road with three laps left. Justin Weaver followed suit coming to the white flag.

Tyler Graaf was the first car to run out of fuel, and a litany of others followed, throwing the top ten into disarray.

When the dust settled, it was Hacker and Hassert who made it work, with Damon Martinez coming home fourth and Brandon Limkemann coasting home to finish the top five.

Scott Bolster, Tony Showen, Mike Rigney, Andrew Kinsella and Scotty Johnson completed the top ten, all with various amounts of motor cough as the cars gasped for more fuel.

Dan Geren and Connor Harrington – who led a race-high 74 laps – were amongst the drivers who dominated up front but did not pit on the final caution, and lost a lap while making green flag stops late in the race.

The race was slowed by five cautions for 20 laps. The final caution threw everyone into a fuel frenzy.

Justin Kirby chopped the nose of Kinsella on lap 86, spinning into the turn four wall to end his race. Teams were expected to get about 38 laps on a full tank of fuel, but the green came out with 41 laps remaining, testing the ability of drivers to balance fuel saving and speed.

The fourth caution came out on lap 69. Joe Flanagan contacted the wall exiting turn four, apparently suffering from aero-push while running about one second behind Brian Beard. The resulting flip brought out the caution.

Just three laps earlier, Sage Karam also hit the wall exiting turn four. Karam was able to hold on and finished the race seven laps down in 33rd.

Jason Galvin was part of the two previous cautions.

The defending race winner worked his way up to fifth before clipping the apron in turn one, entering a long drift and hanging on. The stack up likely led to contact later in the lap between David Altman and Flanagan.

Altman smacked the wall in turn three, ending his race.

Just two laps after the restart, Bob Mikes got into the back of Galvin in turn three, with Galvin getting the worst of it and bringing out a caution.

The opening yellow came on lap eleven when Shaun Cole went around in turn three after running into Kirby, who had checked up for a slower car.

An early wreck failed to bring out a caution, after Karam and Chris Stofer were victim of netcode. Stofer spun down the back straight, ending his race.

Blocker extended his championship lead to 131 points over Geren, with Kinsella jumping to third.

The Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by First Medical Equipment next heads to Canada and the rolling hills of Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Mosport, for the Thumbs Up, Cancer Down Grand Prix of Mosport. The race can be seen live on the iRacing eSports Network with production by Global SimRacing Channel on June 19 at 10:35 p.m. EST.

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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.

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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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WHICH DRIVER WILL WEATHER THE STORM AND COMPLETE THE VOYAGE TO VICTORY LANE?

The tracks may look very similar, but they couldn’t be more different in how they drive. Last week, the Lionheart Retro Series was at Motegi; an egg-shaped oval, where a thrilling finish saw Big Joe Hassert hold off a charging Dean Moll for the win. This week the are at the also egg-shaped Gateway Motorsports Park for the Sinbad Vapors 200.

The two tracks however, similar the track map might look, are very different. Gateway is smaller, narrower, tighter and bumpier. Where last week saw 3 for 4 and even 5 wide moments. This week anything more then 2 wide will be a crowd. The track is also flipped in comparison to Motegi. Turns 1 and 2 are the tight ones here, meaning that drivers have a long flat-out section between the exit of turn 2 and the finish line where they will be going flat out to try and beat their opponent to the line. The banking to is less pronounced, especially in turns 3 and 4. The driver who wins this one will be the driver who matches patience with aggression and opportunism. It won’t be easy.

Last week Joe Hassert made the last few laps lot a lot easier than they were in reality. Dean Moll, Taft Baldwin, Ryan Otis and Paul Jenkins all tried, but none could get by the veteran Lionheart driver, as Hassert captured his first win in any Lionheart series since 2017. Moll made it close at the line, but ultimately had to settle for 2nd while Baldwin managed to get around Otis for 3rd. Both Hassert and Moll moved up 10 spots in the championship into 7th and 8th respectively, and both will be looking to continue that momentum.

Despite missing the podium, Otis managed to take over the championship lead from Sage Karam as the Coanda SimSport driver had another rough race, this time of his own doing. Karam pushed wide coming out of 4 and caught the wall, spinning back into traffic and collecting a number of drivers including the previous rounds winner Marc Cohn. Dustin Wardlow was caught by a spinning car while running up front for the 2nd week in a row. All 3 drivers will be looking to bounce back at Gateway.

George Sandman had a quietly consistent run at Motegi, and found himself 6th when all the dust settled. This performance saw the road course veteran tighten his hold on 3rd in the championship. With more consistent finishes like this on ovals, neither Otis nor Karam should discount Sandman’s push towards the championship.
Newcomers Taft Baldwin and Chad Dalton are 2 rookies who have really shown some speed this season. Baldwin already has a poll, while Dalton has shown himself to be adept at driving through the field. These are 2 rookies to keep an eye on.

Speaking of rookies, this season saw a record number of rookies take the grid, and it shows in the results column. 31 of 45 drivers have already recorded at least 1 top 10 this season through 5 races. These races are truly anybody’s to win, and although a few drivers have run consistently at the front, no one has finished consistently there yet. We have a long way to go, and everything still to race for this season.

The Sinbad Vapours 200 will fire off this Thursday, May 16th, 2019 at 10:35pm eastern. Tune in to the iRacing eSports Network presented by GSRC to catch all the action.

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