2 rounds remain in the 2018 Lionheart IndyCar season. 2 rounds to close out the championship or to pull off a come from behind win for the ages. 2 rounds for 3 drivers to fight it out to find out who will reign supreme. They have all taken different paths to get here.
In one corner, we have Adam Blocker, the points leader. Blocker, who leads the championship by 21 points, has 8 wins on the season and 4 poles. 6 of those wins have come on the 7 road course rounds so far. Blocker’s 2 oval wins are at 2 of the biggest venues we have visited with a win at the Lionheart Indy 500 and the league’s home race at Iowa Speedway.
In 2nd, is his Canadian teammate at Adrenaline Motorsports, Andrew Kinsella. Kinsella won the opening round, and has 3 race wins on the season so far. He led the points until Round 15 at Richmond. Kinsella has no poles, and instead has used steady drives through the field to have the most top 5’s and the most top 10’s in the league this season. Further to this, despite not winning on the road, Kinsella is the only driver in the series to finish in the top 5 at all 7 road courses so far.
Then we have Dan Geren in 3rd, 31 points back of Blocker. Geren has 8 poles and 3 wins on the season, but took the scenic route to championship contention. Through the first 15 races of the season, Geren had 7 poles, but no wins and only 6 top 10 finishes. That all changed after he won round 16 at Charlotte. Finishes of 2nd, 5th, 1st, 3rd, 1st, and 2nd have brought the Midwest driver right back into contention.
Finally there are the venues for this showdown, next week, we will travel to Auto Club Speedway, site of some of the most exciting championship finales in the real world throughout the seasons. But first, the contenders will have to face arguably the best road course in the US, the classic Road America, for the LOC Precision Grand Prix of Road America . The track is incredibly fast, with long straights giving way to heavy braking zones with tight corners and treacherous curbs. One wrong move and the contenders will make their night at Auto Club much longer.
Blocker is the clear favourite for the first leg of the showdown, with 6 road course wins in 7 tries so far. Geren and Kinsella might be better served limiting the damage and waiting to fight another day at the double points finale.
But these 3 drivers will not be the only ones on course as 30+ drivers who aren’t in the hunt will also be out there. Drivers such as Harrington, Weaver, Goodman, and Beard will all be looking not for the championship but for individual glory that comes from winning the final road course race of the season.
All drivers, championship contenders or not will have to contend with something they have never had to before at Road America. New with the recent build is more realistic weather. Now clouds will dynamically shift over the course of a race adding varying track temperatures and creating a new challenge for the drivers as the grip of the track will vary lap to lap.
Other story lines to follow deeper in the field include Chris Stofer, your winner last time out at Gateway. Stofer jumped 7 positions and now sits in 21st overall in the championship, not far from the money paying positions. Stofer has won races in 3 consecutive seasons and has established himself as one of the strongest oval drivers in Lionheart. Stofer still has 2 races to advance his position further inside the top 20.
Stephen Laarkamp and Justin Weaver continue to slug it out for rookie of the year, with the pair separated by just 8 points. Weaver has held a slight speed advantage over Laarkamp on the road courses this season, however with just 8 points separating them, one mistake either way could decide the crown.
Cleanest Driver standings still present a close battle with Chris Lanini and Michael Goodman separated by 7 incident points. Lanini currently sits with 30 incidents on the year with an average of 1.50. Lanini was awarded the Retro Series Cleanest Driver Award after the recent finale at Auto Club. Matt Mercer is the current leader for the Iron Man Standings with 4,175.35 Miles and 2,709. Ron Hacker sits in 2nd just over 10 miles behind.
Adrenaline Motorsports appears to have clinched the Team Championship for the 2018 Season, with only one driver required to start at Road America to make it official. Since Blocker and Kinsella wouldn’t dream of missing the race, it is safe to say they will be the winners. The Team Championship will be restructured at the end of the season and will be changing the way teams are scored for the 2019 season.
The Lionheart series has confirmed its partnering with GSRC and the iRacing eSports Network for 2019. The full schedule will be presented during the awards ceremony directly following the finale at Auto Club.
Tune in on Wednesday November 12th at 10:35pm Eastern for the LOC Precision Grand Prix of Road America only on the iRacing Esports Network presented by GSRC.