With the Lionheart IndyCar Series heating up in iRacing, we have the privilege to have a more in depth look at the grid. Silverstone gets its debut in the series.
On July 28th the Lionheart IndyCar Series will be visiting Silverstone in iRacing, this will be the first time Silverstone has been raced in the series illustrious history. Tune into the Silverstone Grand Prix via the live video link provided below.
But before the lights go out Justin Prince features his grid walk and build up to the big event. With in depth interviews from the drivers, analysis and more.
For the first time in Lionheart IndyCar Series Presented by ButtKicker history, its drivers will be heading to the Silverstone Circuit.
The series will be heading to the United Kingdom for the GRAAFix eSports Silverstone Grand Prix on July 28. Drivers will be racing at the 3.7-mile facility for 34 laps.
Adam Blocker enters the round with a 161-point advantage over Connor Harrington in the series standings. Blocker enters the race as well on a historic four-race winning streak.
“It’s just been an incredible run of good fortune mixed with some good execution on my part,” said Blocker. “I’ve had plenty of bad races during that time but they’ve all happened outside of Lionheart just by chance. I’m just going to keep the same approach I’ve had to the races and see how long I can keep it up for.”
The series has expanded its driver roster starting this week. The drivers who have earned an opportunity to race on Wednesday are Robert Maleczka III, Chris Lanini, Barrett Rolph, Michael O’Brien, Alexis Newsome and Paul Jenkins.
Rolph, who won the Sim Racing Studio Indianapolis 500 Presented by Chris Fowler Racing in the Lionheart Speedway Series Presented by The DMLC Racing Channel on July 18, said he was thrilled about the opportunity.
“I’m truly excited. The Lionheart IndyCar Series features the best of the best,” said Rolph. “My goal was to make my debut in 2022 and I’m elated that I was able to make a strong enough impression to move up ahead of schedule.”
Ryan Otis, who finished third in the ButtKicker 200 at The Milwaukee Mile, said he was happy with his qualifying run in the last race. He said he was too conservative with his car settings to begin that event because he was afraid of spinning in the clean air. The adjustments gave him too much understeer early in the race.
Otis has been out of town competing in the SCCA TimeTrials National Tour at The Ridge Motorsports Park, which has cut into his preparation for the Lionheart Racing Series race.
“I think I’ve only ever done one or two open races at Silverstone. I think it’s a great track,” said Otis.
Rolph said he has been struggling with the balance a bit. He thinks his pace seems to be right where it needs to be so far. He said staying on top of the tools will be a challenge.
“I have a fondness for this track from my time at GT Academy, but I think it’ll provide for some good racing action in the Dallara IR-18.”
Blocker said it is a fun track to race at. While he will not be able to turn many laps until the day of the race, he has competed at Silverstone in a variety of cars, including the IR-18. He said the track general suits his driving style, so he is feeling confident.
“It’s quite a bit different to a lot of the North American tracks we go to so I think it adds more variety to the schedule,” said Blocker. “Compared to the North American tracks it has lots of runoff, a much smoother surface, and friendly kerbs. All of those things mean you can generally afford to, and have to, take more risks in the race than most road tracks we race.”
Otis said he has not tested both tire compounds yet, but thinks people will attempt to go longer on their first stint to avoid falling back into dirty air.
“I feel like passing is going to be really difficult,” said Otis. “It will be tough to follow close with the aero wash. Qualifying will be paramount.”
In Blocker’s opinion, the strain on the tires from the high-speed corners will be a challenge. He expects drivers to stay on the black-walled tires longer than in previous races due to the wear associated with the reds. Blocker said he thinks the reds are probably still the preferred tire, but expects drivers to minimize the amount of time on them once worn in.
“I expect lots of tire management on the reds, in particular, five laps into a stint and after to keep temperatures under control,” said Blocker.
Blocker said he expects a competitive race, especially with the passing opportunities on the track. While dirty air will be a factor, he thinks it will not be impossible to follow other cars in the high-speed sections. His goal is to have a clean race and finish in the top five.
Rolph said drivers can make it on three stops with a bit of fuel saving. He feels it will be a race where drivers will need to save gas and still go fast.
“I’ll be looking to learn as much as possible to take into the next road course event, but the goal is always to win,” said Rolph.
Otis said his goal is to also finish in the top five but does not feel properly prepared for it.
“I think Blocker and Chin will be super fast. Hopefully, they don’t gap the field too bad,” said Otis. “I think third through 10th will be super close, and a small mistake in qualifying can set you back really far.”
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