The Lionheart IndyCar Series in iRacing is fueled and fired up for round 12 at Texas Motor Speedway. Continuing with our grid walk feature.
The Lionheart IndyCar Series in iRacing is ready for its next race at Texas Motor Speedway. 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, tune in and check out this fantastic series with live coverage provide below.
Official grid walk report
The Lionheart IndyCar Series presented by ButtKicker is ready to go for its 12th race of the 2021 season at Texas Motor Speedway.
Its competitors will be racing in the Minus 273 Texas 200 Presented by Simrace247.com on August 11th. The 133-lap race will be the Lionheart Racing Series’ first trip to the reconfigured TMS in series history.
Adam Blocker, who enters the round with a 61-point advantage in the drivers standings over Connor Harrington, is looking forward to this week’s race. He has been busy with commitments as a IndyCar Trackside Support Engineer for Ilmor Engineering. Blocker was in Nashville for the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix this past weekend as well as at Sebring International Raceway for a team test during the week.
Blocker enters the round with a five-race winning streak.
“Texas is always a fun track to race in this car, although I haven’t had the best of luck in previous Lionheart races there,” said Blocker. “However, this time we are running the new configuration for the first time and I feel more comfortable there, it is more difficult to drive in Turns 1-2 and qualifying is a bit more important.”
PRIVATE LABEL Team Hype driver Jason Brophy said he is feeling good about the race. He explained the Dallara IR-18 was a bit of a handful at new Texas and took him some laps to feel up to speed. Brophy remarked that the car can be twitchy.
“With how much flatter/tighter Turns 1-2 are compared to Turns 3-4, it’s really tough to set up for as the car needs a lot of front downforce to make it through Turns 1-2. That leaves it really sensitive both off Turn 2 and through Turns 3-4, which are generally flat out, though you may have a small lift in traffic,” said Brophy. “It doesn’t like quick change of direction either, even through the tri-oval it’s twitchy.
“If you try to turn late through there, it wants to kick the rear and move about half a lane. It feels pretty good through Turns 1-2, which is big for trying to set moves up. Our version of Texas doesn’t have the PJ1, so while the middle and outside are not the preferred grooves when solo, when battling in a line of cars, you will see people going up there.”
Andrew Kinsella, who drives for Adrenaline Motorsports Red, felt the car balance was pretty good. He explained drivers will have to keep an eye on their in-car tools to make sure they keep up with the track. It is easy to overheat the right rear tire at the track.
“Passing will be tough here,” said Kinsella. “Pit-in and particularly pit-out will also be very difficult. Lots of time to be made up with a fast pit exit, but the apron is bumpy.”
Blocker explained it is very easy to overdrive the entry into Turns 1-2 because of the need to apex later into the corner. That is because there is more grip on the low line two-thirds into the turn. He and Brophy both remarked the exit to Turn 2 will also be very important.
“If you get behind on your steering and are pushing toward the wall, holding the wheel over the transition out of the corner and onto the backstretch will kick the car hard left toward the inside wall, and can be unrecoverable,” said Brophy. “That’s a point of the track you are really trying to maximize your speed on exit so you can try to build a run.
“Outside that, on restarts, the car at lower speed is quite touchy heading off into Turn 1. I wouldn’t be surprised to see cautions on restarts. In traffic in Turns 3-4, it’s important to lift in traffic a little, maybe 10 to 20 percent. You generally will just be putting wear in the right front tire without any time gain if you try to keep the throttle flat through there.”
In Kinsella’s opinion, the strategy will be interesting for the race. Brophy explained drivers will not want to pit much at all because of the importance of having a lighter car. Blocker and Brophy predict drivers can make it 42-47 laps on fuel.
“The temptation is to short-pit and try to get the undercut to work, but that pit exit makes a caution a lot more likely,” said Kinsella. “Both short and long can burn you, and the middle ground isn’t a great option either.”
Brophy was also concerned about when to pit.
“I think you may work this race in reverse,” said Brophy. You will want to make your last pit stop as early as possible. It would probably take 25 or so laps of green for me to consider giving up track position for tires. Even then, it’s hard to give up clean air.”
Blocker expects it to be difficult to pass the leader at Texas Motor Speedway. He does think there will be a lot of moves further in the pack. Those moves he explained are likely to come from drivers either getting better exits off Turn 2 to make a move into Turn 3 as well as from picking up draft through Turns 3-4 to the front stretch.
“On both ends of the track there are multiple lines you can run in traffic, although for the leader it is always faster to run the bottom at the apex,” said Blocker. “I think anyone can win the race regardless of where they qualify with some strategy and a lot of overtaking.”
Brophy expects to be competitive this round. He has done well at the 1.5-mile tracks this season, finishing third at Homestead-Miami Speedway and fourth at Kentucky Speedway despite starting at the back.
His team will also be racing without Joshua Chin for the round. Chin was given a one-race suspension after a last-lap crash with Blocker at Silverstone.
“I feel I should be fast enough to compete, but we are all chasing Blocker right now,” said Blocker. “For our Private Label Team Hype team, we will be down a driver in this race, so it’s going to be harder to play the team game to try to protect.”
Kinsella said he never enters a round without thinking he should be in contention for a win. He expects the race to be tight.
“The new blood that got brought up from the (Lionheart) Speedway Series (Presented by The DMLC Racing Channel) should be bang on pace and make things even more competitive,” said Kinsella. “We will have to see how the outside lane develops through 1 and 2 to see just how much passing will happen.”
Blocker kept his goals modest.
“Six wins in a row would be nice but I’ll be happy with another top 5 to maintain the current points situation,” said Blocker.
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