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Lionheart IndyCar Series GSI Miami 200 Report iRacing

The season opener for the Lionheart IndyCar Series took place recently with the GSI Miami 200 presented by Buttkicker in iRacing. Here we have the full race report.

Finally, the green light shined brightly for the start of the 2022 Lionheart IndyCar Series powered by HyperX in iRacing, kicking off at Miami International Speedway for the GSI 200. Defending Champion Adam Blocker returned to defend his title in the season opener, along with a whole host of great drivers that have entered the series in this 40 car grid.

Written by Darren B of simrace247.com

Showtime for the Gomez Sim Industries Miami 200 presented by Buttkicker

Before the lights went out for the racing, qualifying was up with a quick fire session that would set the tone of the race. With Arjuna Kankipati and Justin Prince in the booth, the stage was set and ready for the race.

Rounding out the top 5 on the grid after a frantic and very close qualifying session was:

  1. #56 Adriano Pinheiroo:  25.149
  2. #91 Robert Maleczka III: +0.002
  3. #88 Jason Brophy: +0.006
  4. #44 Connor Harrington: +0.020
  5. #53 Alexis Newsome: 0.024

The Start Of The Race

As the rolling start built up an atmosphere behind the safety car, this was the moment that all the off season practice had come to, no more time for second guessing, this was it, the real thing. With an amazing sight of all the cars lined up side by side the pace car pulled in and it was go time in this 134 lap race!

Pinheiroo (Independent driver) bolted immediately, creating a small gap of about 2 cars, with no incidents at the green light, the whole grid had got off to a great start. Early track domination for Maleczka of Powerslide Ignition, Brophy of Private Label Team Hype and Newsome of Factory Backed Motorsports was being tested as they were very close rounding out the top four. 5 laps in and the separation has started with Pinheiroo asserting a small lead of half a second with Maleczka pushing hard in second and breaking a small gap between third and fourth.

Early stages

Further down the field, the hunting pack was clean with great racing and awareness from all drivers, this was a great start to the 2022 season by all. Team Simrace247 driver Luis Gonzalez Nunez was having a great battle in 26th and looking good. Racespot TV commentator Arjuna Kankipati nailed it with his comment ” Its a hornet’s nest ” in relation to how fierce the racing was going on.

15 laps into the race and parts of the field were starting to spread apart with clusters of racers bunched up together, Brophy was up to second and had Pinheiroo in his sights. Others drivers in the field needed to start working together as slipstream and working with rivals was key to keeping good pace. This was a great opening section of the race by all that continued lap by lap, relentless battles everywhere you look.

Early Pit Stops

By lap 36 we had seen some drivers blink to come into the pitlane, first in was Tyler Graaf of Graafix LPM looking at the undercut. Shortly after that, race leader Pinheiroo was in handing the lead to Brophy, with Maleckza and Newsome charging. Maleckza was next to come in of the front runners followed 1 lap later by Brophy, Newsome shortly followed. Tense times with the pit stops as this can up end the position of the drivers if a smooth stop does not happen. By lap 47 and a good chunk of the field taking their stops, Pinheiro was back in the lead followed by Maleckza, Brophy and Newsome. Errors had occurred for some as O’Brien of Mad Werx Motorsports went through pitlane without stopping missing his box and ended up on the road course.

The Battle Rages On to the Halfway Point

Meanwhile, as the race intensifies, drama unfolded on Lap 52 as race leader Pinheiroo makes contact with the wall at turn 2, handing the lead to Maleckza. Replay evidence shows the car getting loose and upsetting it just enough to break traction and kiss the wall, but he continues to circulate the track.  Laarkamp also fell victim to the wall as the car got loose sending it into the wall on the snapback creating a big impact damaging the front left wheel and more.

Back out on track, we look back through the pack, there is great racing throughout and a good show going on. Newsome was showing good form against Brophy as she sent a bold move around the outside to take P3 just shy of the halfway mark. Shortly after that, we see a stricken car on the apron busted up, Barret Rolph of Ascari Motorsport was done. Race replay shows he was side by side with his team mate and lost the back end of the car at high speed sending it nose first into the wall.

Maleckza is in charge with just under 3 seconds in the lead and Pinheiroo holding station in P2 with Newsome charging.

 

Second Round Of Pit Stops

By lap 80 we start to see the drivers entering pitlane for the second round of pit stops, of the front runners Maleckza was first in and making the most of the lead he had pulled out. Shortly after, Pinheiroo was in after a valiant effort to keep the car moving at speed after making contact with the wall. Looking at the pitlane time, we think he had minimum damage as his stop was fairly rapid.

Back out on track Brophy and Newsome were tussling for the lead with Kraus of Private Label team Hype lurking in P3. As others started coming into the pitlane we see the top 3 in very close proximity. Aaron Morgan of Graafix LPM had the commentators of their seats as he displayed a mighty high speed save and avoided contact with others, that was impressive!

The 100 Lap Marker

By lap 100, the field and all the pitstops had been completed, service resummed with Maleckza leading and this stint had gone well by maintaining his lead of 3 seconds over Pinheiroo. Kraus, Brophy and Van De Sandt of Powerslide Adrenaline rounded out the top 5.  As lap by lap ticked by, we look at some of the drivers working together and using the draft to maximum effect with packs of cars bunched up.

We all know that oval racers like to hunt like a pack to chase down those at front. By lap 110 Pinheiroo was back in the pits for the final splash and dash to the flag, followed by Maleckza on the next lap. These were tense times for everyone involved who wanted victory.

 

The Chequered Flag Is In Sight

With Kraus out in front, he was maintaining a slender gap of 1 second over Van De Sandt who had Brophy, Fowler of Mad Werx Motorsports and Newsome ready to take full advantage of any small error that was made by those ahead of them, tense times were rising and this could play out for any of them to take victory or have a step on the podium. This is Lionheart, they fight to the end and put on a great show with maximum respect to all that they race against.

Only the brave and daring will come up with the best of strategies, times were getting very tense as the front runners were leaning out the fuel and staying out on track, this was going to go down to the last vapor of fuel in the tank. A turning point of the race that may come into question, is with 10 laps to go Guyon was multiple laps down and getting involved with the front runners. 5 to go and the heartbeats are raising, you can smell the victory coming, deep breath and hold your nerve time.

Victory

Philip Kraus of Private Label Team Hype has taken victory in the GSI Miami 200 presented by Buttkicker. A great victory that was well deserved as he lit up the tires for a donut in HyperX victory lane. “Fuel saving, great strategy and clean air” was key to the victory said Kraus as he spoke in the HyperX victory lane post show. Looking forward into the season Kraus says “Its hard to set expectations for himself” but knows he will be in a fight with great drivers around him, “Top 5” is realistic said Kraus.

ROUND 1 – GSI Miami 200 Presented by ButtKicker

Finish

Team

Driver

Class

Start

Laps

Laps Led

Inc

Pts

Bonuses/Penalties

1#19-PRIVATE LABEL Team Hype
 Philip Kraus
IR-18913427062
(+1) Led a lap
(+1) 0 or less Incidents
2#96-Powerslide Adrenaline
 Alexander van de Sandt
IR-1861344057
(+1) Led a lap
(+1) 0 or less Incidents
3#88-PRIVATE LABEL Team Hype
 Jason Brophy
IR-1831348052
(+1) Led a lap
(+1) 0 or less Incidents
4#53-Factory Backed Motorsports
 Alexis Newsome
IR-1851347049
(+1) Led a lap
(+1) 0 or less Incidents
5#44-PRIVATE LABEL Team Hype
 Connor Harrington
IR-1841340046
(+1) 0 or less Incidents
6#91-Powerslide Ignition
 Robert Maleczka III
IR-18213439045
(+1) Led a lap
(+1) 0 or less Incidents
7#41-Powerslide Adrenaline
 Andrew Kinsella
IR-18141340042
(+1) 0 or less Incidents
8#56-Independent
 Adriano Pinheiroo
IR-18113449042
(+1) Start on overall pole
(+1) Led a lap
(+1) 0 or less Incidents
9#28-Powerslide Intense
 Joe Branch
IR-18301340038
(+1) 0 or less Incidents
10#54-Factory Backed Motorsports
 AJ Mussleman
IR-18181340036
  • Stay tuned for the next IndyCar race coming your way on March 23rd
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Darren Buckner

Darren Buckner

Darren became a member of Simrace247 in January 2021 and has been a valuable addition to the platform ever since. He began his journey as an Editor and has progressed to the position of Editor in Chief, owing to his unwavering commitment and hard work. With his profound interest in motorsport and gaming, Darren is passionate about sharing news and exceptional content with like-minded people worldwide.View Author posts

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