Lionheart Retro Series iRacing Watkins Glen Race Report

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Round 3 of the Lionheart Retro Series in iRacing visited Watkins Glen for another great showdown. Here is your race report.

The sound of the Lionheart Retro Series in iRacing roared on to round 3 at Watkins Glen recently. Here we have the full race report from this great series, the ButtKicker Grand Prix at the Glen presented by MOZA Racing is a go!

Written by Darren B of simrace247.com

Qualifying Top 5

As usual, the qualifying session was underway and ready for the drivers to state their positions on the grid.

  1. #23 Valiokas: 1.33.918
  2. #8 Taylor: +0.005
  3. #45 O’Brien: +0.178
  4. #99 Sirois: +0.254
  5. #24 Morgan: +0.385

Race Start For Round 3 Of The Lionheart Retro Series

37 cars form up behind the pace car for the first road course of the season, green light and the roar of the cars echo in the air as pedal to the metal, full gas is underway. Valiokas gets a great start as cars running 3 wide behind entering T1. Taylor gets a bad start as he drops to P6, the rest of the field gets away cleanly with no major incidents. 37 laps are lined up for these great drivers and teams, man do these Lotus 79 F1 cars look good around the Glen.

O’Brien in P2 starts to pile on the pressure on Valiokas, as Nunez and Anzaldo are seen in the gravel trap and the yellow flag is out. Replay footage shows Nunez move under braking, with Snider slamming the back of him and sending the Team simrace247.com car into Anzaldo. Behind that cars had checked up with more incidents amongst the melee involving Herrick, Galaz. Whist we pick apart that situation, another crash on track shortly after involving Lanini, Malone and Holmes created carnage. Plenty going on for the stewards to look at as the pace car leads the field.

As the cars enter the final corner on lap 3, a good bunch of cars enter pit road for repairs. Just before the start of lap 5, the pace car pulls in and we are under green light racing again. Valiokas sets the pace under racing restart conditions as morgan is looking to take P2 from O’Brien who goes defensive. Ragan wants to get in on the action as he applies pressure to Morgan as they run 2 wide consistently, Ragan keeps his nose ahead and takes P3 with morgan trying to fight back.

Former Indycar driver Richie Hearn is having a great battle in P10, with Rodriguez and Staples either side, it’s so good to write about someone I watched race in IndyCar, go Richie! Meanwhile back out front, Valiokas has a slender lead over O’Brien on lap 6. As we start to see groups of cars being stretched throughout the field, Morgan is starting to drop off the leading group, he may be going into fuel save mode.

Laps 11 chalks up and O’Brien gets a great drive and run at Valiokas, he goes for it and makes the pass, a little side contact tap as they duel but both drivers remain on track, O’Brien leads! Ragan senses he can make a move on Valiokas and starts to apply pressure to take P2. By the end of lap 12, the leaders start to catch cars at the tail end of the pack to be lapped. An incident at T1 sees Staples and Daniel’s cars stricken on the track as they both spun out with no contact. Graaf gets caught up in the incident as he was blind to the situation coming out of T1 behind Holmes. While that is going on, Morgan in P4 is trying to fend off Sirios with Rasimas and Taylor and Fowler in close proximity.

Sirois sends a great move around the outside at the heel on Morgan to put him up to P4, this group will be one to keep an eye on. Taylor starts to attack Rasimas in the group for P6, as O’Brien leads with Valiokas coming with him and pulling away from Ragan in P3.

Top 10 On Lap 16

  1. O’Brien
  2. Valiokas
  3. Ragan
  4. Sirois
  5. Morgan
  6. Rasimas
  7. Taylor
  8. Fowler
  9. Rodriguez
  10. Hearn

The battle from 4th to 10th rages on as race leader O’Brien loses the lead and has fallen back by a second. Valiokas leads as O’Brien makes a slight mistake at T9, Valiokas seizes the moment. We are nearing the window for pit stops so O’Brien needs to hang in there until he gets new boots. He is closing back up to Valiokas who goes defensive, great recovery from O’Brien.

First Scheduled Pit Stops

We start to see a lot of drivers enter pit road at the end of lap 19, with Taylor, Rasimas and fowler opting to stay out. Here comes the leaderboard shuffle, O’Brien nailed it with the pit stop and comes out ahead of Valiokas, as a big group of drivers passes him as he is still sitting in his pit box. What a nightmare for Valiokas as his car is still sitting there after getting a speeding penalty, those are the rules, and it has cost him big time.

Taylor, Fowler and Rasimas pit from staying out for the extra lap as the order forms with O’Brien leading and having a 2 second lead over Ragan. Fowler had a great pitstop as he comes back out on track in P3 with Sirois applying pressure, whilst Sirois had his sights on fowler, Taylor had other plans and pinched the position from Sirois with a bold move, moving him up to P4, but Sirois fights back, Morgan gets in on the action, trying to take the place off Taylor, its that group I mentioned earlier to keep an eye on, it was brewing up.

Penalty For Fowler & Rasimas

We see the cars of Fowler and Rasimas rolling down pit road again, is it damage? Nope, they both got a speeding penalty after their pit stops, a real shame. Meanwhile back out on track, Taylor moves up to P3. Richie hearn is having a great race in P7, with a comfortable gap ahead of Calisto in P8 and only a second behind Rodriguez in P6. Ragan piles on the pressure on race leader O’Brien, Morgan puts the move on Sirois to move up to P4. Taylor is on the move as he moves up to P2 and is putting maximum pressure on race leader O’Brien.

Taylor Takes The Lead on Lap 28

After getting a good run on O’Brien, Taylor takes the lead of the race with a sweet move and Ragan strikes at O’Brien too and moves up to P2. Richie hearn has moved up a spot to P6 after passing Rodriguez who fights back to claim it. Taylor gets the benefit after passing lapped cars and gives him some breathing room as O’Brien launches an assault on Ragan to take P2 whilst Taylor sets the fastest lap of the race.

O’Brien sets a great pace and catches Taylor with 5 to go, he is feeling the pressure as his car starts to slide just a touch. OBrien is staying with him, maximum attack mode is coming with 4 to go! Taylor responds and pulls out a slight gap, as Sirois is trying to get past Morgan for P4, 2 to go as O’Brien sets the fastest lap of the race and has Taylor locked in his sights. O’Brien is pushing really hard to stay with Taylor as he is asking questions of O’Brien, lets do this…..last lap. O’ Brien gets the run on Taylor but he defends, who has the coolest of nerves?

Victory at The Glen In The Lionheart Retro Series

With relentless pressure to the very end, Matt Taylor has won the ButtKicker Grand Prix at the Glen presented by MOZA Racing. Speaking in HyperX victory lane, Taylor goes on to mention ” I am thrilled to grab a win on a road course, especially after the way last season ended”. The win here at the Glen has boosted the morale of Taylor who fully deserved his victory after a great strategy and then battles with O’Brien.

ROUND 3 – ButtKicker GP at the Glen Presented by MOZA Racing

Finish

Team

Driver

Start

Laps

Interval

Laps Led

Inc

Pts

Bonuses/Penalties

1 #8-Mad Werx Motorsports
 Matt Taylor
2 37 12 7 61
(+1) Led a lap
2 #45-Mad Werx Motorsports
 Michael A O’Brien
3 37 -0.185 12 5 56
(+1) Led a lap
3 #19-Elite West Racing
 Christopher Ragan
6 37 -2.183 0 0 51
(+1) 0 or less Incidents
4 #99-Raven Lavoie Motorsports
 David Sirois
4 37 -3.330 0 5 47
5 #24-AAR W/ GRAAFix LC
 Aaron Morgan
5 37 -3.552 0 1 45
6 #10-RSR Esport
 David R. Rodriguez
9 37 -16.095 0 0 44
(+1) 0 or less Incidents
7 #70-Elite West Racing
 Richard Hearn
11 37 -23.939 0 1 41
8 #97-Raven Motorsports Black
 Lionel Calisto
14 37 -25.715 0 3 39
9 #08-Raven Lavoie Motorsports
 Alex Guyon
21 37 -34.854 0 1 37
10 #7-Raven Motorsports Silver
 Ricky Hardin
19 37 -43.623 0 0 36
(+1) 0 or less Incidents

Lionheart Racing Series is a league partner: Lionheart series powered by Hyper X

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