Lionheart Retro Series iRacing Brands Hatch Race Report

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The 2022 Lionheart Retro Series in iRacing continues as round 6 visits Brands Hatch for a tough and intense race.

The Lionheart Retro Series recently visited Brands Hatch in iRacing, as round 6 of the series tested many drivers to the limits, victory and the glory awaited for the GRAAFix Esports Brands Hatch Grand Prix presented by next level racing.

Written by Darren B of simrace247.com

Top 5 On The Grid

  1. #45 O’Brien: 1:14.549
  2. #68 Rasimas: +0.022
  3. #95 Otis: +0.053
  4. # Taylor: +0.163
  5. #99 Sirois: +0.267

Another packed grid of 33 cars as we get underway for the formation lap at Brands Hatch. Here we go, pedal to the metal and green flag, what a great track for these cars and drivers as 54 laps of racing awaits. A clean opening lap for everyone except Rodriguez and Holmes, with O’Brien leading the field. Rasimas is sticking with O’Brien as they breach a gap to Otis in third, Ragan has moved up to fifth. Gabe Wood gets a touch of understeer, and visits off track limits but rejoins safely. Young takes a trip down pit lane, with possible damage from the opening laps.

We are starting to see packs of cars spread out throughout the field as the drivers muscle their way for track position and the tarmac, Lanini in P19 goes for the send on Valenzuela and visits the gravel trap, but manages to crawl it back onto the racetrack. Many drivers are getting caught out by the track, the technical areas are really testing the drivers to the maximum.

Top 10 On Lap 10

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

O’Brien continues to lead the field, with Rasimas in good contention 0.6 seconds behind. Valiokas sends the car backwards into T1 on lap 11 after clipping the grass on entry, he was having a great race thus far. Fortunately, he manages to get the car going again and back on track in P12. Anzaldo locks up the brakes going into T1, along with Wood who gets caught out and goes off the track. Hotham is another driver that Brands Hatch punishes as he clips the grass and gets wrecked. This track is fast and flowing, you need to be on your A game at every moment as it will bite you hard. Sirois is on the move and slips up into P5.

Rasimas is pushing hard to try and keep up with O’Brien who is trying to break him by pulling out his lead. Otis is keeping the pressure on Rasimas with Taylor in the popcorn seat. Calisto spins out in the final turn as he just clips the grass, Anzaldo in a separate incident is being punished hard by the track as he spins around. Fowler goes for a big send on Ragan and takes P6, full commitment with the door left open. Rasimas has got the hammer down as he sets the quickest lap of the race on lap 23, the top 4 is covered by 1.5 seconds, this is going to get spicy. At the end of lap 23, Rasimas, Sirois and Guyon pit in, whilst the other front runners stay out. O’Brien and Otis box in at the end of lap 24 with the majority of the top 10 coming in, Taylor leads, fowler stays out and is in P2.

Rasimas is coming down the start finish straight as O’Brien and Otis exit the pits, O’Brien is ahead, but it’s going to be tight with Otis as Rasimas is on warmed up tires and they are side by side into T1. Otis is holding the inside for T2 and they are dueling, but Rasimas has the grip and line for T3, he makes the move and takes P2. O’Brien now has a 2 second lead, the former front runners that stayed out box in.

Lap 27 Top 10

  1. O’Brien
  2. Rasimas
  3. Otis
  4. Taylor
  5. Sirois
  6. Fowler
  7. Hearn
  8. Valiokas
  9. Guyon
  10. Frazier

After that enthralling pit stop phase, O’Brien has gained by extending the gap out front. At the moment he is picking off the lapped cars at ideal points on the track that is working in his favor. Rasimas and Otis are still in close contention, will they work together to not hold eachother up and hunt down O’Brien. Sirois is trying everything to keep in touch with Taylor in P4, with Fowler applying pressure to Sirois, 1st to fifth is now covered by 11 seconds. Fowler loses control of the car as he was hunting down Sirois on lap 35, Valiokas is now on the back of Fowler after he rejoins. The pendulum of Brands Hatch swings again, O’Brien is in the groove, and he is now 3 seconds in the lead, Valiokas pits in, and avoids the spinning car of Frazier back out on track. O’Brien pits in.

Otis boxes in at the end of lap 40, he must be happy with that phase of the race and staying in contention with Rasimas, Otis comes out of pitlane and is behind O’Brien. Rasimas continues to stay out as Sirois gets past Taylor. Rasimas comes down pit road at the end of lap 41, where is O’Brien on the track, Rasimas exits and is ahead of O’Brien, he must of set some thunderous laps before coming in to get out ahead of O’Brien, its on!

Let’s see how good he is on cold tires as O’Brien is up to speed, lapped cars move out the way as they will not want to get caught up in this. Rasimas and O’Brien are pushing hard and trying to break eachother with 10 laps to go. Rasimas has a slight edge of speed, is O’Brien saving something in reserve? because Rasimas is flying, Sirois and Taylor are out front but, they surely cannot stretch the fuel. O’Brien is pushing hard as he locks up going into T2, Sirois pits in with 8 to go, Taylor stays out for one more lap and then comes in.

Lap 48 Top 10

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

As we enter the final few laps, we have seen a tough race for many, not many crashes but more the track catching the drivers out. Rasimas just needs to keep his cool, Hearn is in the pits and has a penalty, he made a great recovery from going off earlier. Otis is trying everything to catch O’Brien, its under 1 second and Otis senses an opportunity, will the lapped cars play their part in this? 2 laps to go and Otis is pushing really hard, O’Brien may just have this covered, as O’Brien is pushing hard, he is gaining on Rasimas, its the final lap, it’s not over yet until the flag….the pressure mounts. O’Brien is closing in fast on the leader, can he, will he?

 

Victory In the GRAAFix Esports Brands Hatch Grand Prix 

After a great race, strategy and fighting off to the end, Mike Rasimas has won, using every drop of fuel to cross the line. Speaking in HyperX victory lane ” I’m just relieved about that one, that was pretty difficult”. Not only that he complimented the drivers of O’Brien, Otis and Taylor as “Really fast”, signaling that they were keeping him on his toes.

Top 10 Finishers

Finish

Team

Driver

Start

Laps

Interval

Laps Led

Inc

Pts

Bonuses/Penalties

1 #68-GRAAFix LC Motorsports
 Mike Rasimas
2 54 11 0 62
(+1) Led a lap
(+1) 0 or less Incidents
2 #45-Mad Werx Motorsports
 Michael A O’Brien
1 54 -0.322 35 2 57
(+1) Start on overall pole
(+1) Led a lap
3 #95-Independent
 Ryan Otis
3 54 -1.553 0 1 50
4 #99-Raven Lavoie Motorsports
 David Sirois
5 54 -11.101 6 0 49
(+1) Led a lap
(+1) 0 or less Incidents
5 #8-Mad Werx Motorsports
 Matt Taylor
4 54 -15.041 2 8 46
(+1) Led a lap
6 #20-Mad Werx Motorsports
 Chris Fowler
8 54 -26.444 0 9 43
7 #23-RSR By ButtKicker
 Marius Valiokas
6 54 -29.934 0 2 41
8 #08-Raven Lavoie Motorsports
 Alex Guyon
12 54 -37.666 0 1 39
9 #9-Raven Motorsports Silver
 Dustin Wardlow
16 54 -1:01.342 0 5 37
10 #70-Elite West Racing
 Richard Hearn
9 54 -1:11.523 0 4 35