Lionheart IndyCar Series iRacing Watkins Glen Report

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The 2022 Lionheart IndyCar Series in iRacing continues as round 7 visits Watkins Glen for a super showdown, what a race!

The Lionheart Indycar Series recently visited Watkins Glen in iRacing, round 7 of the series produced one of the greatest races of the season so far, this is one for the history books. The ButtKicker Grand Prix of Watkins Glen presented by Simrace247 had it all.

Written by Darren B of simrace247.com

Top 5 On The Grid

  1. #19 P.Kraus: 1.25.935
  2. #96 Van De Sandt: +0.009
  3. #79 Carey: +0.042
  4. #95 Otis: +0.054
  5. #8 Taylor: +0.074
  6. #1 Blocker: +0.081

Here we go for round 7, another packed lineup of 37 cars are ready to race at the Glen. The pace car controls the field for the rolling start and we are racing for 37 laps. A good start by all in the first few turns and then a dramatic pile up of cars, yellow flag! Harrington got a great start for the race and managed to leapfrog up some positions,  by the time we get to the  straight, Harrington gets squeezed along side Van De Sandt sending him into the barrier and coming across the track, somehow many cars avoided, but the carnage still claimed many.

The start of lap 4 gets us back under green flag racing, Kraus leads, Otis makes his move up to P2 passing Van de Sandt. The nerves have settled for many as we start to get up to speed of the opening lap incident, Van de Sandt fights back on Otis for P2 and makes it stick. Kraus is in fine form of late, and so far he continues to stamp his authority on the track. Van de Sandt senses Kraus is trying to break away and sets some great sector times to catch up.

Tyler Graaf makes an impressive save at the start of lap 7 after being tagged from behind by M.kraus on the start/finish straight, whilst he works his way back up the hill, the damage from that incident shows it ugly head and sends his car into a partial spin, with skill, Graaf manages to keep it off the wall and away from other cars and drags the car back to the pits. Meanwhile, Otis is fending off Blocker for the P3 position, this one could go on for some time as both these drivers are very tenacious.

Lap 10 Top 10

  1. P. Kraus
  2. Van de Sandt
  3. Otis
  4. Blocker
  5. Chin
  6. Newsome
  7. Frazier
  8. Bomersbach
  9. Maleczka
  10. Morgan

Blocker goes for the pass on Otis, he gets it done, Chin is now on the tailpipes of Otis, it’s great to see Chin working his way back at the sharp end. Here he goes, push to pass and job done, Chin up to P4. Frazier has worked his way past Newsome for P6, and Van de Sandt has reeled in Kraus in out front, the gap is now half a second. Bomersbach and Maleczka are having a great tussle for P8, Morgan gets involved and sneaks up into P9, great stuff. Morgan keeps the momentum going and moves up to P8. Whilst we have been mentioning that Chin has moved up to P3, with a gap of 1.5 seconds to Van de Sandt ahead of him.

Van de Sandt is alongside Kraus as they enter the outer loop on lap 15, Kraus gives him the squeeze as he has the line for the next corner, this is going to unfold for many laps.  The top 3 pit in at the end of lap 15, Blocker remains out on track with clean air ahead of him as the majority of the field turns into pit road. Taylor, Beard and Branch also opt to stay out on track, Van de Sandt exits pit road ahead of Kraus, oh there are going to be fireworks. Let’s see what VDS has got now he is ahead of Kraus, does Kraus chase or preserve for now? Blocker, Taylor, Beard and Branch box in.

Disaster for Blocker as he has breached the speed limit on pit lane, he was doing so well up to this point. With Van de Sandt and Kraus out front, Chin is in a good position of P3, he has a gap to the two out front of 2.5 seconds allowing him to run his lines and with clean air, Otis is 3 seconds behind him in P4 with Newsome applying pressure, keep an eye on Joshua Chin.

Top 10 Lap 21

  1. Van de Sandt
  2. P.Kraus
  3. Chin
  4. Otis
  5. Newsome
  6. Morgan
  7. Frazier
  8. Maleczka
  9. Bombersbach
  10. Benci

The gap between the top 2 remains at half a second, Morgan is working his way up as he passes Newsome for P5, and 1 second splits 5th to 9th. Kraus is closing up to Van de Sandt, here comes the pressure, lets’s see what VDS is made of as we know Kraus is relentless, Bombersbach and Benci pit in. Here comes the attack from Kraus, he is prying for an opportunity, Van de Sandt keeps his cool with great track positioning and car management. Here comes Kraus again after getting a great run down the straight to the outer loop, holding the outside line to get a run, he makes it stick, Kraus takes the lead. Lap 27 and Kraus is trying to break the tow of Van de Sandt coming down to the outer loop, VDS is doing a stellar job by being in the dirty air of Kraus. Chin and Otis box in at the end of that lap, along with Morgan and Calisto.

Van de Sandt has got a great run on Kraus, they are on the straight to the outer loop on lap 28, this seems to be the favored passing area to line up a move by the drivers, side by side at the outer loop, VDS gets it done, they box in at the end of the lap, the race in pit road begins, as a large chunk of the top 10 follow suit. Van de Sandt exits ahead still, Kraus was noticeably slower in that stop. Van de Sandt has got the cookie jar and he is running away as quick as he can, he is nearly 2 seconds ahead of Kraus. Chin is 1. 2 seconds behind Kraus, does Kraus go for the charge on Van de Sandt or maintain and see off Chin to hold P2 with 8 to go?

Chin sets the fastest lap of the race, he is charging, Kraus is closing on to Van de Sandt out front. I will tell you now, we have seen some great driving by Kraus this season, but when he is on the back foot he is deadly, and no one can see it coming, Kraus is closing down the straight to the outer loop, the gap is down to 0.3. Five laps to go, here comes the push to pass from Kraus, he takes the lead. Van de Sandt is saving his push to pass, is he timing it for the end? he is staying with Kraus, exceptional driving. Chin remains in P3, sum 5 seconds behind the leaders and equal to Otis behind him.

3 laps to go and Van de Sandt is closing down the back straight, Kraus weaves across the track a few times, VDS sends it up the inside of the outer loop, what a move. After a great race for Newsome, she gets loose at the chute and goes off track, her car is still circulating. Here we go again down the back straight, VDS is leading and takes a defensive line, CONTACT! as they slam the sidewall of the tires on each other, Kraus goes wide and loses momentum.

There must be thunder and lightning bolts in the mind of Kraus, will he charge down Van de Sandt, the last lap is coming up, the gap,  0.6, he has halved the gap from the incident already. VDS  is still out front as they enter the outer loop, Kraus is closing, VDS gets a little slide going into the chute, Kraus is pushing hard, he slides in turn 8, the pressure is mounting for both of them, the last few corners, who gets it!

Victory In The Buttkicker Grand Prix of Watkins Glen

After a great race, and some brave and defensive driving, Alexander Van de Sandt withstood the pressure from Kraus to win the Grand Prix of Watkins Glen. Speaking in HyperX victory lane, Van de Sandt stepped up for his victory speech ” Im speechless, that was such a hard race, it the best I have ever driven and hoped everyone enjoyed it”. We certainly did here at simrace247, what a cracking race.

ROUND 7 – Watkins Glen – Classic Boot Course Top 10

Finish

Team

Driver

Start

Laps

Interval

Laps Led

Inc

Pts

Bonuses/Penalties

1 #96-Powerslide Adrenaline
 Alexander van de Sandt
2 37 17 4 61
(+1) Led a lap
2 #19-PRIVATE LABEL Team Hype
 Philip Kraus
1 37 -0.625 18 10 57
(+1) Start on overall pole
(+1) Led a lap
3 #93-PRIVATE LABEL Team Hype Purple
 Joshua Chin
9 37 -5.759 0 0 51
(+1) 0 or less Incidents
4 #95-Synergy Motorsports Silver
 Ryan Otis
4 37 -12.899 0 1 47
5 #12-Synergy Motorsports Black
 Adam Frazier
11 37 -20.338 0 11 45
6 #24-GRAAFix LPM
 Aaron Morgan
14 37 -22.925 0 6 43
7 #97-Synergy Motorsports Silver
 Lionel Calisto
36 37 -23.214 0 2 41
8 #29-Team RaceVerse
 Caleb Benci
22 37 -24.202 0 7 39
9 #8-Mad Werx Motorsports
 Matt Taylor
5 37 -25.841 1 9 38
(+1) Led a lap
10 #37-Ascari Autosport
 Caeton Bomersbach
8 37 -26.487 0 0 36
(+1) 0 or less Incidents

 

 

 

 

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