October 26th, 2018 by Jason Galvin
Sage Karam has spent the better part of five season working towards his first win in the Verizon IndyCar Series.
It took two weeks to capture his first win in the Lionheart Racing Series.
Karam took advantage of a late race pit stop by Alex Saunders, capturing the lead with three laps remaining and winning the Skidmark Motorsports Grand Prix of Canada Thursday night in the Lionheart Retro Series presented by HPP Simulation.
“Alex went off the track towards the end, and that was all I needed,” Karam said. “I saw that and figured I’d pit early for clear track, and it worked out. I was able to close the gap and get out in front after the last stop.”
Karam, the five-time Indianapolis 500 starter, battled in his series debut at Gateway Motorsports Park before being eliminated in a mid-race wreck.
But on the streets of Montreal, Karam was avoided trouble and was flawless, keeping the pressure on Saunders and Adam Blocker throughout the event.
When the championship contenders hit pit road with four laps remaining, Karam turned on the jets, sneaking past Saunders and holding the road course ace off over the final three laps at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
“That was definitely a fun race,” Karam said. “I learned I need to practice more. I maybe did ten laps before qualifying, but as the race went on I figured out the track a lot more. I put my best lap in at the end of the race.”
Saunders felt like he let one get away, and declined a post race interview.
Blocker was a distant third, finishing ten seconds back after the final stop.
“I made a mistake and cut the chicane, and Sage dive bombed me at one point,” Blocker said. “Alex made that error which minimized a bad day for me, so it’s still a good day in the points.”
Andrew Kinsella came home fourth, with Marc Cohn capturing his first series top five in fifth.
Blocker’s lead slipped to 18 points with two races remaining in the season. Dustin Wardlow fell to 101 points out of the lead following a disappointing sixth place finish after early damage.
The pass for the lead was the only change up front, as 15 of the 21 starters finished the event.
The penultimate race of the season is set to take place Thursday, November 1, at Road America. The LPM Grand Prix of Road America can be seen live on the iRacing eSports Network presented by Global SimRacing Channel at 10:35 p.m. EST.