• Justin Prince

Drivers to host charity race with Lotus 79s at Daytona


Photo Credit: Tyler Graaf


A group of drivers from the Lionheart Racing Series will be hosting a charity event at the virtual high banks of Daytona.


Tyler Graaf, Marc Cohn and Jason Galvin announced on May 4 they would be holding a 250-mile race on June 9 with the Lotus 79s at iRacing’s 2007 version of the Daytona International Speedway in support of Thumbs Up, Cancer Down.


To enter, drivers must submit a $15 or more donation to the charity. All the proceeds will go directly to TUCD. Prizes will also be awarded to the person who makes the largest donation and to the race winner.


The event opened to Lionheart members on April 28 and has raised more than $500 so far.


Galvin said several others, including Dewar's Ice Cream and Fine Candies and Scott Rupp at Midwest Simulations have also come on board to support the event.


“Everyone at Thumbs Up, Cancer Down is excited for this event and thankful that Marc and Tyler got together, had this vision and were able to make it a reality,” said Galvin, who is a member on the charity’s board of directors. “The early entries and donations raised so far have been wonderful. Racing has been a great avenue to expand awareness for what we do at Thumbs Up, Cancer Down, and everyone is humbled by the way the racing community, both in real cars and the sim world, have taken to what we do and support it.”


The race will utilize fixed setups built by Mike Rasimas. Drivers will have no fast repairs available for the 100-lap event.


Up to 40 drivers will be able to compete in the main event. If there are more than 40 entries, the top 30 competitors would be locked in on time while the rest of the field would compete in a 20-lap sprint race.


Cohn and Graaf both said they expect two and three-wide racing for the event with the cars running close to 200 MPH.


“Daytona 07 is a tough, bumpy track that tests the best of drivers and cars. The Lotus 79 on an oval is a machine that you have to respect as it has its quirks,” said Cohn. “Both of these combined tested extremely well, enough to the point where we felt this car and track combination would be an absolute delight to the racers and viewers.”


TUCD is a charity which helps those battling cancer. They encourage people around the world using thumbs up images shared around the world. The charity also provides care packages, called Power Up Packs, to provide comfort to people during treatment.


Cohn, who has been driving with the charity on his cars for more than a year, said he wanted to come up with a way to support them. He eventually had the idea to run the Lotus 79 at the legacy version of the two-point-mile superspeedway.


“Marc mentioned the idea for this a few weeks back and then threw up a test session for the setup. Once we drafted around a bit, it seemed like it was gonna be a pack race in a “retro indycar” and it just seemed fun,” said Graaf, who is working on the artwork for the event. “Marc’s vision for the event paired with my resources to promote and make it look good made the perfect event to present to Jason.”


Cohn said he is very excited about seeing the event come to fruition.


“What I do for a living involves helping those in need,” said Cohn, who is a special needs mentor. “TUCD does so much for those battling cancer and I really wanted to do something to give back to them. I'm hoping we can raise a good chunk of money through this event to help this amazing organization.”


Galvin said he is excited about the racing for the event.


“Old Daytona with the bumps is a tough track, and combined with the car selection, I don't think it's going to be super easy. That's the point.” said Galvin. “There's some great talent already signed up and we anticipate more coming forward as well and getting involved, so I'd expect a tight race.”


The race will take place at 10:15 p.m. ET. RaceSpot TV will have live coverage of the event.


To register, go to: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc1jzpbarfEf65p2-snuQqvNs_kMAY1GX8bJskLy8zmFruh3w/viewform?fbclid=IwAR1xJ4_gIY6bJwv9SmR4OxX8dnJtXAKF5ZxjyzQuyLb2SD4iQemYufCIZbw&fbclid=IwAR2TpBgnibpd8p0LBC__Jeeef0EMxwdrfbVAY1EDKO2aRMPFCC8bK_RHTq0



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