In the penultimate round of the 2023 Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup season at the always exciting Circuit des 24 Heures du Mans, the race for the championship hit a boiling point when the championship leader Jordan Caruso was unable to cross the line on the final lap of the Feature. As Stormforce Racing ART’s Yohann Harth and Alejandro Sánchez came across the line for a 1-2 finish, Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports’ Sebastian Job was fighting to keep his championship hopes alive in a scrap against the points leader from Altus Esports. Caruso would not make it out of the Porsche Curves, and it resulted in a 25th place result. With Caruso only scoring 15 points through the Sprint and Feature races, both Job and Coanda Esports’ Zac Campbell are in the title conversation, 36 and 37 points behind Caruso, respectively. Sánchez also has an outside shot, 58 points behind.
The Supercup events started off with Diogo Pinto scoring the TAG Heuer Pole Award, his first of the season, as the Team Redline Red Bull-sponsored Porsche started on the front row alongside the bright yellow Stormforce Porsche of Sánchez. Job, from the third starting position, was able to work his way to the lead early. The battle for the top spot of the Sprint would ultimately come down to the dueling Red Bull cars from different organizations. On the final lap, Pinto managed to jump ahead, but Job would not be denied. A high-risk move on the outside allowed Job to recapture the lead and take the opening Sprint race win.
Harth wound up finishing in eighth in the Sprint, which vaulted him to the top spot for the feature alongside Caruso. The longer race gave teams the opportunity to strategize to get their way to the front. Job, Pinto, Caruso and Williams Esports’ Alessandro Bico would be at a disadvantage against the Coanda duo of Campbell and Charlie Collins and the Stormforce Racing ART trio of Harth, Sánchez and Salva Talens. Bico was able to grab the early lead off the start, but Harth and Collins were able to get it back. On the final lap, Harth and Sánchez found themselves in a position to work together, and they did just that. As Collins and Bico were alongside one another with no help behind, Harth pulled to the side to make it three-wide. Sánchez got to his bumper and pushed both by for a 1-2 finish.
Meanwhile, after Job and Caruso took themselves out of the conversation for the win the lap prior, neither was giving the other any room on the final lap. Job and Caruso would make some contact, but FYRA SimSports’ Mathias Stokbæk Jensen was also right in the thick of the battle and may have also gotten a piece. Either way, the championship is wide open with only one round left at Monza in two weeks as a result.
Surprisingly, the All-Stars seemed to have the more calm event this time around. Only 12 All-Stars made the trip to virtual France. Pablo “The Pulpo” López was the fastest in qualifying as the points leader Casey Kirwan failed to put a lap down, and started 11th. Kirwan’s Sprint went from bad to worse when he made contact with Lyubox “LoveFortySix” Ozeretskovskaya, crashing on a straightaway early on. Kirwan would not finish, and thus had the pole for the Feature after the invert.
Up front, López had his hands full with the defending All-Star champion, Tyson “Quirkitized” Meier. On the final lap of the Sprint, the two ran side-by-side into Indianapolis. Contact was made, and Quirk wound up on the better end of it as López wound up through the gravel.
Kirwan started off the feature in the lead with LoveFortySix alongside. They played nice through the opening corners, but Kirwan found himself having to dig out of another hole when he received a slow down penalty. The lead worked into the hands of Javier “Stradi” Soto, and then into the hands of Dan Suzuki. Kirwan would eventually figure it out, however. A pack of seven cars entered the final lap under a blanket, and it was Kirwan back out front of the fracas. As the field disintegrated behind him, Kirwan was able to cruise to yet another victory, his second Feature win and sixth total win on the season.
Kirwan officially wrapped up the championship with the win, sitting with 117 points over Meier with one event to go. The battle will be for second through fifth. The current Top 5 includes Meier, López, Emily “Emree” Jones and Suzuki. Xabier “Heikki360” Sanchez, Dave “Dave Cam” Cameron, Jaroslav “Jardier” Honzik, Christian “Keny 500” Ortega, Borja Zazo, Stradi, Oliver “Basic Ollie” Furnell and Matt Malone all have a mathematical shot at making the Top 5 by the end of Monza.
Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup feature results from Circuit des 24 Heures du Mans were as follows:
|7||7||1||Diogo C. Pinto||6||-2.659||0||3:58.153||50|
|9||14||92||Mathias Stokbæk Jensen||6||-4.653||0||3:57.482||31|
|27||29||27||Simone Maria Marcenò||1||DNF||0||———||0|
Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup points through nine rounds are as follows:
- Jordan Caruso, 464
- Sebastian Job, 428
- Zac Campbell, 427
- Alejandro Sanchez, 406
- Charlie Collins, 363
- Diogo Pinto, 358
- Alessandro Bico, 325
- Yohann Harth, 320
- Cooper Webster, 248
- Moreno Sirica, 227
There’s only one event left in the 2023 Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup season. The finale will take place at the Temple of Speed, the Autodromo Nazionale Monza. Coverage for the event will kick off on Saturday, June 3 at 18:00 GMT (2PM ET). The Porsche All-Stars will take the Porsche Mission R to the same track to conclude their season as well, and will kick the festivities off. After the All-Stars, the Supercup championship will be decided when the racing begins at 19:00 GMT (3PM ET).
For more information on the 2023 Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup season, visit www.iracing.com/pesc. For more information on iRacing and for special offers, visit www.iracing.com.