The British driver from the Red Bull Racing Esports team demonstrated his extensive experience in both the sprint and the main race on the 7.004-kilometre Grand Prix circuit in Spa-Francorchamps and harvested almost the maximum number of points. After becoming entangled in another’s competitor’s collision in the sprint race, championship leader Joshua Rogers (Virtual Racing School) was unable to achieve better than 13th place in the main event. However, the Australian managed to defend his convincing lead in the global esports championship run on iRacing’s simulation platform.
Sprint race: Setbacks for Joshua Rogers and Mitchell DeJong
Rogers once again underlined his reputation as a qualifying ace and set pole position – albeit by a tiny advantage of just 0.001 seconds over his teammate DeJong. For the two Virtual Racing School drivers, however, all hopes for top results in the sprint race were dashed in the opening lap: the two digital Porsche 911 GT3 Cup driven by Sebastian Job and DeJong touched when braking for the slow Bruxelles corner. DeJong slid into the gravel, taking Rogers with him. The two points leaders rejoined the race at the back of the 40-strong field. Rogers took the flag in 26th, with DeJong finishing on 29th. These non-point-scoring positions determined their grid spots for the main event.
#PESC – Although only 26th/13th at #Porsche @TAGHeuer Esports Supercup @CircuitSpa, @JKRogers_92 is still overall leader. Top 5 before round 8 at #Nordschleife, 27 March:— Porsche Motorsport (@PorscheRaces) March 13, 2021
5⃣@Charlie02164905, 289 pic.twitter.com/Soybf9cARR
A lap later, Job had to relinquish his newly inherited lead to rookie Charlie Collins (Great Britain/Virtual Racing School), but kept in close contact. In the final lap, Job swapped positions with Collins after a contact and won the sprint race. Third place went to Alejandro Sánchez (Spain/MSI eSports) ahead of Frenchman Jeremy Bouteloup (Coanda Simsport), Dayne Warren from Australia (LEGO Technic Esports Team) and Ayhancan Güven (Virtual Racing School). The Porsche Junior from Turkey, who also contests the real-life Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, celebrated his best PESC result so far with sixth place.
Main race: Sebastian Job demonstrates his extensive experience
Two major collisions approaching Les Combes shortly after the start of the 12-lap main race threw the field into disarray. Alejandro Sánchez and Sebastian Job benefited from the chaos, emerging from lap one running in first and second place. One lap later, the defending champion took the lead. Just before the end of the race, the Briton called on his wealth of experience and allowed his Spanish pursuer to overtake on the long Kemmel straight – only to catapult out of his rival’s slipstream a lap later at the same spot. Shortly before the flag, Sánchez attempted another do-or-die attack in the Bus Stop chicane, but could no longer halt Job’s charge to victory.
Third place went to Germany’s Maximilian Benecke (Team Redline), followed over the line by Tommy Östgaard (Norway/Coanda Simsport), Britain’s Charlie Collins (Virtual Racing School) and Zac Campbell from the USA (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Esports). Joshua Rogers fought his way up the order to 13th, while Mitchell DeJong had to settle 25th place, earning him just one point.
Thanks to his two victories, Sebastian Job has replaced Mitchell DeJong as number two in the drivers‘ championship rankings. Joshua Rogers remains at the top of the leaderboard. With 435 points, he holds a 99-point advantage after seven of ten race weekends of the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup.
Next up: the “Green Hell”
The eighth race weekend is one of the highlights on the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup calendar: On 27 March, the 40 virtual Porsche 911 GT3 Cup will tackle the Nürburgring. The sprint is contested over three laps of the more than 25-kilometre-long combination of the Nordschleife and the Grand Prix circuit, with the main event held over four laps. As a curtain-raiser, content creators from the world of esports will once again compete – with the digital version of the Porsche 911 RSR as a special treat. The iRacing action is streamed live via the Porsche channels on Twitch and YouTube.
Comments after the main race
Sebastian Job (GB/Red Bull Racing Esports): “I want to apologize to Charlie Collins – I missed my braking point in the sprint race and pushed him off the road. I’m pretty sure I’m getting a qualifying ban for the next round on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife. I can’t complain about that. At least, it makes the next race more fun, because I have to do some overtaking...”
Alejandro Sánchez (E/MSI eSports): “I’m really happy to get a double podium finish. I was lucky that I managed to avoid everybody during the first lap incident during the main race. Afterwards, it was all about getting away from the group together with Sebastian. With him, it was a really nice fight. I knew that he didn’t want to be first going into the last lap when he let me pass the lap before. I tried to disrupt him, but it didn’t work. I didn’t have much time to practice, so I have to thank my teammates at MSI eSports for finding a good setup for me.”
Maximilian Benecke (D/Team Redline): “After qualifying on 19th, I’m very pleased with third place in the main race – I made the most of the situation. Now I’m back within striking distance of a top-five spot in the championship. I’ll do my best to achieve another podium result this season. That would be great. Now I’m looking forward to the Nürburgring-Nordschleife.”
Spa-Francorchamps, sprint race
1. Sebastian Job (GB/Red Bull Racing Esports)
2. Charlie Collins (GB/Virtual Racing School)
3. Alejandro Sánchez (E/MSI eSports)
4. Jeremy Bouteloup (F/Coanda Simsport)
5. Dayne Warren (AUS/LEGO Technic Esports Team)
6. Ayhancan Güven (TR/Coanda Simsport)
Spa-Francorchamps, main race
1. Sebastian Job (GB/Red Bull Racing Esports)
2. Alejandro Sánchez (E/MSI eSports)
3. Maximilian Benecke (D/Team Redline)
4. Tommy Östgaard (N/Coanda Simsport)
5. Charlie Collins (GB/Virtual Racing School)
6. Zac Campbell (USA/Rahal Letterman Lanigan Esports)
Points’ standings after 7 of 10 championship rounds
1. Joshua Rogers (AUS/Virtual Racing School), 435 points
2. Sebastian Job (GB/Red Bull Racing Esports), 336 points
3. Mitchell deJong (USA/Virtual Racing School), 331 points
4. Kevin Ellis Jr. (GB/Rahal Letterman Lanigan Esports), 304 points
5. Charlie Collins (GB/Virtual Racing School), 289 points
6. Maximilian Benecke (D/Team Redline), 254 points
The ‘Ardennes rollercoaster’ of Spa-Francorchamps represents yet another spectacular Grand Prix circuit on the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup (PESC) programme.
The storied Belgian racetrack is one of the most demanding circuits on the global esports championship calendar and this event marks the seventh of ten rounds run on iRacing’s simulation platform. On the undulating 7.004-kilometre circuit, drivers face famous passages such as Eau Rouge/Raidillon, Blanchimont and La Source. The fast corner combinations, extreme compressions and tight hairpins demand not only top driving skills from the 40 sim racers but also a wealth of experience in setting up the digital Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars.
After six rounds, Joshua Rogers from the Virtual Racing School team holds a steady course for the crown. At the last race weekend on the virtual Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, the 2019 Australian PESC champion extended his overall lead. Thanks to his victory in the sprint race and seventh place in the main event, he increased his advantage over his American teammate Mitchell deJong by 87 points. Britain’s Kevin Ellis Jr. (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Esports) ranks third with 281 points. With 257 points to his credit, the reigning champion Sebastian Job still has a chance to defend his title. The Briton competes for the Red Bull Racing Esports squad.
#PESC - It's race week in the Porsche @TAGHeuer Esports Supercup. This Saturday (13 March), the virtual @circuitspa is the venue for round seven of the season on the @iRacing simulation platform#Porsche #911GT3Cup pic.twitter.com/Kf74gRhK0m— Porsche Motorsport (@PorscheRaces) March 8, 2021
On the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, 40 PESC sim racers contest a six-lap sprint race on Saturday from 20:15 (CET). The main event over twice the distance begins at 20:45. Round seven of the season also includes a free practice, qualifying and warm-up session. Fans can watch the iRacing events live on Porsche’s channels YouTube and Twitch channels.
Prior to this, well-known content creators from the world of Esports will showcase their skills as part of the programme. They will fight for victory for the first time this season with the Porsche 911 RSR. The live stream begins at 18:30 with the All-Star qualifying session. The two influencer races get the green light at 18:45 and 19:10 respectively.
The schedule (all times CET)
Saturday, 13 March
18:35 – 18:45: Qualifying All-Stars
18:45 – 19:00: Sprint race All-Stars
19:05 – 19:10: Warm-up All-Stars
19:10 – 19:30: Main race All-Stars
19:45 – 20:03: Free practice PESC
20:03 – 20:15: Qualifying PESC
20:15 – 20:32: Sprint race PESC
20:34 – 20:44: Warm-up PESC
20:45 – 21:15: Main race PESC
The 2021 racing calendar (number of laps sprint / main race)
|9 January 2021||Brazil: Interlagos (10/20 laps)|
|16 January 2021||
Spain: Barcelona (9/18 laps)
30 January 2021
|Italy: Imola (9/18 laps)|
|6 February 2021||Great Britain: Silverstone GP circuit (7/14 laps)|
|20 February 2021||
USA: Road Atlanta (10/20 laps)
|27 February 2021||
Canada: Montreal (10/20 laps)
|13 March 2021||
Belgium: Spa-Francorchamps (6/12 laps)
|27 March 2021||
Germany: Nürburgring Nordschleife, 24h version (3/4 laps)
|10 April 2021||
France: Le Mans (3/6 laps)
|24 April 2021||Italy: Monza (7/14 laps)|