Porsche Coanda works driver Joshua Rogers finishes on the podium

With third place in the final race of the fourth round of the ESL R1 Fall Series, Joshua Rogers has made a significant leap forward at the halfway point of the sim racing championship. The Australian advanced to third place in the standings at the helm of the digital Porsche 911 GT3 R. 

His teammates Mitchell deJong and Dayne Warren had also qualified for the semi-finals in the heats on the new simulation platform “Rennsport”. Thanks to this result, Porsche Coanda held onto its third position in the team standings.

The virtual version of the Nürburgring served as the digital stage for round four of eight in the ESL R1 Autumn Series on the “Rennsport” simulation platform. The Porsche Coanda Esports Racing works team tackled the so-called “knockout” races on Thursday with three familiar drivers and one newcomer: substitute Charlie Collins from Wales stepped in for the injured Dutchman Mack Bakkum. American Mitchell deJong finished fourth in his heat and Australia’s Dayne Warren and Joshua Rogers, who both finished second in their races, advanced to the semi-finals. Collins, in ninth place, missed out on a top-six result and could not progress to the next round.

Mitchell deJong (USA), Joshua Rogers (AUS), Charlie Collins (UK), Dayne Warren (AUS), Porsche Coanda Esports Racing Team, Porsche 911 GT3 R, Nürburgring (D), Esports ESL_R1, 2023, Porsche AG

The first semi-final on the 5.148-kilometre Grand Prix circuit ended in disappointment on Friday: birthday boy Warren and deJong started, and finished, the eight-lap race in ninth and tenth on the grid. This marked the end of their race day. Things went better for Rogers in the second semi-final. He took off from fifth place, returned from the first lap in fourth position and continued to fight his way up to third place.

In qualifying for the final, Rogers turned the second-fastest lap, which handed him a very strong starting position. While poleman Nikodem Wisniewski from Poland (Williams Esports) took the lead off the line, championship leader Max Benecke from Germany (Mouz) slipped past the Australian in the Arena passage. This developed into a thrilling four-way fight for victory, in which Britain’s Luke Bennett (Team Redline) was also involved. In the end, the order remained unchanged until the chequered flag. With this result, Rogers moved up to third place in the drivers’ standings, while Porsche Coanda Esports Racing maintained its third position in the team championship.

Mitchell deJong (USA), Joshua Rogers (AUS), Charlie Collins (UK), Dayne Warren (AUS), Porsche Coanda Esports Racing Team, Porsche 911 GT3 R, Nürburgring (D), Esports ESL_R1, 2023, Porsche AG

Like the inaugural ESL R1 series in spring, eight heats are initially scheduled in the autumn championship until 11 November. The Major Final will take place two weeks later in Jönköping, Sweden. Prize money of 40,000 US dollars awaits both the winners in the team and drivers’ standings.

Comments after the race

Nina Braack (Head of Esports at Porsche Motorsport): “Due to Mack Bakkum’s injury and resulting absence, we had to nominate Charlie Collins as a substitute driver at short notice. It was his first ESL R1 race and he gained invaluable experience. We’re not completely satisfied with the overall result, but with third place Joshua Rogers has brought home important points.”

Jörn Jens (D, Team Manager Porsche Coanda Esports Racing): “Thursday went really well with a fourth place and two second places. We threw our substitute driver Charlie Collins in the deep end a bit with only two days’ notice. Joshua Rogers managed to qualify for the final. We can live with his third place in the race.”

Joshua Rogers (AUS, Porsche Coanda Esports Racing): “All in all, it was a good day for me. I made it to the final again, which I’m happy about. Unfortunately, I lost a position in the first corner. Overtaking was very difficult, even though we had the performance. Third place is fine because it yields us valuable points.”

Results and standings

Nürburgring (D), result of the final
1. Nikodem Wisniewski, Mercedes-AMG (PL, Williams Esports)
2. Maximilian Benecke, Audi R8 LMS GT3 evo II (D, Mouz)
3. Joshua Rogers, Porsche 911 GT3 R (AUS, Porsche Coanda Esports Racing)
4. Luke Bennett, BMW M4 GT3 (UK, Team Redline)
5. Sebastian Job, BMW M4 GT3 (UK, G2 Esports)
6. Martin Csincsik, Audi R8 LMS GT3 evo II (CZ, R8G Esports)

Drivers’ standings after 4 of 8 rounds
1. Sebastian Job (UK, G2 Esports), 230 points
2. Maximilian Benecke (D, Mouz), 224 points
3. Joshua Rogers (AUS, Porsche Coanda Esports Racing), 193 points 
4. Jiri Toman (CZ, R8G Esport), 193 points
5. Martin Csincsik (CZ, R8G Esports), 186 points
6. Daire McCormack (IRL, Williams Esports), 185 points
11. Dayne Warren (AUS, Porsche Coanda Esports Racing), 124 points
21. Mitchell deJong (USA, Porsche Coanda Esports Racing), 55 points

Team standings after 4 of 8 rounds
1. R8G Esports, 630 points 
2. Wiliams Esports, 426 points
3. Porsche Coanda Esports Racing, 404 points
4. G2 Esports, 373 points

Full results and all points standings:

2023 ESL R1 autumn series

31.8/1.9 Monza (I)
7/8.9 Spa-Francorchamps (B)
21/22.9 Hockenheim (D)
28/29.9 Nürburgring (D)
5/6.10 Monza (I)
28/27.10 Race 6 (tbd)
2/3.11 Race 7 (tbd)
9/10.11 Race 8 (tbd)
24.11 Major Finale Jönköping (S)

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