His fellow countryman Joshua Rogers claimed his 20th individual ESL R1 victory on the new simulation platform “Rennsport” in the quarter-finals. Like his teammates Mitchell deJong and Mack Bakkum, however, he missed out on making it into the final round with the best twelve. Porsche Coanda Esports Racing has further reduced the gap to the runner-up in the team standings after this season’s fifth of eight rounds.
The second half of the ESL R1 Fall Series on the simulation platform “Rennsport” got underway in the virtual Royal Park of Monza. On Thursday, things went well for the four Porsche Coanda Esports Racing factory drivers on the 5.793-kilometre Autodromo Nazionale. Australian Joshua Rogers secured his 20th ESL R1 race win in the quarter-finals. His teammate Dayne Warren netted fifth place in his “knockout” race. Mitchell deJong from the USA finished the third nine-lap race in fourth place. The recently recovered Mack Bakkum had a special surprise in store: After winning the qualifying, the Dutchman celebrated a commanding comeback with a second-place finish following an injury. This meant that the Coanda-sim racer-quartet all entered the semi-finals in their digital 911 GT3 R race cars. Team Heroic also made it into the top-24 round with the Porsche cars driven by Finland’s Tuomas Tähtelä and Norway’s Tommy Östgaard.
The first semi-finals in the “Temple of Speed” ended with second place for Warren ahead of Tähtelä. Heading into the race from pole position he held the lead for a long stint, however, on the penultimate lap, Irishman Daire McCormack (Williams Esports) took advantage of the slipstream on the long start-finish straight and squeezed past. Starting the race from P7, Rogers got caught up in the chaos of the pack in the Variant della Roggia and throughout the first lap. In the process, he lost two positions. He crossed the finish line in seventh place and missed out on his chance to enter the final.
The same fate awaited deJong and Bakkum in the second semi-final. The Dutchman started from ninth on the grid behind Östgaard, while deJong was forced into a last-place finish due to a “slowdown” penalty. During the race, the US driver managed to work his way up to P7 thanks to a strong recovery, but without the slipstream of a car in front of him, he wasn’t able to make any further improvements. Ultimately, Bakkum finished tenth and Östgaard twelfth.
As the only Porsche Coanda driver in the final, Dayne Warren found himself in a promising position: With a lap time of 1:46.013 minutes, he again dominated the qualifying. In the race, the Australian also won the sprint to the first corner. In lap three, however, he had no chance against Jiri Toman (R8G Esports). Coming into the first chicane, the Czech attacked from the slipstream. Two laps later, Britain’s Jamie Fluke (Apex Racing Team) made the same move, with Daire McCormack then squeezing past in the Variant della Roggia. Warren saw the chequered flag in fourth, with Tuomas Tähtelä finishing seventh. With this result, the Australian advanced to eighth place in the drivers’ standings, Joshua Rogers now ranks fifth in the championship.
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.
Impressions after the race
Nina Braack (Head of Esports at Porsche Motorsport): “Thursday was very successful for us as our four Esports factory drivers made it through to the next round. Mack Bakkum had a fantastic comeback after his back injury with a mega-qualifying lap. On Friday, we weren’t able to bring our performance to the track like we did in the semi-finals. A few incidents in his heat prevented Josh from competing at the front. But Dayne Warren was able to score important points for us in the final. Now we have a two-week break, after that, we’re back in full action.”
Jörn Jens (D, Team Manager Porsche Coanda Esports Racing): “Thursday went really well for us in terms of performance, placings and points. Mack Bakkum took his first pole position in the ESL R1 series, which was also great for our championship standings. In the semi-final and then in the final, only Dayne Warren really managed to perform to his full potential. We struggled a bit in the races because it felt like the other cars were a touch stronger than us. Nevertheless, we scored good points.”
Dayne Warren (AUS, Porsche Coanda Esports Racing): “I’m quite pleased with the result. The semi-final went pretty well for me. I won the qualifying with a clean lap. Unfortunately, I was ‘only’ second in the race because my tyres were deteriorating. The final was essentially a repeat: I started from pole position again. Maybe we were a bit too cautious. We could’ve done better than fourth place.”
Results and standings
Monza (I), result of the final
1. Jiri Toman, Audi R8 LMS GT3 evo II (CZ, R8G Esports)
2. Jamie Fluke, Mercedes-AMG (UK, Apex Racing Team)
3. Daire McCormack, Mercedes-AMG (IRL, Williams Esports)
4. Dayne Warren, Porsche 911 GT3 R (AUS, Porsche Coanda Esports Racing)
5. Kevin Siggy, BMW M4 GT3 (SLO, Redline)
6. James Baldwin, Mercedes-AMG (UK, Mercedes AMG)
Drivers’ standings after 5 of 8 rounds
1. Sebastian Job (UK, G2 Esports), 287 points
2. Jiri Toman (CZ, R8G Esports), 264 points
3. Daire McCormack (IRL, Williams Esports), 256 points
4. Maximilian Benecke (D, Mouz), 225 points
5. Joshua Rogers (AUS, Porsche Coanda Esports Racing), 224 points
6. Martin Csincsik (CZ, R8G Esports), 209 points
8. Dayne Warren (AUS, Porsche Coanda Esports Racing), 172 points
22. Mitchell deJong (USA, Porsche Coanda Esports Racing), 74 points
26. Mack Bakkum (NL, Porsche Coanda Esports Racing), 51 points
Team standings after 5 of 8 rounds
1. R8G Esports, 736 points
2. Wiliams Esports, 537 points
3. Porsche Coanda Esports Racing, 524 points
4. G2 Esports, 444 points
Vollständige Ergebnisse und alle Tabellenstände:
Calendar 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. Round 6 (tbd)
2/3.11. Round 7 (tbd)
9/10.11. Round 8 (tbd)
24.11. Major-Finale Jönköping (S)