With this result, the Briton took the lead of the overall standings of the top series held on the iRacing platform. The reigning champion Diogo C. Pinto from Team Redline went home from the streets of the Californian port city empty-handed.
The two races on the 3.1-kilometre street circuit on the west coast of the USA delivered exciting duels and numerous accidents. In the sprint race over 13 laps, Simone Maria Marcenò from the Altus Esports squad secured a surprising victory ahead of teammate and pole setter Jordan Caruso. The Italian promptly pushed past the Australian at the start of the race and from then on, successfully defended his lead on the spectacular street circuit. Behind Caruso and Stormforce driver Alejandro Sanchez, the two British brothers Bryn and Charlie Collins scored important points for their VRS Coanda team. In the battle for eighth place, which meant pole position for the feature race, Bobby Zalenski (VRS Coanda) had luck on his side in a chaotic last lap plagued by many accidents.
However, the American was unable to enjoy the top spot in the race after 26 laps for long. After the race went green, the virtual Porsche 911 GT3 Cup went into a wheelspin. Zalinski slipped back to tenth position over the course of the first lap and lost his say in the fight for victory. The big beneficiary was Sebastian Job. The Briton controlled the top spot for 25 laps and only had to fend off attacks from his pursuers in the very last lap. With success: the champion of the 2020 Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup finally celebrated his first win of the season.
Behind him, Apex Racing Team’s Yohann Harth had initially led a spirited pack of pursuers. The Frenchman had to keep an eye on his rear-view mirrors at all times as he chased the leader Sebastian Job. Shortly before the halfway point of the feature race, a minor error on the narrow circuit featuring eleven turns proved to be his undoing: Charlie Collins overtook first, followed shortly afterwards by Jordan Caruso and the Australian Cooper Webster (Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports). Harth had to settle for fifth place. Bad luck plagued the former championship leader Diogo C. Pinto (Team Redline). The reigning champion’s Porsche 911 GT3 Cup was shunted hard in the sprint race and landed on its roof. The Portuguese dropped to the back of the field and was classified 18th in the feature race. Pinto now sits in third place in the overall standings behind Charlie Collins and Jordan Caruso, Sebastian Job is the new fourth.
Content creators clash in heated duels in the All-Stars competition
Guest entrant Laurin Heinrich and Esport professional Casey Kirwan clearly left their mark on the All-Stars sprint race. The American had secured pole position by a razor-thin margin ahead of the German Porsche Junior of 2022, but Heinrich made a blistering start off the line and catapulted past him in his No. 911 vehicle. Kirwan then pursued the future DTM driver like a shadow and attacked in the very last corner – in vain. The American sim racer collided with Heinrich, who eventually crossed the finish line 1.5 seconds ahead of Kirwan, with third place going to Oliver “Basic Ollie” Furnell.
As usual, the Allstars feature race was started in reverse order of the sprint result. Dave “Davecam” Cameron and Javier “Stradi” Soto shared the front row, while Laurin Heinrich and Casey Kirwan had to start the 20-lap race from the very back. The duo, who were so successful in the sprint, and Cameron put on a thrilling show all the way to the finish line. Heinrich and Kirwan systematically worked their way through the field on the narrow street circuit just outside Los Angeles and ran down the leading Brit “Davecam” with four laps to go. The content creator defended himself well, with the two chasers failing to find an opportunity to pass. In a final attack on the last lap, the three virtual Porsche 911 GT3 R cars accelerated wheel to wheel onto the start-finish straight: Dave “Davecam” Cameron took the flag first, behind him Laurin Heinrich clinched second in a photo finish just ahead of Casey Kirwan.
From California to Texas: Race 4 is contested in Austin
The Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup makes another virtual trip to the USA in exactly two weeks. On March 18, the fourth event of the 2023 season will be held at the Circuit of The Americas near the Texas capital of Austin. The sprint race on the 5.516-kilometre Formula 1 circuit runs over eight laps, while the feature race held over twice the distance. For the first time this season, the All-Stars will be in the cockpit of the virtual version of the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport.
Comments on the race
Sebastian Job (UK/Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports): “Quite honestly, I was pretty lucky today. The pace was clearly not there. I could count myself lucky with seventh place in qualifying. In the chaotic first lap, I managed to put in a downright lucky lap in the first race – and was able to maintain the position. In the main race, I simply had to force the car through the laps. That was extremely difficult. The pace just wasn’t what I wanted – and unfortunately, that’s been the case in every race so far this season. I’ve made some progress, but there’s still a lot of work ahead of me to get up to speed.”
Charlie Collins (UK/VRS Coanda): “It feels like a victory. Going into this race I had very little confidence. That’s because we discovered during testing that we might not be so fast, so I’m happy with how it went. On top of this, I saw a lot of cars in the rear-view mirror that unfortunately got into trouble.”
Jordan Caruso (AUS/Altus Esports): “My second pole position was a great success. I really managed to put in a great lap. After second place in the sprint, I was also able to position myself well ahead in the feature event. That was really fun. At first, Yohann was pretty fast in front of us, but when Charlie squeezed past, I was able to follow. That was brilliant. Unfortunately, I hit someone at the beginning of the race. A car in front of me braked earlier than expected and I couldn’t avoid it. I was very sorry about that. But afterwards, I simply had to put it behind me. We’ve been working hard for months. It’s great that our work is now paying off.”
Long Beach, sprint race
1. Simone Maria Marcenò (I/Altus Esports)
2. Jordan Caruso (AUS/Altus Esports)
3. Alejandro Sanchez (E/Stormforce Racing ART)
4. Bryn Collins (UK/VRS Coanda)
5. Charlie Collins (UK/VRS Coanda)
Long Beach, feature race
1. Sebastian Job (UK/Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports)
2. Charlie Collins (UK/VRS Coanda)
3. Jordan Caruso (AUS/Altus Esports)
4. Cooper Webster (AUS/Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports)
5. Yohann Harth (F/Stormforce Racing ART)
Overall standings after 3 of 10 rounds
1. Charlie Collins (UK/VRS Coanda), 197 points
2. Jordan Caruso (AUS/Altus Esports), 194 points
3. Diogo C. Pinto (P/Team Redline), 146 points
4. Sebastian Job (UK/Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports), 146 points
5. Cooper Webster (AUS/Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports), 120 points