The sprint race was won by Sebastian Ariel, who thus celebrated his second consecutive victory after his success in Austria a week ago. Jordan Caruso, meanwhile, clearly extended his lead in the standings with third place in the sprint race and eighth in the feature race. Employing clever tactics and perfect teamwork, the American Zac Campbell, Welshman Bryn Collins and Bobby Zalenski, also from the United States, handed their VRS Coanda team a triple victory at Watkins Glen. With third place in the sprint and eighth in the feature race, Jordan Caruso can also feel like a winner of the seventh round of the TAG Heuer Esports Supercup season: The Australian from Altus Esports extended his lead in the standings with four events to go. With 348 points, he now holds a 58-point lead over defending champion Diogo C. Pinto (Team Redline, 290 points) from Portugal and VRS Coanda driver Charlie Collins from Wales (286). Both failed to score points in the sprint and finished the feature race outside the top ten.
Behind the fastest qualifier, Sebastian Job (UK) of Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports, both Charlie Collins in third and Pinto in fifth lined up on the grid for the sprint race ahead of Caruso, who started the eleven-lap race from position six. Collins dropped to the back of the field on the first lap after contact with Pinto, while the Portuguese initially managed to stay in the highly competitive leading group. In the very last lap, however, Pinto collided with the leading Job. Brazilian Sebastian Ariel (TXC Racing by TK) inherited the front spot and secured victory ahead of Job and Campbell.
Eighth place in the sprint event meant that Alejandro Sanchez (SDK Gaming) started the 22-lap feature race from position one. After only a few kilometres, however, he had to let Campbell and Bryn Collins pass, with Zalenski initially remaining in fourth position. After ten laps, Campbell maintained a seemingly comfortable lead of 1.7 seconds. Meanwhile, championship leader Caruso in seventh place chased down the leading pack – well aware that Pinto (18th) and Charlie Collins (19th), his closest rivals, would lose valuable ground in the title fight.
At the start of the final lap, a mere 1.3 seconds separated the first eight cars. While Job, in second place, still held hopes of winning at this point, he ultimately had to admit defeat to the slick teamwork of the VRS Coanda drivers. Bryn Collins and Zalenski also got past Job in the final two corners, after Job struggled with oversteer in the turn coming onto the home straight. He ultimately took the flag in seventh place.
Kirwan wins All-Stars sprint race, “Keny500” dominates feature race
After the 14-lap All-Star sprint race, Casey Kirwan was once again celebrated as the winner. Starting from pole position, the American had to fend off fierce attacks from Dave Cameron (UK) over the entire distance, but in the end, Cameron was unable to find a way past the current points’ leader. Tony Kanaan from Brazil pocketed the remaining podium spot. In the 22-lap feature race, Lyubov Ozeretskovskaya was catapulted from the front of the grid to quickly pull away from the field. “LoveFortySixty” also benefited from a pile-up in the first lap.
With seven laps to go, a fleet of ten Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 CS spearheaded by Tyson “Quirkitized” Meier came together in formation. On the fourth to last lap, however, another collision knocked the leading quartet, including Kirwan and Xabier Sanchez, off the track. Christian “Keny500” Ortega profited from this. The Spaniard claimed victory ahead of the German Daniel “Dan Suzuki” Sosulski and the American Matt Malone.
Next stop for the PESC: the Ardennes rollercoaster of Spa-Francorchamps
In two weeks, the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup (PESC) returns to Europe for the seventh of ten rounds of the season. The 7.004-kilometre “Ardennes rollercoaster” of Spa-Francorchamps is one of the most demanding circuits of the season due to its notorious passages such as Eau Rouge, Raidillon, and Blanchimont. Fast corner combinations and hefty dips, long full-throttle passages and the La Source hairpin at the end of the start-finish straight require a prudent set-up of the digital Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
In Spa-Francorchamps, 16 of the Esport series' hottest content creators will once again contest two All-Stars races. After three events, each with the virtual 911 GT3 Cup and the 718 Cayman GT4 CS, they switch to the Porsche 911 RSR in Belgium. The sprint race will begin live streaming on www.twitch.com/porsche and https://www.youtube.com/@Porsche on April 22nd from 8 p.m. (CEST).
Comments on the race
Zac Campbell (USA/VRS Coanda): “My teammates and I didn't collaborate in ad-vance. In the end, everyone has to race for themselves. I had college exams during the week, so my preparation for Watkins Glen was somewhat limited. I made a mis-take in the sprint race, which cost me a shot at the win. But the feature race went perfectly for me.”
Bryn Collins (UK/VRS Coanda): “It’s great to be on the podium for the first time in the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup. I owe it to the fantastic team perfor-mance of VRS Coanda.”
Bobby Zalenski (USA/VRS Coanda): “To be honest, third place is the best I could have hoped for. At Watkins Glen, it’s all about tactics in the slipstream – I’m pretty good at that because of my experience in eNASCAR races. I’m thrilled to be on the podium for the first time in the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup.”
Gustavo Ariel (BR, TXC Racing by TK): “Fourth place was my best qualifying result so far and enormously important because overtaking is pretty difficult on this track. I saw the collision between Sebastian Job and Diogo Pinto coming on the last lap. Somehow, I managed to avoid getting caught up in it. I took my chance and I’m thrilled to have scored two wins in a row.”
Christian “Keny500” Ortega (E): “I can hardly believe that I won two races at Spiel-berg and Watkins Glen. To be honest, the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS doesn’t suit my driving style very well. That’s why I’m looking forward to the next race at Spa-Francorchamps – behind the wheel of the Porsche 911 RSR.”
Watkins Glen, sprint race
1. Gustavo Ariel (BR, TXC Racing by TK)
2. Sebastian Job (UK/Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports)
3. Jordan Caruso (AUS/Altus Esports)
4. Alessandro Bico (I/Williams Esports)
5. Zac Campbell (USA/VRS Coanda)
Watkins Glen, feature race
1. Zac Campbell (USA/VRS Coanda)
2. Bryn Collins (UK/VRS Coanda)
3. Bobby Zalenski (USA/VRS Coanda)
4. Alejandro Sánchez (E/Stormforce Racing ART)
5. Oscar Mangan (IRL/ Altus Esports)
Overall standings after 6 of 10 rounds
1. Jordan Caruso (AUS/Altus Esports), 348 points
2. Diogo C. Pinto (P/Team Redline), 290 points
3. Charlie Collins (UK/VRS Coanda), 286 points
4. Alejandro Sánchez (E/Stormforce Racing ART), 274 points
5. Sebastian Job (UK/Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports), 273 points