The critical phase in the battle for the remaining grid spots in the 2023 Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup (PESC) on iRacing begins. Following on from the qualifying series, which finished on August 27, the second and final round of this year’s selection process starts with the Contender Series on September 24.
The PESC is one of the most challenging one-make cups on the iRacing simulation platform. In the six-race series, 34 online gamers get the chance to qualify for one of the 15 remaining starting positions in the 2023 PESC. The grid line-up will be determined as follows: The sim racers with the most points from the qualifying series go up against a quartet of wild card drivers and sim racers who concluded the 2022 PESC in positions 16 to 30. The top 15 gamers from last season have already qualified for the fifth edition of the virtual one-make cup. Season five kicks off on 4 February 2023.
Four wild card drivers invited to tackle the Contender Series for the first time
As a key feature of the new Contender Series, Porsche Motorsport has offered wild cards for the first time to a successful or promising sim racer from the Brazil, Germany, United Kingdom and Canada esports markets. The national Esports Carrera Cup drivers Gustavo Ariel (BR), Philippe Bouchard (CAN), William Chadwick (UK) and Christopher Dambietz (D) were selected.
The top favorites in the Contender Series include, among others, Lasse Bak, the winner of the qualifying series and second in the 2022 Porsche Esports Carrera Cup Denmark, as well as his FYRA SimSport teammate Kevin Nielsen. He finished both series right behind Bak.
Saturday races mirror the format of the Porsche TAG Heuer Supercup races
Race day in the qualifying series consisted of a free practice and qualifying session, followed by an 80-kilometer (49.7-mile) race. The format of the Contender Series is identical to that of the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup. This means that the participants first get to familiarize themselves with the track and weather conditions in an 18-minute free practice before attempting their flying lap in the eight-minute qualifying session to clinch the best grid positions and earn up to 10 points towards the overall standings. This is followed by a sprint race over approximately 15 minutes. The winner receives 25 points with the remaining points distributed to 20th place.
After a five-minute warm-up, the feature race over 80 kilometers (49.7 miles) gets underway. For this event, the top eight sim racers from the sprint race line up on the grid in the reverse order – i.e. the eighth qualifier starts from pole position. The winner of this race earns 50 points, with the remaining points awarded on a sliding scale to 25th place. Consequently, the maximum number of points on race day is 85 points. All six races are taken into account – there are no void results.
Simultaneous live stream broadcasts on several channels
Fans can watch the individual Contender Series races of the 2023 Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup live on Porsche’s Twitch channel. More information about the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup is available on the Porsche Motorsport Hub and the Twitter account @PorscheRaces.
The full regulations for the two-stage qualification program of the 2023 Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup can be downloaded for free on the iRacing website.
Race calendar for the second qualifying round of the 2023 PESC
Sept. 24, 2022: Hockenheimring (Germany)
Oct. 1, 2022: Silverstone (United Kingdom)
Oct. 8, 2022: Red Bull Ring (Austria)
Oct. 15, 2022: Watkins Glen (USA)
Oct. 29, 2022: Nürburgring Grand Prix circuit (Germany)
Nov. 5, 2022: Imola (Italy)