- Virtual World. Porsche Motorsport Supports Multiple Sim Racing Platforms.
- COVID Support. Porsche Works Team Parent Company Steps in to Assist During Crisis.
Porsche Profile. Event Story Lines.
Virtual World. Porsche Motorsport Supports Multiple Sim Racing Platforms
As “real world” motorsport remains under a global red flag to help battle COVID-19, Porsche has continued its commitment to international racing in the form of Esports. The German brand led all automobile companies with the first fully-backed one-make sim racing series in 2019, the TAG Heuer Porsche Esports Supercup. The sports car manufacturer then quickly crafted the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup Virtual Edition soon after the international lockdown to give its regular series rivals a place to race head-to-head in iRacing. Support of the IMSA iRacing Pro Invitational has seen as many as 21 Porsche 911 RSR challenge for simulated GTLM class honors in the first two races of the season with the third coming at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Thursday, April 30. Open wheel racing joined the mix this past weekend when the virtual Porsche 99X Electric took the greenlight for the first official sim race of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, earning a race win with 2019 TAG Heuer Esports Supercup Champion Joshua Rogers (Australia).
You can learn more and follow all of the Porsche Motorsport Esports programs here.
Each of these race series will have seen action after the first weekend of May:
IMSA iRacing Pro Series. The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Round three of the IMSA iRacing Pro Invitational is scheduled for Thursday evening, April 30, on the digital version of the well-known Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Nine virtual Porsche 911 RSR are entered in the 90-minute race which utilizes the world-leading platform for professional motorsport simulations, iRacing. It is the third event on the Pro Invitational calendar after the season-opening round at Sebring International Raceway (March 21) and the second round at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca (April 16).
Three of the Porsche entries are fulltime factory drivers with a fourth being a Porsche Junior. Each of the “works” drivers is returning for his second race in the by-invitation-only series. IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Porsche GT Team drivers Nick Tandy (Great Britain) and Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) will wield the Nos. 911 and 912 respectively in the factory colors. While this will only be the second start for each in the IMSA sim series, the pair has been racing extensively in other virtual championships including the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup Virtual Edition. Ayhancan Güven (Turkey) has been the leading Porsche racer internationally on sims. The first-year Porsche Junior was the best Porsche finisher, fifth-place, in the No. 913 virtual Porsche 911 RSR at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca (WRLS). He is also a top-performer in the Supercup Virtual Edition holding the championship points lead with three wins in the first six starts of that series.
IMSA iRacing Pro Series - Laguna Seca
Patrick Long (Manhattan Beach, California), who will be racing the No. 45 Hagerty entry for Wright Motorsport, made his first sim racing start in recent years at WRLS. Since that time, he has been racing in multiple iRacing championships out of CXC Simulations stables in Hawthorne, California. Long will again have a live stream from the simulation rig for fans to follow live on the CXC Simulations YouTube channel.
Long’s regular season teammate Ryan Hardwick (Atlanta, Georgia) is entered under the pairings regular No. 16 Wright Motorsports starting number. Making a start carrying the dual banners of Wright Motorsports and Black Swan Racing is Porsche stalwart Jeroen Bleekemolen (The Netherlands) in the No. 33. Driving the No. 35 for Riley Motorsports will be Dylan Murry (Cumming, Georgia). Murry comes from a Porsche background – his father David is a former factory driver – including recent stints in the Michelin Pilot Challenge series in a Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport.
IMSA Hurley Haywood Scholarship winner Riley Dickenson (New Braunfels, Texas) will make his second start in the No. 53 Moorespeed Porsche. Dickenson is scheduled to have his sophomore season in the IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama once on-track competition resumes but showed himself well at his iRacing Pro Invitational debut two weeks ago at WRLS finishing as the second-highest Porsche behind Güven. Former GT3 Cup Challenge USA and GT3 Cup Challenge Canada Champion Roman DeAngelis (Canada) returns to his Porsche upbringing racing the No. 79 virtual entry for Heart of Racing.
The event can be seen live on the iRacing YouTube and Facebook channels. IMSA Radio’s John Hindhaugh, the “Voice of Le Mans”, will commentate the event beginning at 6:00 p.m. EST, Thursday, April 30.
ABB FIA Formula E Championship. Hong Kong.
In the first virtual race in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship 2019/2020, Neel Jani (Switzerland) of the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team finished in twelfth-place. Starting from eleventh on the grid, the Porsche works driver had consistently good pace on the digital Hong Kong street circuit in the virtual Porsche 99X Electric with car number 18. However, several collisions with other cars in the first turn, not of his own making, prevented a better result. A technical defect forced Jani’s teammate André Lotterer (Germany) in the No. 36 Porsche 99X Electric to retire from the race after the third lap. He started the race from ninth on the grid.
In the separate sim racer starting field, Joshua Rogers (Australia) in another digital Porsche 99X Electric celebrated his first race win. The current champion of the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup moved up from fifth on the grid into second-place at the start, before the 20-year-old took the top spot one lap before the end of the race. He held the lead to the checkered flag earning 25 points in the driver’s standings. In the second virtual Porsche 99X Electric, Mike Channell (Great Britain) retired from the race.
"The sporting ambition among the drivers is as great as it is in real races. Everyone has done a lot of practice."
The ABB FIA Formula E launched the “Race at Home Challenge” as a replacement for the standard ABB FIA Formula E Championship 2019/2020 season races that have been postponed due to the pandemic. All the Formula E teams and a selection of the top Esports drivers are taking part in two separate starting fields. The drivers take part in the virtual races in their race simulators at home.
The events will follow the traditional Formula E scoring system, with bonus points for pole position and the fastest race lap. Double points will be awarded in the final race. The next race will take place on May 2. All further races until the Grand Finale on June 13 will be on a weekly basis. Each race gets underway at 10:30 a.m. EST. The “Race at Home Challenge” is part of the partnership between the FIA Formula E Championship 2019/2020 and the child welfare organization UNICEF, which will be receiving the donations raised during the race events.
Marco Ujhasi, Manager Esports at Porsche Motorsport.
“Formula E is finally back – with superb racing both in the Challenger grid with the sim racing specialists and in the field of Formula E drivers. It is great for the fans and for charity, raising donations for the child welfare organization UNICEF. The sporting ambition among the drivers is as great as it is in real races. Everyone has done a lot of practice. We’re also really pleased that the sim racers are being given a great platform. Congratulations to Joshua Rogers on his victory in the first outing in the virtual Porsche 99X Electric.”
Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup Virtual Edition. Spa-Francorchamps.
The suspense in the battle for the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup Virtual Edition title continues to build. The doubleheader event of the digital counterpart to the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup on Saturday, April 25, was won by Dylan Pereira (Luxemburg, No. 2 BWT Lechner Racing) and Porsche Junior Ayhancan Güven (Turley, No. 22 Martinet by Alméras). After the races in Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium), this puts the young Turkish driver at the top of the leaderboard with 132 points. Only two points separate him from his hottest rival Larry ten Voorde (Netherlands, 25 Team GP Elite). The two races held on the iRacing simulation platform were packed with thrilling duels among the 28 participants.
The VIP drivers also treated viewers to some thrilling action on the “Ardennes rollercoaster”. The three Porsche factory drivers Nick Tandy (Great Britain), Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and the Austrian Richard Lietz finished in the top ten.
The final round of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup Virtual Edition will be held on Italy’s Autodromo Nazionale Monza. Races seven and eight of the virtual one-make cup will be contested at the high-speed circuit on May 16.
Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup. Circuit Park Zandvoort.
While sim racing has become all the rage in the sporting world since COVID-19 forced the shutdown of on-track racing globally, Porsche was the Esports leader a full year before the pandemic. Unlike its rival simulated series – including the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup Virtual Edition and IMSA iRacing Pro Invitational – the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup was created from its genesis as a full sim racing championship in 2019. Now with full title partner support from luxury watchmaker TAG Heuer, the Esports Supercup will see a ten round schedule covering iRacing-simulated tracks from around the world beginning May 2 at Circuit Park Zandvoort in the Netherlands. The year concludes with the crowing of its second champion at Italy’s Autodromo Nazionale Monza, September 19. Drivers are competing for a combined purse of $200,000 (USD) at the conclusion of the season.
"Without a doubt, the competition is going to be immense and even more challenging than last year's already insanely tight field. There won't be an ounce of room for errors and I have to say, I'm really looking forward to battling it out in round one." Mitchell deJong
After starting with over 5,000 applicants, a 40-driver-strong lineup of sim racers from 14 countries will take the grid for the second-season of the Porsche one-make series at Zandvoort. Leading contender from the United States is Temecula, California’s Mitchell deJong. deJong, a 2018 North American Porsche Young Driver Academy graduate, earned automatic entry for the 2020 championship – which, uses simulated versions of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car – by virtue of a fourth-place finish in 2019. A professional sim racer with his roots in “real world” karting and rallycross, deJong’s Esports resume includes 11 international victories as well as championships in the 2019 ADAC Digital GT500 Series and 2018 Sim Rallycross World Championship. In 2020, he has already won the Daytona Prototype class in the iRacing 12 Hours of Sebring. His four-wheel accolades include eight career Global Rallycross wins and the 2014 Global Rallycross Championship (Lites class). deJong is entered in the No. 24 VRS Coanda Simsport Porsche 911 GT3 Cup virtual race car. See an in-depth interview with deJong later in these notes.
22-year-old Formula 1 driver Max Verstappen (Netherlands) – driving the No. 69 Team Redline Fanatec Porsche – is another of 20 drivers to secure a spot via the “Porsche iRacing Cup”. The second-half of the grid consists of the top-20 competitors from the 2019 season of the first Porsche Esports initiative. Among those is last year’s champion, Joshua Rogers (Australia) in the No. 92 entry.
Beginning with Saturday’s first round, each race day will consist of five sessions. A free practice (20-minutes) is followed by a 12-minute qualifying session run as an individual time trial, a 15-minutes sprint race, a warm-up (ten-minutes) and the 30-minute main race. Drivers earn points towards the championship from both races. Victory in the sprint event is rewarded with 25 points, with the winner of the main event receiving 50 points. The top five qualifiers also receive additional markers, with the pole-sitter earning ten.
Races can be watched live on Twitch. Coverage begins at 8:00 a.m. EST, May 2. The full schedule can be found at: https://www.iracing.com/porsche-esports-supercup-schedule/.
Mitchell deJong, Driver, No. 24 VRS Coanda Simsport Porsche 911 GT3 Cup virtual race car.
"I'm ecstatic for the second running of the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup. Without a doubt, the competition is going to be immense and even more challenging than last year's already insanely tight field. There won't be an ounce of room for errors and I have to say, I'm really looking forward to battling it out in round one."
COVID Support. Porsche Works Team Parent Company Steps in to Assist During Crisis.
On Friday, March 20, CORE autosport’s parent company Composite Resources answered the call to protect Americans during the COVID-19 crisis. The composite manufacturing company created a prototype face mask and set it into production in 24 hours. The masks are made on an assembly line that usually creates Combat Action Tourniquets (C-A-T). This department is on the top floor of the CORE autosport shop, which means the masks are being made right above the No. 911 and No. 912 Porsche 911 RSR that compete in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Since production of the masks began, Composite Resources has made more than 50,000 masks and have further expanded their offering to include face shields. Both are available at www.composite-resources-mask.com.
Morgan Brady, Managing Partner, Composite Resources / COO CORE autosport.
“Demand for the masks has exceeded our expectations and I am proud of our employees who adapted so quickly. When the country is facing a problem this dangerous and widespread, it’s important for everyone to come together and contribute in any way they can. Mask production is also keeping our staff employed, so the benefits are both national and local.”