The Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup (PESC) is entering its sixth season with a programme overhaul. The main new feature for 2024 is the streamlined schedule, including an adapted format for the fourth of now seven race days: this will be held on the virtual circuit at Watkins Glen and will include a unique tournament character. The digital version of the current 992-generation Porsche 911 GT3 Cup will continue to be fielded as the identical race car for the 30 contenders. The season kicks off on 3 February at the Daytona International Speedway. Next up is the Grand Prix circuit of the Hockenheimring in Germany’s Baden-Württemberg and the Circuit des 24 Heures in Le Mans, France. The second half of the season includes such venues as Watkins Glen (USA) as well as the Formula 1 circuits in Spielberg (Austria) and Imola. The finale will also take place in Italy, with Monza hosting a doubleheader.
Since its debut in 2019, the worldwide esports one-make cup on the iRacing simulation platform has developed into one of the most influential springboards for seasoned and aspiring sim racing professionals. Porsche Coanda Esports Racing Team’s works drivers, such as current ESL R1 victor Joshua Rogers from Australia, were also able to prove themselves in the PESC. The Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup has thus taken on a role similar to the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup in real-world racing.
“We’re very much looking forward to the sixth season of the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup. It’s a major one-make cup in the international sim racing scene and has also firmly established itself in Porsche Motorsport’s Esports programme,” emphasises Nina Braack, Esports Manager Porsche Motorsport. “The adjustments to the format are intended to generate even more viewers and excitement, as the individual race days will become much more significant as a result. The so-called mid-season tournament adds even more suspense for fans and drivers.”
High-calibre competitor line-up guarantees gripping races
Like last year, 30 drivers from 14 countries will once again pit themselves against each other for points and placings in the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup in 2024. A total of 200,000 US dollars in prize money is up for grabs.
Spots on the starting grid for the one-make cup were once again fiercely contested. Only the 15 best drivers from the previous PESC season automatically qualify to compete again. The other 15 had to qualify via the so-called Contender Series. Here, nine of the drivers who previously secured positions 15 to 30 in the PESC championship ranking went up against four wild cards from national Porsche Esports competitions and 21 sim racers from the qualifying round. Last autumn, 219 sim racers from all over the world took part in this six-race selection process. Kevin Nielsen emerged as the winner. The Dane narrowly beat Quentiin Vialatte from France, a seasoned PESC specialist.
Seven race days with a new mid-season tournament adding extra spice
The format of the individual Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup races remains unchanged from last year – with two exceptions. The twelve-minute qualifying session will begin at around 8 pm CET (summer time: 9 pm) and will be split into two heats. The first group are those drivers who occupy positions six to 30 in the interim championship results. They get exactly one minute to attempt a single flying lap. Similar to a “hyperpole” session, the five best-placed drivers then head out onto the track for the individual time trial 150 seconds apart. The five fastest drivers collect up to ten championship points. The best qualifier will receive a special reward at the end of the season: the winner of the TAG Heuer Pole Award is awarded a high-quality watch from series partner TAG Heuer.
Next up on the programme are two races: First a sprint over at least 15 minutes, for which the winner receives 25 points with subsequent finishers awarded points on a sliding scale down to one point for position 20. Then comes a main race usually contested over double the distance. The grid line-up for the main event is the inversion of the top eight finishers from the sprint race. The winner of the main race earns 50 points.
Race four and the finale in the Royal Park of Monza feature a new format. At the mid-season tournament in Watkins Glen, USA, the 30-strong field is divided into five groups of six drivers after qualifying. They each contest a heat race over just three laps. In all cases, the top two finishers advance directly to the main race, which runs over 16 laps. The third to fifth-placed drivers get a second chance in the “consolation” race. Here, the top five from the eight-lap event on the 5.47-kilometre former Formula 1 circuit advance. There will be no sprint race in Monza. Instead, it will be replaced by a second main race with the corresponding allocation of points.
Young guns set to challenge the seasoned sim racers
Jordan Caruso has a new role: Competing for Altus Esports, the Australian tackles the new season of the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup as the reigning champion with the starting number 1. He will be hunted by experienced rivals. With the Redline team driver Diogo Pinto from Portugal and UK sim racer Sebastian Job (Oracle Red Bull Racing eSports), the 2022 and 2020 champions are eager to reclaim the title. The other 27 participants are also determined to take home the crown – including Lasse Bak from FYRA Simsport. The Dane won the rookie classification in 2023. With Williams Esports, VRS Coanda, Apex Racing, BS+Competition and Stormforce Racing, almost all of the leading sim racing teams are once again represented in the PESC.
Support programme: All-Star Series with famous sim racing influencers
In 2024, well-known content creators from the esports racing scene will again showcase their skills in the All-Star Series support programme of the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup. Confirmed for the series are “Basic lovefortysix” and “ThePulpoLopez”. They aim to challenge the American Casey Kirwan for the championship title. Former professional racing driver Tony Kanaan returns to contest the title. The Brazilian brings real-life racing experience and has won the Indy 500. In the All-Star Series, he will go up against former Porsche Juniors Ayhancan Güven (Turkey), Laurin Heinrich (Germany) and Bastian Buus (Denmark), who have signed on as guest drivers.
The All-Star live stream begins at 7.00 pm (CET) with the qualifying session and sprint race. The following main race gets the green light at around 7.30 pm.
Fans can follow the iRacing action live online via the Porsche channel on Twitch. Further information on the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup can be found in the Porsche Newsroom, the Porsche Motorsport Hub, the Twitter account @PorscheRaces and on iracing.com/pesc.
The 2024 racing calendar
3.02.2024 – USA: Daytona International Speedway (Road Course; 8/16 laps)
10.02.2024 – Germany: Hockenheimring GP circuit (9/18 laps)
17.02.2024 – France: Circuit des 24 Heures du Mans (3/6 laps)
02.03.2024 – USA: Mid-Season Tournament Watkins Glen (3/8/16 laps)
16.03.2024 – Austria: Spielberg (10/20 laps)
30.03.2024 – Italy: Imola (8/16 laps)
06.04.2024 – Italy: Monza (14/14 laps)
In brackets: number of laps for the sprint and feature race