The next batch of Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup drivers will compete in the Contender Series which starts on Saturday.
Image credit: Porsche
With the upcoming season of the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup getting underway in early 2023, the next stage on the road to PESC is the Contender Series. This is the series which will decide who will be eligible to participate in the main series.
After the 2022 main series concluded in June, the bottom 15 drivers would have to compete in the Contender Series if they wanted to avoid relegation. Then from July to August, any Class A 1.0 iRacing player could participate in the Qualifying Series across multiple splits and the top 15 in the points would also be on the Contender Series grid.
34 drivers will take to the grid. 14 from the main PESC series, 16 from the Qualifying Series and four from various national Porsche Esports Carrera Cup championships. The best 15 drivers after the Contender Series will be granted automatic entry into the main series next year.
Who is Participating?
When it comes to names that finished in the bottom 15 from the 2022 PESC, there are a few. There’s Peter Berryman of Apex who won the Dallara iRacing Grand Prix Championship, Redline’s Gianni Vecchio and Josh Thompson and R8G Esports’ Quentin Vialatte.
14 drivers will participate from the 2022 PESC season because one has elected to not participate in the Contender Series. Coanda Esports racer Ayhancan Güven finished 16th last season as he was forced to miss several rounds due to his extensive track racing programs.
He won’t compete in Contenders as there are, inevitably, more clashes with his increasing commitments in the real world as a fully-fledged Porsche works driver.
Regarding potential new drivers, the top scoring driver from the Qualifying Series Lasse Bak from FYRA SimSport and his second-placed teammate Kevin Nielsen will both be on the grid. Other drivers from the Qualifying Series include R8G’s Valentin Mandernach, URANO Esports’ Luca Kita and Coanda Junior Team’s Bryn Collins (brother of PESC racer Charlie Collins).
Gustavo Ariel finished fourth in the Qualifying Series but has earned his place in the Contender Series from competing in the Porsche Esports Carrera Cup Brasil. Ariel was runner-up to PESC competitor Jeff Giassi, and as a result of being the best-placed non-PESC driver he got an invitation to the Contender Series.
Other national Esports Carrera Cup participants that are on the Contender Series grid include Will Chadwick, Christopher Dambietz and Philippe Bouchard from the British, German and Canadian series respectively. All of whom were the best placed non-PESC drivers in their championships.
PESC Contender Series Event Format
Rounds feature two races, reflecting that of the main Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup series with the first race being a sprint and then a main race which is twice the length of the sprint. All drivers partake in a lone qualifying session to form the grid for the sprint race, and then the results of the sprint form the grid for the main race with the top eight finishers inverted.
The tracks that all the drivers will compete on will be the same as the schedule of the Qualifying Series.
Rd 1: Hockenheim – 24 September
Rd 2: Silverstone – 1 October
Rd 3: Red Bull Ring – 8 October
Rd 4: Watkins Glen – 15 October
Rd 5: Nürburgring GP – 29 October
Rd 6: Imola – 5 November
All events are broadcast to the Porsche Twitch channel at 9pm European time.
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