A collection of Porsche 992 GT3 Cup cars heading up the hill towards the hairpin on Circuit of the Americas.

PESC: Sánchez and Pinto win at COTA


Did you miss the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup on iRacing last weekend? Here are the results and standings after PESC Round 4 at the Circuit of the Americas.

Image credit: Porsche

After the first of three Stateside visits, the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup saw some huge upsets. Many big name drivers didn’t score thanks to incidents galore around the streets of Long Beach.

So once they finished their beach trip in Cali, it was off to the Lone Star state and the Circuit of the Americas for the fourth round of the season. VRS Coanda’s Charlie Collins led the standings in the lead up to this round, only a few points ahead of Altus’ Jordan Caruso. Nearly a further 50 points back was 2020 champion Sebastian Job.

Who would come out on top in Texas? Here is our recap of all the action from the fourth round of PESC.

Sánchez Converts First Pole

In qualifying, the end of Group A – where drivers 30th to 6th in the standings set their laps – saw Stormforce Racing ART’s Alejandro Sánchez on top. Then it was the turn of the top five in the standings. As the Spaniard watched on with commentators Paul Smith and Arjuna Kankipati, no-one could displace him.

It was his first pole after competing in the series since the very first season. He lined up ahead of 2020 champion Sebastian Job and two-time pole award winner Jordan Caruso. At the start, they all got away line astern with no issues, and it remained as such throughout the eight laps at the front.

Sánchez remained untroubled on his way to victory, and Stormforce teammate Yohann Harth overtook Caruso to make it a double podium.

Sprint Race Result:

1. Alejandro Sánchez (ESP, Stormforce Racing ART)
2. Sebastian Job (GBR, Oracle Red Bull Racing) +0.562
3. Yohann Harth (FRA, Stormforce Racing ART) +2.373
4. Jordan Caruso (AUS, Altus Esports) +3.640
5. Lasse Bak (DNK, Fyra SimSport) +3.091

The battle for pole position in the Main Race though saw Pinto and Collins duking it out, with the reigning champion coming out on top in that particular battle.

Pinto holds off Caruso

For the Main Race, Pinto would start on pole ahead of former teammate Max Benecke and Apex’s Jamie Fluke. The Team Redline racer finished the sprint race in eighth and made the most of a top-eigth reversed grid. At the start, many drivers fell victim to incidents including Sebastian Job, who had a netcode hit when on the outside of Harth.

That wouldn’t be all, as Lasse Bak and Gustavo Ariel got caught up just before halfway. The Danish racer got a double serving of taps from Stormforce cars which sent him around at T2, and Ariel just couldn’t avoid a stationary Fyra.

Back at the front, the leading breakaway group consisted of Pinto, Benecke, Fluke and Caruso. When the race hit its latter stages, Caruso began making his moves. In the span of just over a lap, he went from fourth to second. He then set about hunting down Pinto.

But the two drivers that Caruso had just dispatched got involved in their own incident. Fluke made an attempt to pass Benecke at the first corner, which sent the MOUZ racer round. Fluke subsequently got overtaken by Apex teammate and sprint winner, Alejandro Sánchez.

This left Caruso and Pinto to tussle it out for the win. The Australian drew first blood at the T11 hairpin on the penultimate lap. But Pinto slipstreamed back through and made his signature robust move at the end of the straight. On the last lap, Pinto locked up heading into the T11 hairpin which allowed Caruso back through.

Pinto passed him again at the end of the straight and after going defensive in the last corner, drove it to the line and took the win.

Main Race Result:

1. Diogo Pinto (PRT, Team Redline)
2. Jordan Caruso (AUS, Altus Esports) +0.176
3. Alejandro Sánchez (ESP, Stormforce Racing ART) +1.066
4. Jamie Fluke (GBR, Apex Racing Team) +1.817
5. Charlie Collins (GBR, VRS Coanda) +2.099

Collins was eighth heading onto the penultimate lap but managed to come home fifth. Nevertheless, not an ideal round considering Caruso’s consistency, which puts him into the lead of the standings.

Supercup Standings:

1. Jordan Caruso (AUS, Altus Esports) – 253
2. Charlie Collins (GBR, VRS Coanda) – 243
3. Diogo Pinto (PRT, Team Redline) – 204
4. Sebastian Job (GBR, Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports) – 190
5. Cooper Webster (AUS, Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports) – 161

Lopez stars on All-Stars debut

In the lead-up to the Supercup was as always the All-Stars. It was the first round that saw a car swap. The content creators switched from the 992 GT3 Cup that the pros use in the Supercup to the 718 Cayman GT4. The order still remains relatively the same, although one new face made a great first impression.

Pablo ‘ThePulpoLopez’ Lopez took pole in his first appearance, with runaway championship leader Casey Kirwan alongside. The Spaniard led the majority of the race but Kirwan made a move with a few laps to go. He gapped everyone behind him and took yet another victory.

Then in the Main Race, Lopez was eager to cut through the field due to the full invert. He may have been too desperate to make moves as he came to blows with Jardier. Another incident on lap two allowed Lopez to catapult himself up to fifth, and he set about trying to get past the likes of DaveCam and LoveFortySix.

He got through on them all and set about trying to get the lead from Keny500. He did so after the halfway point, and both Kirwan and Emily Jones got into the podium places shortly afterwards. Both races would therefore have the same top three. But would it be the same exact order?

Kirwan tried but it was to no avail as in the drag to the line, Lopez just held on to take a win on his debut.

In terms of the championship, business as usual. Nobody who can hold a candle to Kirwan is sticking around long enough to be any sort of competition to the eNASCAR champion. He’s only ten points shy of being on double the points of second place, that being Emily Jones who had a very strong round.

All-Stars Standings:

1. Casey Kirwan (USA) – 176
2. Emily ‘Emree’ Jones (AUS) – 93
3. Jaroslav ‘Jardier’ Honzik (CZE) – 86
4. Tyson ‘Quirkitized’ Meier (USA) – 86
5. Xabier ‘Heikki360’ Sánchez (ESP) – 78

Austrian Detour

With three American tracks in four rounds, the PESC drivers are off to the virtual Styrian mountains. The Red Bull Ring will play host to the halfway point of the season on 1 April, and then they’ll be back on an American track the following week.

All the racing will be broadcast on Porsche’s YouTube and Twitch channels starting at 7pm CET on 18 March. To rewatch all the action from COTA, the playback of the stream is available below.

Who impressed you the most in the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!

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