The season is over and we now have a champion: Diogo Pinto from Portugal! He stayed out of trouble and brought it home to become the third PESC champion.
Image credit: Porsche
It was everything to play for between VRS Coanda’s Zac Campbell, Red Bull’s 2020 PESC champion Sebastian Job, Apex’s Kevin Ellis Jr. and Porsche24 by Redline’s Diogo Pinto heading into the final round. After starting in February, the fourth season of the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup on iRacing culminated in the final round at Monza.
PESC Finale – Sprint Race
During qualifying, the drivers were keen to leave it to the last minute to set their times. TAG Heuer Pole Position award winner Sebastian Job already had an unassailable lead but he ended up adding to it by going fastest. Pinto was third only 0.02 behind, with VRS’ Charlie Collins separating them by just 0.002 of a second.
The other two contenders Kevin Ellis Jr. and Zac Campbell could only manage seventh and ninth respectively. So for all intents and purposes, it was most likely Pinto vs Job for the crown.
At the start, Pinto dropped behind Apex’s Yohann Harth. The championship leader didn’t put up too much of a fight against a lot of the competitors, and dropped down to seventh, with teammate Maximilian Benecke behind him until he tangled with Zac Campbell.
Job on the other hand had to contend with Collins, and they swapped the lead constantly. The 2020 series champion tried his luck on the last lap heading into the infamous Rettifilio but Collins got his elbows out. Job took to the gravel and was passed by Dayne Warren, who Collins only just pipped to the line.
Sprint Race Result
|Kevin Ellis Jr.
PESC Finale – Main Race
As a result of Campbell’s robust maneuverer on Benecke, the now out-of-contention American would start on the reverse grid pole with championship-elect Pinto alongside him. Ellis and Job were fifth and sixth respectively and had a real task on their hands.
Job was trailing by 38 points to Pinto, and Ellis was 39 behind. With 50 points left on the table, Job would have to win with Pinto down in 15th, with Ellis needing to do the same with Pinto a further position down. So, barring disaster, Pinto was all-but-certain to be champion.
At the start, Pinto was slow away while Job had a flyer, and coming through Rettifilio, Pinto lit up the tyres and put Job alongside. The Red Bull racer got the advantage over his championship rival, and then their job was made that tiny bit easier when Campbell took a trip to the gravel trap at Della Roggia.
That put Alejandro Sánchez into the lead ahead of Job, and Pinto then relinquished his position to Sprint Race winner Collins. Only a few corners later, Ellis was knocked off track at the second Lesmo by Jordan Caruso. This all but eliminated Ellis from the race, so it was now definitely between Job and Pinto.
Job’s Final Hurrah
Job knew he had to win, so he set to work hunting down Sánchez. The Spaniard put up a good fight and they swapped the lead several times. But, on the last lap, Collins made a move heading into Della Roggia which resulted in Sánchez clipping the gravel. The longtime leader ended up 18th after incurring one too many incident limit points after a netcode hit with Dayne Warren.
It was Job though who came home to take a sixth win of the season, but it wasn’t enough to take the title.
Despite dropping to sixth from second on the grid, it was Porsche24 by Redline’s Diogo Pinto who brought home the result. Even though he only won a single race throughout the entire season, Pinto’s remarkable consistency was all he needed.
Main Race Result
Pinto becomes the third driver to win the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup championship along with 2019 and 2021 champion Rogers and 2020 champion Job. He takes home $50,000 out of the $200,000 prize pot.
PESC Final Championship Standings
|Kevin Ellis Jr.
The 2022 PESC finale was also noteworthy because it was the last competitive esports race of Jeremy Bouteloup’s career. The 30-year old Frenchman has enjoyed a very successful sim racing career, in that time he has been a class podium finisher in the 24 hours of Le Mans Virtual.
He has also taken three victories in his time competing in the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup. We wish Jeremy all the best in whichever avenue he chooses to go down next!
Before the Supercup action got underway, the usual selection of content creators from the sim racing scene had a bit of fun. Also participating were eNASCAR driver Casey Kirwan and Porsche junior driver Laurin Heinrich, the latter of whom returned after racing in the season opener at Hockenheim.
After doing three rounds in the 992 GT3 Cup, three rounds in the 718 Cayman GT4 and three rounds in the 911 GT3 R, the drivers elected to do the finale in the 992 GT3 Cup that was also used all season in the Supercup. Qualifying went the way of Heinrich just ahead of Kirwan and then champion Tyson ‘Quirkitized’ Meier.
It was a rather straightforward affair in the Sprint with Heinrich romping away to an easy win. Emily Jones was tapped into a spin on the opening lap, and had to recover. The Aussie had just returned to her native Melbourne from the RENNSPORT summit in Munich six hours before the racing began.
All-Stars Main Race
After the sprint race, Jones looked as if she was going to finish behind Borja Zazo and Kirwan in the championship. However, her luck would turn for the Main race when the likes of Heinrich and Kirwan were involved in a pileup. Jones and Meier put on arguably the most exciting race of the All-Stars season. Things were complicated a little when Jones was tipped into a spin by Meier. However, the champion then let his predecessor back through.
In doing so, Meier also allowed Jardier to pass. The Czech driver took the final win of the season, outgoing champion Jones got second and new All-Stars champion Meier came third. The American streamer finished 94 points ahead of Jones, who was a further 4 ahead of Borja Zazo. Casey Kirwan took part in a fraction of the events but still got enough points to finish fourth in the standings.
All-Stars Final Championship Standings
What is Next for PESC?
During the broadcast, Programme Manager for Esports Racing at Porsche Marius Golombeck spilled many details about the plan going forward for the series. A fifth season is certainly going ahead, but that won’t be happening until the first part of 2023. In the meantime, though, there will still be plenty of Porsche esports action on iRacing.
The plan is from the end of July until around September, there will be a Qualifying Series for any iRacing player to compete in. The top drivers from the Qualifying Series will progress into the Contender Series which will be held in the latter part of 2022, along with all the drivers who finished 16th and lower in the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup standings. The top drivers from the Contender Series will then be able to compete in the 2023 season.
Could the driver who may join Rogers, Job and Pinto as champions enter through the qualifying series? Tune into Porsche and iRacing‘s social channels for more details. In the meantime, to rewatch all the action from Monza, the broadcast is available on Porsche’s YouTube channel.
What has been the highlight of the 2022 Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup season? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!