We learned a few important things in the opening round of the 2022 Porsche Tag Heuer Esports Supercup.
Photo credit: Porsche / iRacing
The Porsche Tag Heuer Esports Supercup’s opening round was a dramatic affair for a number of reasons. There were surprises winners, impressive rookies, big incidents and more, but we have come to expect this from the series. However, among all the expected unexpectedness, there were a few things that this first round of the competition made abundantly clear to us. Here are three of the most important things we learned in the opening round of the Porsche Tag Heuer Esports Supercup.
Laurin Heinrich might be too good
It’s no secret to anyone that Laurin Heinrich is a very fast driver. The new Porsche junior driver is part of the All-Stars field for this years PESC, and we learned at Hockenheim that he might be a little bit too good in comparison to the rest of the All-Stars field. Even the likes of ex-IndyCar driver turned streamer Tony Kanaan and reigning All-Stars champion Emily Jones couldn’t do much to stop Laurin from running away with first the sprint race and then the main race as well.
#PorscheMobil1Supercup – It’s race night in #Porsche @TAGHeuer Esports Supercup by @iRacing. #Supercup “Rookie of the Year 2021” @laurinheinrich_ competes a virtual #911GT3Cup in the All-Stars Race. Qualifying starts 17:30 pm UTC. Live on https://t.co/TQAX24uGnK@PorscheRacesGB pic.twitter.com/DHDR8Ml9HE— Porsche Supercup (@PorscheSupercup) February 5, 2022
It’s clear that Laurin is just as skilled on the sim as he is on the track, but perhaps Hockenheim was a one-off. Or perhaps he will continue to prove that he is the very fastest driver in a field of veritable All-Stars, either way the opening round was great fun to watch.
Coanda Still Look Very Strong
For those of you that missed it, back in December of 2021, Coanda Simsport announced that several of their fastest drivers, some of whom had been dominant forces in the Porsche Tag Heuer Esports Supercup, would be stepping away from the PESC for the 2022 season. This included reigning champion Joshua K Rogers, as well as the likes of Mitchell deJong, Mack Bakkum, Tommy Østgaard and Martin Krönke.
However, round one of the main series made it clear that Coanda itself was still very much in it to win it. The winners of both the sprint and main races were Dayne Warren and Ayhancan Güven, both of whom are Coanda drivers. What’s more, another Coanda driver in the form of Jeremy Bouteloup also managed a podium in the second race. The orange and purple cars aren’t leaving the front of the field any time soon!
The Big Names Won’t Have it All their own way
After the aforementioned departure of Joshua Rogers from the series, there was some debate about who was the most likely driver to take over his title in 2022. Big names like Red Bull Racing Esports Team driver Sebastian Job and Maximilian Benecke of Team Redline were among those touted to succeed, but neither of them had the start to 2022 that they would have liked.
In the sprint race, it was Benecke who provided the greatest shock after qualifying down towards the very back of the grid. Job started fourth and managed to bring the car home in the same position, but Benecke was mired well outside the top ten. Another big name in the form of Graham Carroll also had an iffy qualifying session, and ended up finishing the sprint race in eleventh place.
These fortunes were reversed in the main race. Job, despite his relatively good starting position, was caught up in an incident and ended up in twenty-second place. Benecke and Carroll both made comeback drivers, with the latter even managing to claim a spot on the podium in second place. However, none of the big names got the best of starts to the season, potentially opening the door for less fancied championship contenders.
What were you surprised by in the opening round of the Porsche Tag Heuer Esports Supercup? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!