The first round of the new Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup season will take place tonight. Here’s all you need to know about the premiere iRacing esports championship.
Image credit: Porsche
The Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup is one of the top esports championships in the world and has proven to have some of the best drivers in iRacing. It’s entering its fourth season as the premiere championship on the service, and the drivers will compete for a massive $200,000 prize pool.
In its first season back in 2019, Coanda Simsport racer Joshua K Rogers prevailed just defeating Pure Racing Team’s Maximilian Benecke and ahead of Red Bull Racing Esports driver Sebastian Job.
For 2020, it was Job who came out on top ahead of Rogers but it would only be a wait of six months for Rogers before he was able to snatch back his crown as the following season was compacted into the first quarter of 2021.
#PESC – This Saturday, the #Porsche @TAGHeuer Esports Supercup by @iRacing heads into the new season. And for the first time, the #911GT3Cup, based on the 992 generation, is showcased in the virtual Porsche one-make cup as the new competition car pic.twitter.com/K14zhzpWq5— Porsche Motorsport (@PorscheRaces) February 4, 2022
Popular support act
The broadcast begins at 6:30pm CET on Porsche’s YouTube and Twitch channels, but the first races are not the main championship drivers. Instead, the support racing action will open with two All Star races where the likes of reigning All Star champion Emily Jones, Jimmy Broadbent and Jaroslav ‘Jardier’ Honzik will be competing.
They’ll also be sharing the track with a couple of racing drivers over the course of the season. Such as Tony Kanaan and also some Porsche-affiliated racers, the first of which will be new Porsche junior Laurin Heinrich.
After a short qualifying session for the All-Stars racers, there will be a short race of 15 minutes and then the results of that race are fully reversed for the second race which is 25 minutes in length.
Highlights from the @PorscheRaces All Star Premiere event for the all new 911 GT3 Cup car. Follow @TonyKanaan ‘s advice and get the car tomorrow with the Seaason 4 build update! pic.twitter.com/senlkjqf9M— iRacing.com (@iRacing) September 7, 2021
Last year in the All-Stars races different cars were used across the season, unlike the main championship which always used the 911 Cup car. The first three races were in the 911 Cup car, the second three in the 718 Cayman GT4 and the next three in the 911 RSR. The car used for the finale was decided by a public vote and they selected the 911 Cup car. The same will happen this year, with a 911 Cup, 718 Cayman GT4 and 911 R being used.
The main event
For the primary championship drivers, this year’s format is similar to last year’s. A short qualifying session sets the grid, but the top five in qualifying earn points before racing a single lap, with the fastest qualifier earning 10 points, the second fastest getting 8, then 6, 4 and 2 for the remainder of the top five.
As for the races themselves, there’s one short race of roughly about 15 minutes called the Sprint, and then a 30 minute-long second race which is the Main race. Like the All-Stars races, the second, longer race has a reverse grid. However, unlike All-Stars, it’s only the top eight that get reversed.
The Sprint’s point system goes 25-22-20-18-16 for the top five and then it’s one fewer point for every further position down to 20th. Then for the Main race, the top 25 score with it going 50-45-40-37-34-31-28-26-24-22 for the top ten. It then goes down by two points from 11th to 16th and then by one point until 25th.
#PESC – This Saturday the first race of the #Porsche @TAGHeuer Esports Supercup by @iRacing kicks off at Hockenheimring live at 17:30 UTC. Thrilling takeovers, risky maneuvers and head-to-head battles for every millisecond – motorsport fans, buckle up— Porsche Motorsport (@PorscheRaces) February 3, 2022
➡️ https://t.co/wfQsFIFGBM pic.twitter.com/FLJJgXA38j
Who will be competing?
A surprise to many before the season started was that Coanda Simsport – the leading outfit in PESC – announced a large portion of their team would not be participating in the season. Most prominently, these included 2021 runner-up Mitchell deJong and two-time champion Josh Rogers.
But don’t despair as there is still plenty of big-name talent competing in the series. 2019 champion Sebastian Job along with Red Bull teammate Graham Carroll, and also Max Benecke who will race for Team Redline.
Coanda will still participate with other prominent members of their team such as two-time Australian Supercars Eseries champion Dayne Warren, real world Porsche Supercup racer Ayhancan Güven and longtime PESC competitor Jeremy Bouteloup who announced on Twitter that he will be stepping back from competitive sim racing after the season is over.
After winning the Daytona 24 hours Special Event on iRacing a couple of weeks ago and contending with Redline on Day 3 of the VCO Esports Racing World Cup last week, Apex Racing Team will be hoping to carry that momentum on the sim where they’ve found all this success in the headline iRacing championship.
They’re fielding the likes of iRacing Grand Prix champion Peter Berryman, Yohann Harth who shared the overall Daytona winning car with Berryman and ERWC competitor Jamie Fluke. Kevin Ellis Jr. is another, who only just lost out to Sebastian Job in the 2021 Porsche Esports Carrera Cup Great Britain. Their driver Alejandro Sánchez will also be competing but for SDK Gaming.
How to watch
Rd 1: 5 February – Hockenheimring
Rd 2: 19 February – Barcelona
Rd 3: 5 March – TBD (Public vote)
Rd 4: 19 March – Silverstone
Rd 5: 26 March – Red Bull Ring
Rd 6: 9 April – Circuit Gilles Villeneuve
Rd 7: 23 April – Spa-Francorchamps
Rd 8: 7 May – Nürburgring Nordschleife
Rd 9: 23 May – Circuit de la Sarthe
Rd 10: 4 June – Monza
Who do you think will be Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup champion? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!