What a memorable race day for Joshua K Rogers! The Australian secured his second PESC championship on Saturday, 10 April, one race before the final, after a thrilling race at the Circuit de la Sarthe. At the home of the infamous 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup went into its ninth round. The 2019 PESC champion Joshua K Rogers had built a significant points margin at the top of the standings over the season. His main challengers for the title were Red Bull Racing Esports Team driver Sebastian Job and Rogers’ own Virtual Racing School teammate Mitchell deJong.
Rogers beats Job by 0.1 seconds
Right away, Rogers extended his points lead by snagging pole position in qualifying. This saw him starting the sprint race from first, with another teammate of his, Charlie Collins, joining him on the front row. Just behind in third was Sebastian Job, while Mitchell deJong could only managed the fourth row of the grid, in seventh place.
Both Rogers and Collins had clean starts, and from there they attempted to work together to build a gap down to Job, who himself was busy fighting for position with Dayne Warren. However, Job was able to win out this particular duel, and then to close back in on the leading pair.
It all went Virtual Racing School’s way until the final lap, when Job challenged for the lead. The Red Bull driver dispatched Collins and then got Rogers as well, but the Australian had his wits about him and an exciting battle between him and Job ensued over the win. Side-by-side racing eventually saw Rogers on top, and he clinched the win by less than a tenth of a second with Job and then Collins behind.
Rogers wins season one race early
Due to their finishes in the sprint race, Rogers and Job lined up next to each other for the feature race, in eighth and seventh respectively. DeJong, who had failed to make much progress in the sprint, started third on the grid. The American wasn’t third for long though, as he rocketed off the line at the start to take the race lead before the first corner.
Only three laps in to this longer six-lap race, Rogers was already challenging for the lead. He had made his way neatly through the field to the very front, while his rival Job was struggling to make much headway. Just as Rogers was taking the lead, there was a big shunt just behind as several cars were battling at once and occupying much of the road.
Le Mans... have had plenty of good memories at this joint over the years, hopefully we can make some more today 🙏🏼 We’ll be pushing like always though, thanks everyone for your support - it never ceases to amaze me 👊🏼— Josh Rogers (@JKRogers_92) April 10, 2021
📸 @byimprov @CoandaSimsport @realVRS #nevernotracing pic.twitter.com/oVzAQmLlhV
Jeremy Bouteloup tapped the left-hand side of deJong’s car, resulting in the Frenchman veering away to the left. To his left, at the very edge of the track, was Sebastian Job, attempting an opportunistic move on several drivers at once. The resulting contact between Bouteloup and Job saw the former facing sideways with his nose in the wall, while the latter pushed him forwards, t-boning him. Bouteloup retired instantly, and Job was to fall back due to damage until his own retirement a lap later.
In the aftermath of the crash, it was the Virtual Racing School trio of deJong, Collins and Rogers occupying the front three places. This changed again on the final lap, as everyone got a little desperate in their attempts to improve their standing. Collins locked up and went off, while deJong was hit by Tommy Østgaard and went careering into the gravel. Rogers’ fortune held true though, and he avoided all the chaos to take first place in the feature race, as he had done in the sprint.
As a result of this, the Australian has now built an insurmountable lead in the standings, making him the winner of the 2021 Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup. He receives $50,000 out of the $200,000 prize pool. There is still one round of action to go, though, at Monza on 24 April.
Vote for the best OverTake of the 2021 PESC
This year's PESC has seen many notable moments. With our TAG Heuer OverTake Award, we want to honour the best overtakes of the season. You can now vote for one of the ten entries by 26 April!
What do you think of Rogers' performance this season? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!