Last Saturday, the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup drivers tackled the Nordschleife on iRacing. Here are three who made a big impression.
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Only two rounds to go in the fifth season of the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup on iRacing after the most recent round on the Nordschleife. With only rounds at Circuit de la Sarthe and Monza remaining, Jordan Caruso is 78 points in the lead of the championship.
If the Altus Esports driver outscores Zac Campbell and Sebastian Job by eight points in Round 9, he’s won the championship. With his remarkable consistency, even a sub-par round last time out hasn’t weakened his grip.
It was the turn of three other drivers though to get in the spotlight. So here are our picks for drivers who impressed in the most recent round of PESC.
Typically a name seen at the sharp end, the MOUZ racer’s focus on ESL R1 has seen his results in PESC fail to reflect his undeniable ability. Prior to this round, Benecke was in the bottom 15 of the driver’s standings, but he has put himself back in the preferable end of the table.
He placed ninth in the Sprint, just a few tenths shy of claiming pole for the Main Race. But he made up for that disappointment.
A misjudgement by Sprint winner Alejandro Sánchez resulted in an incident involving Job, Moreno Sirica and Luca Kita heading into T1 on the final lap. Benecke was the main beneficiary and slotted into third.
With Benecke almost certainly prioritising the ESL R1 Major which clashes with the PESC finale, he will need a huge influx of points in Round 9 to avoid being bumped into the bottom 15. But this result is somewhat encouraging. Maybe even if he does have to go through Contenders, he will still be on the grid next season.
The Stormforce Racing ART driver has really made massive strides this season. He was third overall in the 2020 season with a run of eight consecutive podium finishes, including three victories. But he only got his first pole position this year, and is leading the TAG Heuer Pole Award.
The only other driver to take more than one pole this season is Caruso, with Campbell, Job and Bico all picking up one apiece. Sánchez managed to convert that pole into a victory in absolutely dominant fashion ahead of Job and Kita.
His misjudgement in the Main Race that resulted in the collision with Job is certainly one he won’t be too proud of. But nevertheless, his step up in pace after stagnating the last few seasons is great to see.
Currently sitting on 333 points, he is only 38 behind the duo of Job and Campbell. Could Sánchez end the season as runner-up or at least in the top three? More importantly, if he secures one more pole then nobody can overtake him in the TAG Heuer Pole Award.
After setting the preliminary fastest time in the first qualifying group, Luca Kita’s time couldn’t overcome the times of Sánchez and Job, and he held on in the Sprint to finish behind the pair to take his first podium of the season.
The Urano eSports racer then managed to rebound after the incident that Sánchez caused on the last lap of the Main Race, and finished not too far from Benecke. Prior to Round 7, Kita’s best finish was 10th and they had, for the most part, been very lowly finishes.
The PESC Qualifying Series champion’s results since then have been 5th with the fastest lap, 4th, 3rd and 4th. A remarkable turnaround, and certainly more reflective of the talent we know Kita to have.
Kita now sits 11th in the standings, just under 40 points away from having to requalify through the Contenders Series. With momentum on his side, let’s see if he can hold on.
Special Mention: Ayhancan Güven
The name Ayhancan Güven is one that has not been seen for the longest time in PESC. The real-world Porsche factory driver won the Main Race in the 2022 season opener, but was forced to miss a majority of the season due to his increasing commitments in real life. As a result, he didn’t attempt to requalify in Contenders.
But clearly the PESC organisers still love him, as he was invited to compete in the All-Stars races. Also on the grid was Porsche Junior driver Bastian Buus and even Jimmy Broadbent, the content creator turned Praga Cup champion returning to the series at the same track where he took victory in 2021, also in the 911 RSR.
Even though it was his All-Stars debut, Güven proved he had lost none of the speed that had earned him a spot in the Supercup. He gapped the season-long dominant Casey Kirwan in the Sprint by nearly five seconds in the three lap race. That’s no small feat.
It was very good to see Güven back in PESC, even if it was only in All-Stars.
Next stop, Le Mans!
The next round takes place on the Circuit de la Sarthe, otherwise known as Le Mans. Tune in to Porsche’s YouTube or Twitch channels at 7pm CEST on 20 May to follow both the All-Stars and Supercup drivers.
If you want to catch up on all the racing you may have missed from the broadcast, rewatch it all from Porsche’s YouTube channel.
Which drivers impressed you in Round 8 of the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!