Last Saturday, the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup drivers tackled the Circuit de la Sarthe on iRacing. Here are three moments that stood out.
It was the penultimate round of the season and it was match point for Jordan Caruso. Starting the round 78 points in the lead, if he extended that lead by only eight points, he would have wrapped up the championship with a round to spare.
But with the slipstreaming and high speed nature of the Circuit de la Sarthe, there were no guarantees of it being plain sailing. Some very noteworthy things happened during round 9, all of which we will discuss here.
Pinto is Back
After a very up and down season, reigning champion Diogo Pinto reminded everyone he hadn’t lost his touch. He may be out of mathematical contention for this season, but his performance in Round 9 was a strong reminder of what the Redline driver can do.
He had failed to finish in the top 10 in any race in the prior three rounds. So, when he topped Group A qualifying, he waited with bated breath as the top five in the standings all attempted to usurp his pole spot. TAG Heuer Pole Award leader Alejandro Sánchez came unbelievably close, only falling short by 0.019 seconds over the course of 8.5 miles.
Pinto just fell short of converting his first pole of the season to a victory, finishing just behind Sprint winner Sebastian Job. He then placed seventh in the Main Race. This didn’t amount to his best single-round performance this season; he finished second and third in the round on the Red Bull Ring.
But, after a slump due to some misfortune and misjudgements, Pinto made sure that we all knew that he is still a worldclass driver. He wasn’t handed the 2022 championship after all, he truly earned it and we expect him to be a championship contender once again next season.
Harth Takes First Win
The Main Race saw another titanic tussle for the win, and it was a very popular first time winner who triumphed. Stormforce Racing ART driver Yohann Harth has been in the series since 2020, having been juggling his participation that year with his championship winning campaign in iRacing Rallycross.
Harth’s best finish prior to this season were two third place finishes in the 2021 and 2022 season finales. But this year, he earned a third place in Round 4 and just missed out on victory when he couldn’t outdrag Alessandro Bico to the line in Round 8. That first win eluded him, but it wouldn’t for long.
Holding off the advancements of Bico, Charlie Collins and teammate Sánchez, Harth kept his cool. He went three wide on the last lap with Bico and Collins, but he got the bump draft from his fellow Apex driver which gave him the overlap heading towards Indianapolis corner. It all paid off.
Finally, Yohann Harth is a PESC race winner. This puts him at a healthy eighth in the standings, a stark contrast to finishing 17th, 19th and 13th in previous seasons.
As we already mentioned, Caruso had hit match point. If he could outscore his closest rivals by a slender six points, he would be champion. After the Sprint Race, that 78 point gap had become 61, not ideal but still a big lead. If he could get a decent points haul in the Main Race, it would be a good cushion.
Unfortunately, Caruso had an incident on the last lap. After already losing positions and sustaining damage when Sánchez tapped him in the Porsche Curves, he was tapped by Fyra’s Mathias Stokbæk Jensen at the very same corner, and was classified 25th.
With Job getting 26 for finishing 8th, a 61 point gap became only 36. Hardly an insurmountable margin but still relatively comfortable. The Altus Esports racer will certainly be anxious as he heads into the Monza finale on 3 June.
Will Caruso’s charge fall short at the final hurdle or can the level-headed Aussie keep calm as victory day is on the horizon?
The next round will infact be the last of the season. The Supercup and All-Stars drivers will be taking on the temple of speed that is Monza, with the latter racing the new Porsche Mission R.
Tune in to Porsche’s YouTube or Twitch channels at 8pm CEST on 3 June 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 round on Le Mans, rewatch it all from Porsche’s YouTube channel.
Who do you believe will win the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!