Zac Campbell wins the feature race at the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup season opener

Zac Campbell wins the feature race at the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup season opener

05.02.2023: Race, Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup 2023, round 1, Hockenheim (D) Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (Esports), Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup, Hockenheimring, Zac Campbell (USA), #15, VRS Coanda • Diogo C. Pinto launches Mission Title Defence wit

Race, Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup 2023, round 1, Hockenheim (D)

Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (Esports), Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup, Hockenheimring, Zac Campbell (USA), #15, VRS Coanda

•    Diogo C. Pinto launches Mission Title Defence with victory in the sprint race

•    Team VRS Coanda celebrates a one-two in the feature race at Hockenheim

•    Jordan Caruso dominates the first PESC qualifying of the year

•    Casey Kirwan finishes All-Stars sprint first, “Jardier” wins feature race

Season five of the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup has kicked off with the defending champion Diogo C. Pinto clinching first place in the sprint race. Victory in the feature race went to Zac Campbell. Charlie Collins achieved second place at both races on the Hockenheimring.

Zac Campbell has won the season opener of the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup (PESC). In the 18-lap feature race, the American fought his way through the field from third place on the grid to cross the finish line first on the digital version of the Hockenheimring.

His British teammate at VRS Coanda, Charlie Collins, came a close second. In the sprint race over half the distance, defending champion Diogo C. Pinto from Portugal emerged as the winner. Season five of the PESC opened on the German Grand Prix circuit. The one-make cup is contested with the virtual Porsche 911 GT3 Cup on the iRacing simulation platform. The 30 competitors tackle ten rounds in a bid for prize money totalling 200,000 US dollars.

Somewhat out of the blue, Jordan Caruso dominated the qualifying on the 4.574-kilomere Formula 1 circuit. Driving for the Altus Esports squad, the Australian was the first to earn points towards the TAG Heuer Pole Award. As the end of the season, the winner of this award receives a TAG Heuer Connected Watch in the special Porsche Edition.

Caruso, however, lost his lead in the sprint race in the first of nine laps: At first, UK driver Charlie Collins from the VRS Coanda team took the lead, only to be overtaken by title defender Diogo C. Pinto (Team Redline). The Portuguese sim racer crossed the finish line first with Collins close on his bumper.

In a last-ditch effort over the final metres, Caruso reclaimed third place from the Spaniard Alejandro Sánchez (Stormforce Racing ART). The 2020 PESC champion Sebastian Job (Oracle RedBull Racing Esports) scored fifth place. Lasse Bak from Denmark claimed eighth place as the best newcomer. Thanks to the reserve grid line up for the top eight in the sprint, the rookie from the FYRA SimSport team tackled the feature race from pole position.

In the feature event, Bak won the sprint to the first corner and initially enjoyed a stint at the front. However, on lap four of 18, he had to relinquish the lead to a fiercely attacking Zac Campbell. Before this, the American had ploughed his way past Alessandro Bico (Williams Esports) from Italy and Sebastian Job.

Job attempted to follow suit with a spirited overtaking move but slid on the grass in the arena section of the Hockenheimring and lost ground. Campbell proceeded to eke out a slight advantage over his pursuers to take the flag half a second ahead of Charlie Collins. Third place went to Bico followed by Caruso, Pinto and the Frenchman Yohann Harth (Apex Racing Team). Bak came seventh as the best rookie.

Content creators from the sim racing scene tackle the All-Stars race

Casey Kirwan opened the new All-Stars season of the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup with a victory in the sprint race. The young American had already won the qualifying session and started the short 17-minute race from pole position.

There, he immediately took the lead and skilfully defended it against Tony Kanaan. At the finish line, Kirwan was almost three seconds ahead of the Brazilian real-life IndyCar champion and Indy500 winner, who had to settle for second place ahead of Spain’s Borja Zazo.

For the 17-lap feature race at the Hockenheimring, content creators from the sim racing world lined up in reverse order of the previous race result. Accordingly, Kirwan started from the 14th and last position. His charge to catch up saw him fight his way up to fourth place.

Jaroslav “Jardier” Honzik came out on top. On the last lap, the Czech benefitted from a collision in the hairpin between Oliver “Basic Ollie” Furnell, who had held the lead up until that point, and his pursuer Emily “Emree” Jones. The Briton still finished second, with the Australian wrapping up the season opener in third place.

Preview: Magny Cours hosts the next PESC race in two weeks

In just 14 days, the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup continues with a premiere: Round two of the season kicks off on 18 January on the digital Grand Prix circuit of Magny Cours in France. The flat Circuit de Nevers, the real version of which measures 4.411 kilometres, was on the Formula 1 calendar for the last time in 2008.

It features nine right-hand and eight left-hand corners. The track surface is extremely sensitive to temperature. The most striking sections of the circuit include the fast “Grande-Courbe” at the end of the short start-finish straight.

This lefthander flows smoothly into the sweeping “Estoril” righthander, from which the drivers have to carry maximum momentum for the high-speed passage leading to the slow “Adelaide” hairpin. The PESC sprint race runs over nine laps with the feature race covering twice that distance.

Comments on the race

Zac Campbell (USA/VRS Coanda)
: “Words can’t describe how great it is to be working with a teammate like Charles Collins. We’ve worked very hard on the set-up of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup over the past few days. As part of the Porsche Coanda Esports factory team in the virtual Le Mans Series, we came up with a lot of ideas over the winter on how to further optimise the processes on the iRacing simulation platform. I’m very happy with the outcome, it makes a marked difference. First and second place, that’s a fantastic result.”

Charlie Collins (UK/VRS Coanda):
“To be honest, I just tried to stay behind Zac – as soon as I got into second place, I knew I couldn’t catch him today. I also think it’s pretty cool to be competing alongside my brother Bryn in the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup. There have never been siblings in this series before. It still feels a bit weird, but it’ll probably become more natural over the course of the season.”

Alessandro Bico (I/Williams Esports): “
I’m very happy about my very first podium result in this series. After my rookie season last year, we were able to identify potential for improvement in a number of areas. I then intensified my training, focusing precisely on these issues – that seems to have paid off. I did a good job in qualifying, so I could start far up front and find a good pace early on.”


Hockenheim, sprint race

1. Diogo C. Pinto (P/Team Redline)
2. Charlie Collins (UK/VRS Coanda)
3. Jordan Caruso (AUS/Altus Esports)
4. Alejandro Sánchez (E/Stormforce Racing ART)
5. Sebastian Job (UK/Oracle Redbull Racing Esports)

Hockenheim, feature race

1. Zac Campbell (USA/VRS Coanda)
2. Charlie Collins (UK/VRS Coanda)
3. Alessandro Bico (I/Williams Esports)
4. Jordan Caruso (AUS/Altus Esports)
5. Diogo C. Pinto (P/Team Redline)

Overall standings after the first of 10 rounds

1. Charlie Collins (UK/VRS Coanda), 73 points
2. Jordan Caruso (AUS/Altus Esports), 67 points
3. Diogo C. Pinto (P/Team Redline), 67 points
4. Zac Campbell (USA/VRS Coanda), 65 points
5. Alessandro Bico (I/Williams Esports), 54 points



Holger Eckhardt- photos Porsche


05.02.2023 / MaP

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