5 February 2022: At the digital track of Hockenheim, 35 of theworld’s best sim racers took one last deep breath before the start of the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup 2022. One thing was certain for the athletes: This series would test their driving skills like never before.
With last year’s champion Joshua Rogers out of the starting field, this year the total prize pool of $200,000 would require a new champion in the iRacing simulation.
Who would claim the title? Would Sebastian Job, the 2020 champion, build on his success or would we see new drivers at the top? These were the questions going through the minds of all sim racing fans and sim racers right up to the last second... and then the first race started.
#1 Hockenheimring – Ayhancan Güven wins at Hockenheimring
The first race of the season had everything one could wish for. Exciting head-to-head duels, collisions, the competitors hurling out of hairpin corners and a contender for the title already attracting attention. In the end, Coanda driver Ayhancan Güven took first place on the podium and celebrated the first PESC victory of his career. Second place went to Graham Caroll and third place went to Jeremy Bouteloup of France.
Sim racing fans who bet on seeing Sebastian Job in the front ranks were left disappointed. A hairpin incident in the third lap buried his chances of a successful first race early on.
#2 Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya – Everything new in Spain
Second races often show who’ll compete for top positions in motorsports. But this year’s PESC had some surprising results in store. Some of which are less surprising looking back now.
Kevin Ellis Jr. took the victory with a start-finish win on the virtual Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in the main race – whereas in the opening race he just finished 18th.
Many top drivers had to watch crucial points slip through their fingers in the second lap of the race. After a rear-end collision at Turn 10, Charlie Collins lost control of his 510hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup and knocked Pinto, Sanchez, Caroll, Warren, Collins and Berryman off the track.
Sebastian Job, unlucky again, was dragged into the incident and was only able to finish the race in 25th place.
#3 Autódromo José Carlos Pace – Comeback of a champion
In the third race of the season, the 35 sim racers went to Brazil. While things went badly for Sebastian Job in the first two races, Interlagos can now be described as his personal turning point of the season.
With a sovereign start-finish victory in the sprint race, he scored important points, which marked the beginning of a phenomenal comeback. The American Zac Campbell also celebrated a real highlight. In the second-to-last lap, he prevailed against Warren and Ellis and crossed the finish line for the first time as a winner in the PESC.
For the Portuguese Diogo C. Pinto, Brazil was also to be one of the most important races. Combining his points from all three races, he took over the lead of the standings for the season and should keep it until the final.
Jeremy Bouteloup had to settle for second place for the time being. Güven was able to defend his third place with two top-10 positions, unfortunately for the last time.
#4 Silverstone – A 2020 Déjà-vu
Four races, four different winners. Fortunately for all motorsport enthusiasts, even after the fourth race on England’s classic racetrack, no sim racer was able to claim the role of odds-on favourite – the season would still remain exciting.
Silverstone had surely become one of Alejandros Sanchez’ favourite tracks. With a narrow lead of just 0. 282 seconds, he won the race for the second time. A reminder that in 2020, he was also at the top of the podium.
The three Britons Kevin Ellis Jr., Jamie Fluke and Sebastian Job ranked from third to fifth. Only one point separated the drivers after the race. Jeremy Bouteloup, who was still high on the season leaderboard until now, fell back to sixth after placing 11th in the sprint and 26th in the main race.
#5 Red Bull Ring – Halftime and home game
Starting in third position, Interlagos looked promising for Zac Campbell - unfortunately only as far as the first corner at the Red Bull Ring. Campbell lost control of his 911 GT3 Cup and drove other drivers David Williams and Graham Carrol off the track.
Sebastian Job’s victory in the main race was already anticipated. With his two previous sprint wins, it was only a matter of time before he claimed victory in one of the main races. The fact that it should happen in his team’s home race placed it firmly in the category: “Right time, right race.”
But it wasn’t a solo display. Diogo C. Pinto, who started as leader in the fifth round of the season, managed a worthy catch-up that brought him forward all the way to second place – in the end Job only barely took the victory ahead of the Portugese racer. Collins claimed third place.
#6 Circuit Gilles Villeneuve – Starting into the second half of the season
With five races behind us, the Canadian Circuit Gilles Villeneuve welcomed the sim racers in the sixth race. Diogo C. Pinto was now the season leader. But Kevin Ellis Jr., who was able to maintain his second place thanks to consistent top 10 finishes and Sebastian Job, who had now moved up to third place, were hot on his heels.
However, it was Dayne Warren who ended up being the real star that race. After fading somewhat after his first win in the first race, he took the victory for himself and positioned himself back among the top 10 in the table.