Last Saturday’s Le Mans Virtual Series round #3, the 6 hours of Spa-Francorchamps looked quite promising for the Porsche Coanda Esports Racing Team for most of the time. After a thrilling final phase and a 30-second post-race penalty for the #23 LMP2 car, P4 for #20 and P7 for #23 are the results. Nevertheless, the team proved one thing at Spa: pure speed.
Back-to-back pole positions. The qualifying.
On Friday night, the qualifying was taking place in harsh conditions. It was raining a lot at the beginning of the session. Mitchell deJong in the #20 car and Joshua Rogers in the #23 car again took the responsibility of fighting for pole position. The biggest challenge for all drivers was to find the perfect slot to start the flying lap and respect the quickly drying track. The two times Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup champion Joshua Rogers managed it best: 2:11.060 minutes were locked in next to his name on the leaderboard. It’s the first pole position for the young Australian and the second for the team in a row. Last time’s pole setter Mitchell deJong went for P7 in qualifying with his Porsche Coanda #20 LMP2 car.
An exciting catch-up. Recap for the Porsche Coanda #20 car.
The green flag marked an exciting catch-up from Mitchell deJong in the early phase of the race. Lap by lap, he gained time and overtook his competition. After two exhausting stints, he handed the #20 car over, running in the second position right behind the sister car with Joshua Rogers. Tommy Østgaard took the wheel from the American driver. Due to different strategies and pit-stop timings, the two Porsche Coanda cars fought for the race's lead throughout the next stints. Zac Campbell jumped into the #20 car as the third driver and managed to follow the sister car in lockstep. During the last hour of the race, the so-called crunch time, it became clear that the fuel-saving strategy of the competition was superior to the raw speed of the Porsche Coanda cars. Ultimately, the #20 car crossed the line in fifth place. Due to a post-race penalty for the #23 car, this result was converted into P4.
A strong pace that didn’t earn the deserved win. Recap for the Porsche Coanda #23 car.
Starting from P1, Joshua Rogers knew no mercy with the competition. He defended his first place like a champion and showed immediately why he got pole position the evening before. After two stints, he handed the car over to Mack Bakkum, running in the first place. His teammate followed the Australian's example and maintained first place overall. Martin Krönke also put in two stints to defend the potential victory on the track. But it was unavoidable for the #23 to lose the positions in the last racing hour, too. Joshua Rogers tried everything he could on track to get the necessary time advantage over those who saved fuel, but this time the Porsche Coanda team wasn't able to capitalize on its pace.
The 500 miles of Sebring. Round #4 in early December.
Round #4 of the Le Mans Virtual will be the first race on virtual American soil for the Porsche Coanda Esports Racing Team. The old airport field in Florida marks the year's end of the regular season of the Le Mans Virtual Series again. On 3 December, every sim racing fan is welcomed again on the Porsche Twitch channel to follow the action live and onboard. For all information and news about the Porsche Coanda Esports Racing Team, follow Coanda's social media platforms, the Porsche Twitch channel, and the Porsche Motorsport Hub: Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.