Last Saturday, the Porsche Coanda Esports Racing Team did not only celebrate its first win but also a double podium. The Porsche works team's performance was flawless throughout round #4 of the Le Mans Virtual Series. Everything went in the team's way, and they dominated from qualifying on Friday night until crossing the line on Saturday night after 500 miles and 134 laps, respectively. The six drivers of the two Porsche Coanda LMP2 cars never put a foot wrong throughout the entire weekend.
Second fastest but still in pole position. The qualifying.
As with every other track on the calendar, the Sebring International Raceway is a big challenge. A few centimetres off the ideal line make the difference between a good and a perfect lap in virtual Florida. At the end of the qualifying session, those few centimetres separated Joshua Rogers in his Porsche Coanda #23 LMP2 car from the pole position. The Australian missed out on it by 0.023 seconds – thanks to a grid penalty for the R8G pole-setting car, the #23 was promoted to P1 on the starting grid. Mitchell deJong wreslted its sister car around the track and made it to P4 in qualifying by a margin of 0.249 seconds off the pole. Also, the #20 car was promoted to P3 for a furious race start.
An ideal start and a flawless race. Recap for the Porsche Coanda #20 car.
Once again, Mitchell deJong took the race start for the Porsche Coanda #20 LMP2 car. He was behind his teammate Joshua Rogers on P3 on the starting grid and the formation lap. A perfectly timed start made him improve to P2 right before the first corner of the race. From then on, the two Porsche Coanda cars dictated the race action from the front. After two flawless stints, Tommy Østgaard jumped into the rig and took over from Mitchell deJong. Lapped cars, different pit-stop strategies, and collisions on track luckily never impacted the team. Also, Tommy Østgaard showed a superior drive and handed the car over to Ayhancan Güven. The Turkish driver showed a solid performance and managed to catch up with the sister car. In the end, he crossed the finish line 2.785 seconds behind the Porsche Coanda #23 car.
A perfect strategy paired with the fastest pace. Recap for the Porsche Coanda #23 car.
After having missed out on converting a pole position start into a win last time round in Spa-Francorchamps, the team was up for redemption. From the very first moment on, Joshua Rogers showed an impressive pace on track. With the first race hour in the books, he managed to increase his gap to Porsche Coanda #20 to 8.5 seconds and 11.134 seconds to third-placed Team Redline. For stints three and four, the Porsche Junior Laurin Heinrich took over the wheel from the Australian. The Porsche Carrera Cup Germany champion also displayed a flawless performance at the front of the field and never came under pressure from traffic or lapped cars. Thanks to his two stints, the Porsche Coanda #20 car managed to increase the gap by two seconds to its sister car and eight more seconds on the third-placed LMP2 piloted by reigning Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen at that time. The Porsche Esports works driver Mack Bakkum never got under pressure in his final two stints and brought the car home in the first place. This win marked the first one in the season and the first double victory in the team's short history.
It’s all or nothing at Le Mans in January.
It's almost six weeks ahead of the Porsche Coanda Esports Racing Team before meeting again on the track that marked the start of the cooperation between Porsche Motorsport and Coanda Esports two years ago. The virtual 24 hours of Le Mans is far more than just the season-ending – it's the team's ultimate goal. One of the race's unique features is its value as a stand-alone event with a $ 125.000 prize pool. In addition, it's also the Le Mans Virtual Series' season finale, where teams get double the points for the overall standings. Currently, the Porsche Coanda #20 car is ranked P3 with 58 points. The sister car, #23, is listed as P4 with 46 points. Last season's champions Team Redline are upfront with 78 points, and Team Floyd Vanwall-Burst is on P2 with 60 points. A total of 50 points are awarded to the Le Mans winning car. That leaves the championship open until the very last lap at Le Mans. A thrilling scenario worth the 24 hours of Le Mans. Join the Porsche Coanda Esports Racing Team on 14 and 15 January for the endurance classic on the Porsche Twitch channel. 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.