Marcenò and Job win on the streets of Long Beach
Marcenò scores maiden victory in the sprint race
Having already taken the top spot at the season opening event at Hockenheim, Jordan Caruso (AUS/Altus Esports) again showed his speed. He took pole position almost two full tenths of a second ahead of his team mate Simone Maria Marcenò (IT/Altus Esports). On the second row of the grid was another team pairing in the form of Yohann Harth (F/Stormforce Racing ART) and Alejandro Sánchez (E/Stormforce Racing ART). Defending champion Diogo C. Pinto (P/Team Redline) ended his qualifying session in sixth.
As the lights went green for the 13 lap long sprint race, it was Simone Maria Marcenò who got the best start, taking the lead of the race before the field even reached the first corner. In the back, an unfortunate contact between Oskari Rinne (FI/BS+COMPETITION) and Gianni Vecchio (D/Team Redline) on the pit straight resulted in a chain reaction that left multiple drivers with significant damage to their cars. Another incident occurred at the end of the opening lap, when Quentin Vialatte (F/R8G Esports) tried to force his way through on the inside of the hairpin. This second incident resulted in several more wounded cars, and most significantly, also effectively ended the race of championship leader Diogo C. Pinto.
The final major twist of the sprint race occurred in the penultimate lap. Alessandro Bico (IT/Williams Esports) dove down the inside of Quentin Vialatte on the entry to the final corner, spinning him out in the process. The hold-up created by this failed last-minute passing attempt allowed Bobby Zalenski (USA/VRS Coanda) to slip through and take over eighth place and with that the reverse grid pole position for the following 26 lap long main race. At the front of the field, despite being kept under pressure all the way through the race, Simone Maria Marcenò crossed the line first in his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup and became the first Italian to win a Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup race.
Job scores hard-fought win in the main race
More calamity followed when Jamie Fluke (GB/Apex Racing Team) spun out exiting the final corner after he made contact with Gustavo Ariel (BR/TXC Racing by TK) and Zac Campbell (USA/VRS Coanda) was hit by Diogo C. Pinto on his way to salvage some points from what had been an unlucky round for the twenty-year-old up to that point. The latter of these two incidents also caused the following cars to be bunched up, ultimately leading to further strife between Gianni Vecchio and Salva Talens (E/Stormforce Racing ART) in the fountain section of the circuit. At the front of the field, Sebastian Job did well to maintain the race lead, though the 2020 champion came under increasing pressure from the likes of Charlie Collins (GB/VRS Coanda), Jordan Caruso and his own stable mate Cooper Webster (AUS/Oracle Redbull Racing Esports) as the laps ticked down.
Job made sure to not open himself up to any attacks from behind on his way to the checkered flag and scored his first race victory of the year ahead of Charlie Collins who, thanks to another consistent round, inherited the championship lead from Diogo C. Pinto. Caruso finished third, while Webster, who across both races made up 11 positions, was fourth. The other standout performer in that regard was Sam Kuitert (NL/URANO eSports), who from twenty-ninth position before the sprint race, managed to finish the main race in fourteenth.
Laurin Heinrich and DaveCam top the All-Star-Series podiums
At the end of qualifying, it was Casey Kirwan whose name was at the top of the timing charts. Both he and 2022 Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland champion Laurin Heinrich, who was once again competing at this round, started from the front row. Heinrich got the better start, passed Kirwan and never gave up that top spot. A last lap dive from the latter resulted in contact, spun Heinrich out and almost cost him the win. Kirwan made sure to act in a sportsmanlike manner though, didn’t capitalize on the situation and dropped back to second.
The fully inverted grid for the main race provided plenty of action once more. Javier “Stadi” Soto and Dave “DaveCam” Cameron lined up in row one and battled for the race lead through the first few corners, with DaveCam eventually coming out on top. He went about trying to create a gap to the cars behind right away, as the pace advantage that both Casey Kirwan and Laurin Heinrich had during the sprint would make it difficult to hold onto that lead, even with them having to start from positions thirteen and fourteen respectively. Both of them spent the majority of the race working their way back up the field, which meant that DaveCam was just about able to hold on to the lead across the line on the last lap, claiming the win after tough luck in the sprint race.