Welcome to Le Mans! No, it's not déjà vu. A Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup race has already taken place in June at the Sarthe. However, due to technical issues, this race could not be scored and so the repeat was held last Saturday. The starting position was clear: if Red Bull Racing Esports driver Sebastian Job finished first at Le Mans, he would be crowned champion one race before the end of the season. But two drivers had something to say about that: defending champion and second in the overall classification Joshua Rogers from VRS Coanda Simsport. And even the current number 3: Alejandro Sánchez from MSI eSports. They were the only ones in the field who still had a mathematical chance of challenging the Brit for the top spot on the table. And Joshua Rogers delivered the goods accordingly. But let's start from the very beginning – the qualifying.
Nothing has been decided in the battle for the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup.
The last hundredth of a second belongs to Rogers.
In the penultimate qualifying session of the 2020 season, the young Australian once again demonstrated the best of his skills by setting the fastest time. As a result, the driver from VRS Coanda Simsport increased his success in qualifying to a seventh win – an impressive performance. But as usual, this meant row four on the starting grid for Rogers. Directly behind his biggest rival Sebastian Job, who set the third-fastest qualifying time on the virtual tarmac. The two top drivers were separated only by Dayne Warren, who started in second place in qualifying and consequently on row four of the sprint race.
A sprint race over the Mulsanne Straight.
Mitchell deJong started from pole position in the lap-based sprint race, but his results this season did not quite match his performance from last year. And yet, for the American, this race day meant a lot – if not everything. In addition to the championship, a place in the top 20 of the overall classification is immensely important, as only these 20 drivers will secure a starting position in next season's Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup. With this in mind, Mitchell deJong undoubtedly drove his best race of the season. Although Graham Carroll overtook him on the Mulsanne Straight with a slipstream-aided manoeuvre, this second place only lasted until deJong returned the favour on the following lap. A slipstream even played a major role further back in the field: Tommy Østgaard gave his teammate Joshua Rogers the perfect slipstream, allowing the Australian to pass Sebastian Job. Intense crashes in the fourth and last lap of the sprint race catapulted Joshua Rogers into second place. Sebastian Job took advantage of a skirmish between Jeff Giassi and Tuomas Tähtelä in the last bend to finish fourth in the four-lap sprint.
The tension could hardly be surpassed: the main race.
The main race at Le Mans was organised with a total of eight laps of the track. Each of the 13.626km laps were gripping. The race was characterised by exciting fights, position changes and difficult manoeuvres. Starting from second place, Joshua Rogers passed teammate Mitchell deJong before the first chicane on the Mulsanne Straight. This began a frenzied pursuit between Rogers and Job with the American as a buffer. Just before the end of the first lap, Sebastian Job overtook Mitchell deJong, leaving only Joshua Rogers between him and victory. But anyone who thought Mitchell deJong would give up was sorely mistaken - the American was the only one from the entire field who could keep up with the two world-class simracers, ultimately securing a well-deserved third place and important points in the battle to remain in the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup. And Alejandro Sánchez? The Spaniard was unable to deliver a single clean lap in qualifying and therefore had to fight his way from the back in both races. After eight laps of racing on the Sarthe, he was unable to achieve more than a tenth-place finish. Joshua Rogers, on the other hand, kept his dreams of claiming the title alive by finishing on top of the podium. Sebastian Job crossed the finishing line in second place.
Like last year: the winner will be decided in Monza.
Nothing is impossible – this is what Joshua Rogers will be saying to himself as he waits for the starting signal in Monza on 10 October. After all, despite his very good position in Le Mans, he is 80 points behind. On the other hand, this means that Sebastian Job will travel to the virtual track in Northern Italy with a very comfortable lead. Just like last year, the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup promises plenty of excitement right up to the last race – a victory that Joshua Rogers will want to replicate. We can hardly wait for the race in Monza on 10 October and, as always, we look forward to seeing you live on the Porsche YouTube and Twitch channels. #jointherace