For those who still doubted that virtual motorsport could not be nerve-wracking, the third race of the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup by iRacing in Imola proved them wrong. Moreover, the race was the most exciting of the season so far and has convinced many motorsport fans of the virtual world championship. But before we dive deeper - a brief overview: for the first time this season, reigning champion Sebastian Job takes the win in qualifying. The 9-lap sprint race that followed was like a chase over the northern Italian circuit. The driver from Red Bull Racing Esports was also able to clinch these points for himself. In the main race, however, Joshua Rogers took the overall lead with an impressive victory.
A true nail-biter. Joshua Rogers wins race #3 of the PESC.
Pure action in Imola.
Starting from pole position, the reigning champion Sebastian Job's race was a genuine sprint over 9 laps. The Briton was followed in lockstep by Joshua Rogers and rookie Zac Campbell. Due to the sometimes very narrow sections on the track, we saw many spectacular side-by-side duels. Therefore, it was hardly surprising that one or the other driver went off the track. Max Benecke and Alejandro Sánchez were able to catch up with the leaders quite quickly. However, after contact with Kevin Ellis Jr on the last race lap, Alejandro Sánchez dropped back to 8th place and formed the race train's last car in northern Italy. At the same time, 8th place meant pole position once again for the young Spaniard in the main race.
Drama. Action. Adrenalin. Or the 18 laps in Imola.
When we look back on the first seasons of the PESC in a few years, this race will indeed find a permanent place in one or the other highlight video. What the 40 drivers offered the spectators in the 18 laps is challenging to put into words. Nevertheless, we will try: Alejandro Sánchez started confidently from pole position and avoided the fights behind him. Sebastian Job was the one who suffered in the first tight corners. He spun off the track and dropped to the back of the field. At the same time, Ricardo Rico and Alexander Wolters collided. A real mess in the first lap. But no less entertaining for the spectators. Due to the reversed starting grid of the first 8, Joshua Rogers was now forced to make his move. And he sent it: after Max Benecke had outbraked himself, he and Yohann Harth seized the opportunity to pass him. The German was able to catch Yohann Harth again in the first corner of the next lap, but Joshua Rogers was up and away. Meanwhile, Kevin Ellis Jr was more than one second in front in second place. Lap after lap Joshua Rogers delivered best times and closed the gap. With two identical overtaking manoeuvres in turn 1, the Australian passed Kevin Ellis Jr and then Alejandro Sánchez. What followed was motorsport at its best. First place, as well as fourth and ninth place, were hotly contested by several competitors. Shortly before the end of the race, Alejandro Sánchez sat down next to Joshua Rogers. The Australian again proved his class and did not allow himself to be robbed of victory despite a slight braking incident.
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We doubt whether the world's 40 best simracers will find a moment to catch their breath. On Saturday 6 February, they will meet at the famous Silverstone Circuit for the 4th round of the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup by iRacing. Once again, the All-Stars will be part of the show. Emree and Dan Suzuki however utilised Porsche factory driver Matt Campbell, who took part in the 24h of Daytona and scored some important wins in the PESC pre-programme. Join them live again on Saturday on the Porsche YouTube and Twitch channels, and on the Porsche Facebook site. #NeverNotRacing #PESC