The first round of the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Contender Series at Hockenheimring gave us a preview of what simracing fans expect in the coming weeks: absolute thrills.
Close. Closer. Contender Series.
In this starting field, it's all about hundredths and thousandths. Or as co-commentator Josh Lee put it so well: in this racing series, you can maybe afford a small mistake on the track. Every time you slip up, that's it for your ranking. And it is precisely this position that matters. As a reminder: for all drivers who want to compete with the world's best simracers, the way to the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup 2022 is through the PESC Contender Series. There, the drivers from the previous season compete against the best fifteen from the PESC Qualifying Series. So, the level is also accordingly high.
The first race. The first highlight.
Honestly: We could hardly think of a better track than the Hockenheimring to kick off the Contender Series. When the drivers race out of the Parabolica at high speed and brake into the hairpin, or when it becomes clear after the 'Sachskurve' who has kept up the best speed, it is always a demonstration of driving skills, technique and courage.
Things not always turning out like you expect, is nothing new in motorsport. So it was no surprise that the fast Finn Matti Sipilä secured pole position for the sprint race. But it is consistency that counts. Which Sipilä would also show once again in the main race. A further example: VRS Coanda Simsport's David Williams burned the fastest lap into the tarmac in the sprint race. And still only ended up in ninth place. This was also due to the chaos that broke out around the hairpin towards the end of lap three. As a result, Vecchio was able to maintain his lead – and rightly emerged as the winner of the sprint race.
In the main race, Finn Matti Sipilä from KOVA Esports once again showed everyone how it's done. At least in terms of lap times – the fastest lap belonged to him. But speed is nothing without consistency. And here others were simply better. More enduring. Like Dino Lombardi from the Leo Racing Team, who secured the victory. Which also catapults him into second ranking – remember, that's what matters – with 64 points, together with Peter Berryman.
Just behind Gianni Vecchio of Team Redline, who is currently the leader with 78 points. But, typical of PESC, this is only a snapshot. In just one week, everything could look completely different. When the Contender Series starts round two at the Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya. We can't wait!