Le Mans Virtual Series Round 2 took the Porsche Coanda Esports Racing Team to the 'Temple of Speed' in virtual Monza. The Esports works drivers fought for 4 hours on the 5.793 kilometres-long track. Supported by Porsche works driver Ayhancan Güven, the Porsche Coanda #20 LMP2 car with Mitchell deJong and Tommy Østgaard chased down crucial championship points. As in Bahrain, the Porsche Coanda #23 LMP2 car was piloted by Joshua Rogers, Mack Bakkum and Martin Krönke. Contrary to the race in the desert state, the weekend kicked off with an excellent qualifying result. In the end, the team crossed the line after 4 hours in Monza on P3 and P5. They narrowly missed out on the victory due to an unfortunate full-course-yellow phase.
Mitchell deJong tops the timing table. The qualifying.
It was up to Mitchell deJong and Joshua Rogers to hunt for pole position in Monza. The pressure on their shoulders must have been immense. The virtual track conditions, though, were perfect: a dry track, comfortable temperatures, and a track evolvement par excellence – just like in real-life motorsports, the improvement of track conditions and grip is simulated. So, drivers must precisely time their last flying lap to experience the best possible conditions. The Esports works drivers managed to do that perfectly. First, Joshua Rogers crossed the line in second place with his Porsche Coanda #23 LMP2 car. Seconds later, Mitchell deJong finished his almost flawless lap with the fastest qualifying time and the first pole position of the season. At the same time, this lap also marked the first pole position of the Porsche Coanda Esports Racing Team.
A perfect race start and a very unlucky yellow phase. Review for the Porsche Coanda #20 car.
Thanks to a perfect start to the race, Mitchell deJong and Joshua Rogers managed to stay at the front and overtake for the second position as well. Both drivers dominated the race at dry track conditions during their first stints. In the pits, the cars swapped places, still at the front of the field, heading towards a double victory at the time. After handing over the Porsche Coanda #20 LMP2 car to Tommy Østgaard, the track conditions changed dramatically: it started raining. Now, all teams and drivers had to rely on their talent and experience to make the right call when to change to wet tyres. During worsening track evolvement, the Norwegian Tommy Østgaard showed all his dedication to keeping the car on the track and going for the win. For the last stints of the race, he handed the wheel over to Porsche works driver Ayhancan Güven. He showed great effort and a head-to-head duel until the very last corner. Due to a full-course-yellow phase, the team's ambitions to win this race were thwarted. In the end, Ayhancan Güven crossed the line in P5. After fourth place in Bahrain, the Porsche Coanda #20 team added crucial championship points to their tally.
The first podium of the season. Review for the Porsche Coanda #23 car.
Last time out, the Porsche Coanda #23 team did not finish the race due to technical issues at an early stage. Monza was all about resurrection. From the very first moment on, Joshua Rogers, Mack Bakkum, and Martin Krönke showed flawless race craft in rainy conditions. The late full-course-yellow phase also shattered all hopes for a win in Monza for Martin Krönke in the last stints. Shortly before everyone had to slow down, the Porsche Coanda cars entered the pits for a planned stop. When the FCY was deployed, the competitor's cars could make their stop and gain a lot of time. Still, Martin Krönke fought to the very last corners and displayed a thrilling duel for second place, which he missed out on just by a fraction of a second.
Round 3 at the Belgian rollercoaster.
The next round of the Le Mans Virtual series takes the grid to another historic venue, which fans of the real World Endurance Championship must know quite well: Spa-Francorchamps. The six-hour race will see the world's best sim racers fight again through the Ardennes. The Porsche Coanda Esports Racing Team will again field two Porsche Coanda LMP2 cars to make the team's first victory a reality. All information and news about the Porsche Coanda Esports Racing Team can be found on Coanda's social media platforms, the Porsche Twitch channel, and the Porsche Motorsports Hub: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook.