ESL R1 Round 3 – Porsche Coanda faces the first online round.
The six online rounds will be all or nothing for the team. The motivation and the effort in training were high before the drivers started the quarter-finals on Friday. Round 3 of the ESL R1 Spring Season was held on the Nürburgring GP track. Joshua Rogers and Mack Bakkum qualified for the semi-finals on Monday after four thrilling races on Friday. Both were allocated to the second semi-final on Monday. There, they showed great team play, and thanks to fantastic defending from Joshua Rogers, both made their way into the final. Due to a false start, the Australian received a drive-through penalty at the beginning of the race. Mack Bakkum was able to defend his eighth position from qualifying. He scored crucial points for the team championship. Finishing on P12 in the final means that Joshua Rogers still leads the driver's championship after round 3.
The quarter-finals - Friday.
The start of the Friday session left the drivers under pressure to perform. Those who cannot ace their performance in the 15-minutes session will miss out on big points in the championship. Therefore, the racing was furious on Friday. Dayne Warren took the start in the first quarter-final for the Porsche Coanda Esports Racing Team. He qualified 7th, just one position behind the critical 6th position. During the race, he also fought with his former teammate Tommy Østgaard. Ultimately, he crossed the line in P9 and did not qualify for the semi-finals.
The second quarter-final was similarly disappointing for Mitchell deJong. His strong race pace couldn't make up for a P11 in qualifying. Joshua Rogers took the wheel in QF3: he qualified on P2 and could hold on to this position in the race. Mack Bakkum also transferred his fourth position from qualifying to a P4 finish in the race. Both drivers made their way into Monday's semi-finals.
From semi-final to the final – Monday.
The only two Porsche 911 GT3 R racers on Monday were fielded by the Porsche Coanda Esports Racing Team drivers. Mack Bakkum beat his teammate in qualifying by a margin of 0.019 seconds. P5 for the Dutch driver and P6 for Joshua Rogers. The latter had to defend harshly against Max Benecke in the following race. They gave everything to qualify for the final race – both drivers had won a round in Katowice. It was Joshua Rogers, in the end, who kept the upper hand. Mack Bakkum crossed the finish line in P5. The competition in the final qualifying was fierce. Mack Bakkum put an almost identical lap time on the scoring board, but it meant P8 for him this time. Joshua Rogers made it to P10 in qualifying. Due to a small mistake during the starting procedure, he was handed a drive-through penalty, meaning that his race was almost over after lap 1. The sprint format of ESL R1 doesn't allow any mistakes. Mack Bakkum held on to his eighth position to score important points. The final race didn't meet expectations, but the drivers took the positives and essential championship points.
A quick overview of ESL R1.
The ESL and Rennsport kicked off their racing series ESL R1 in Polish Katowice with two LAN rounds in early February. Now it's time to transfer the series to the online world. The most significant difference is the time schedule for the weekend. Contrary to the first two rounds, a racing day is split throughout the weekend. The Fridays will see the qualifying's and quarter-final races. Those who make it into the top six spots of a race will meet again on Monday to battle it out in the semi-finals and the grand final race. The online rounds are crucial for the Porsche Coanda Esports Racing Team. They aim to score big points there since the team championship will already be decided after the last online round. For the drivers, points are essential, too. The top 24 drivers, after the online rounds, qualify for the Spring Major Event end of May to race for the driver’s championship in a LAN environment again. After the third round, Joshua Rogers tops the driver's championship with 127 points. The team consisting of Joshua Rogers, Dayne Warren, Mitchell deJong, and Mack Bakkum ranks fifth with 209 points.
Only two weeks until the next online race.
The schedule is tight for the Porsche Coanda Esports Racing Team: in less than two weeks, they'll go racing again. Round 4 of ESL R1 will be held on the 24th and 27th of March. For all information and news about the Porsche Coanda Esports Racing Team and the new ESL R1 racing series, follow Coanda's social media platforms (Twitte
, and Facebook
), the Porsche Twitch
channel, the Porsche Motorsport Instagram
channel, and the Porsche Motorsport Hub.