ESL R1 round 4 – a hard-fought race.
If you want to compete for the drivers' championship in the ESL R1, you must be among the 24 best at the end of the online rounds. For the Major Final in Munich at the beginning of June, the field of drivers will be reduced by half. The pressure to perform is consequently tremendous. The virtual venue for Round 4 was once again Spa-Francorchamps. The track, just over 7 kilometres long, was already the venue for the quarter- and semi-finals and the final race in Round 1 at the LAN event in Katowice. In contrast to the LAN event, round 4 was split up like all online rounds: the four quarter-finals took place last Friday. On Monday, Joshua Rogers and Mack Bakkum again competed with the world's best sim racers in the semi-finals.
The quarter-finals on Friday.
Mitchell deJong started for Porsche Coanda in the first quarter-final with the Porsche 911 GT3 R. After a 9th place in qualifying, he did not get past P8 despite a spectacular overtaking manoeuvre and thus did not reach the semi-finals. Dayne Warren qualified P7 in the second quarter-final. After countless contacts between the competitors in turn 1, Dayne Warren lost two positions. The young Australian gained a place back on the Kemmel-Straight right after. A furious battle for the 6th position was ignited between Warren, Sørensen from Furia, and Price from G2. In the end, P8 meant another early elimination for Dayne Warren. His comrade and championship leader, Joshua Rogers, faced the competition in the third quarter-final. He managed to turn P2 in qualifying into a well-deserved race win. Mack Bakkum followed his teammate into the second semi-final thanks to a strong qualifying lap and a 4th place finish.
An early end in the semi-final – Monday.
Qualifying is everything in ESL R1's sprint race format. Unfortunately, both Porsche Esports works drivers, Mack Bakkum and Joshua Rogers, could not find the perfect lap in their semi-final qualifying. P7 for Joshua Rogers and P10 for Mack Bakkum. A challenging starting position for both, but never say never in racing. However, the race action would quickly dampen the mood at the Coanda Esports Hub in Gronau: after contact in the first Les Combes corner, Mack Bakkum spun and dropped to the back of the grid. For Joshua Rogers, there were signs of a tough, yet not impossible, battle for 6th place. Until he was shot out of the race by a rival in the chicane at the end of lap 1. For both Porsche Coanda drivers, it was all about damage limitation. Joshua Rogers ended up in P9, his teammate Mack Bakkum one place behind.
Lots of racing action in April.
The Porsche Coanda Esports Racing Team will continue in just under 10 days. The quarter-finals will be on Good Friday, and the semi-finals and final race will be on Easter Monday. Rounds 6 and 7 will take place back-to-back on the two following weekends. A packed April that will demand everything from the drivers of the Esports works team. Like the Spring Major Final, the last online round has been postponed by one week. The new race dates for Round 8 are Friday, 12th May and Monday, 15th May. The Spring Major Final will take place in Munich on the 3rd and 4th of June. 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 (Twitter
, and Facebook
), the Porsche Twitch
channel, the Porsche Motorsport Instagram
channel, and the Porsche Motorsport Hub.