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Race Reports Red Bull Ring


Caruso and Ariel win in at the Red Bull Ring

The Red Bull Ring played host to the fifth round of the 2023 Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup as well as the All-Star-Series this past Saturday. With only ten corners to negotiate on each tour of the circuit, even the smallest slip-up meant that drivers across both series immediately found themselves defending their position.

Jordan Caruso reaches the finish line

Jordan Caruso comes through to take first win in the sprint race

The evening kicked off with the usual two-stage qualifying session in which, for the second round in a row, Alejandro Sánchez (E/Stormforce Racing ART) set the fastest time. Within less than a tenth of a second of him in second was points leader Jordan Caruso (AUS/Altus Esports) with Zac Campbell (USA/VRS Coanda) in third. 2022 series champion Diogo C. Pinto (PT/Team Redline) joined him on row two of the grid for the ten lap long sprint race.

Early on, pole sitter Alejandro Sánchez managed to hold onto the top spot ahead of Jordan Caruso, with the battles for position kicking off right away behind those two. After having briefly gotten ahead of Zac Campbell on the opening lap, Diogo C. Pinto kept up the pressure and managed to snatch third place away from Campbell on the lap three. A lap later, Sebastian Job (GB/Oracle Redbull Racing Esports) also put a move on the American, demoting him to fourth. By the halfway mark, both Jordan Caruso and Pinto had closed up to leader Alejandro Sánchez. Caruso didn’t mess around, passing Sánchez on lap six.

Race cars on the track
Visibly struggling in the final laps, Sánchez was swarmed by the trio of Diogo C. Pinto, Sebastian Job and Zac Campbell after he ran wide following some contact between him and Pinto when the Spaniard was still running second. All that enabled Caruso to build a gap at the head of the field and to score his first race victory in the virtual one-make cup. Second and third were Diogo C. Pinto and Sebastian Job respectively. In eighth, and therefore on pole for the main race, was Moreno Sirica (IT/Williams Esports), who inherited the place after a late race collision between Jamie Fluke (GB/Apex Racing Team) and Bryn Collins (GB/VRS Coanda).
Gustavo Ariel  #21

Gustavo Ariel with opportunistic main race triumph

In the twenty lap main race, pole sitter Sirica wasn’t able to hold onto first place for very long at all. Both Jamie Fluke and Julien Soenen (B/R8G Esports) got by the Italian before the end of the opening lap, soon followed by Alejandro Sánchez, who in turn began challenging Soenen for his runner-up spot. When he eventually managed to overtake Soenen, Diogo C. Pinto also slipped by the Belgian. Both Sebastian Job and Gustavo Ariel (BR/TXC Racing by TK) also advanced a position each when they demoted Moreno Sirica from fourth to sixth. Then on lap nine, not long after Alejandro Sánchez moved to the lead following a battle with Jamie Fluke and Diogo C. Pinto, the first major bit of drama of the main race occurred.

Sprint race winner Jordan Caruso was involved in a collision with a spinning Cooper Webster (AUS/Oracle Redbull Racing Esports) which forced him and his countryman off the circuit and dropped them outside the top twenty. In the scrap for top honors, Gustavo Ariel established himself as a possible contender by moving from sixth to fourth, picking off Sebastian Job and Jamie Fluke. Once he moved to third when doing the same to Soenen, it put the Brazilian into the prime spot to capitalize should anything happen to the scrapping duo of Diogo C. Pinto and Alejandro Sánchez. And as if planned by him all along, that’s precisely how it unfolded, allowing Ariel to take the lead just a few laps from home.

Collision between Jordan Caruso and Cooper Webster
There was no time to take it easy just yet, as a train made up of Julien Soenen, Zac Campbell, Alejandro Sánchez and Diogo C. Pinto was glued to the rear bumper of his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. The drivers within that train of cars were so busy fighting one another that it didn’t take long for Gustavo Ariel to get some needed breathing space. Once that gap opened up, Ariel couldn’t be challenged in the few laps that still remained and was the first to see the checkered flag, taking his debut win. Diogo C. Pinto decided the dispute behind him in his favor, taking second from Alejandro Sánchez in third. There were also some impressive drives further down the field. Sam Kuitert (NL/URANO eSports) made up seventeen places across both races and championship contender Charlie Collins (GB/VRS Coanda) made the best of a bad day by going from twenty-fifth to seventh in just the main race alone.

Casey Kirwan and Christian “keny500” Ortega top podiums in the All-Star-Series

Not just the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup drivers put on some great action at the Red Bull Ring. To kick off the evening, the All-Star-Series also put on quite the show in the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport, which the content creators were using for the second and penultimate time in this event. 
Kirwan at the Red Bull Ring

Casey Kirwan topped the time charts in qualifying, getting his third pole position, just ahead of Pablo “ThePulpoLopez” Lopez. A slow getaway from the grid resulted in Kirwan dropping behind Lopez, also Tyson “Quirkitized” Meier at the start of the sprint race. Kirwan didn’t hesitate to at least get back ahead of Meier, doing so part-way through the opening lap and setting the stage for another race-long fight for the win between himself and Pablo Lopez, but this time Tyson Meier and Emily “Emree” Jones got involved too. Ultimately, Kirwan got the upper hand and took the win by a fraction of a second ahead of Lopez and Meier.

On the inverted grid for the second race, Lyubov “LoveFortySix” Ozeretskovskaya started from the top spot after a difficult sprint race. She would be dropped to the end of the field by the time the field got to third turn, allowing Christian “keny500” Ortega to take the lead after starting 2nd. An early incident between Emily Jones, Casey Kirwan and Tyson Meier removed all three from the equation for the race win. The recovering Pablo Lopez and Jaroslav “Jardier” Honzik caught up with Ortega in the fight for victory. Ortega went on to cross the line first after he won the final lap duel against Honzik. Before that, an accident removed Pablo Lopez from the battle for the first position on the podium.

Racing Cars at the Red Bull track

Next Up: Watkins Glen

For the sixth event of the season, the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup returns to Watkins Glen for the first time since 2019. For the venue’s return to the series, the Classic layout will be utilized, one of the fastest road circuits around. Drivers will use the brake just four times each lap and with the long straights, there will be slipstream battles similar to those usually seen on superspeedways. Moreover, with half the season behind us and the amount of championship points still up for grabs diminishing with the completion of each event, every single one of those points will go up in value, for those at the top of the standings as well as for those on the fifteenth place bubble. To not miss a thing and to see all the action live, be sure to tune into the livestream on April 8th at 19:00 GMT when we kick off the second half of the season. If you also want to see the content creators race in the All-Star-Series, tune in an hour early, at 18:00 GMT.
Race cars on the track