The world’s 24 best sim racers were invited to Munich for the big ESL R1 season finale. During the two days, the virtual pros fought out the first championship title in ESL R1 history. The Porsche Coanda Esports Racing Team started into the weekend's group stage on Saturday with its three qualified drivers, Joshua Rogers, Mitchell deJong, and Mack Bakkum. The Australian, Joshua Rogers, also secured his place amongst the top 12 due to his excellent performances during the online rounds. After eight thrilling races at the ESL R1 Spring Major on Sunday, the first champion of the still-young racing series was crowned with R8G Esports' Marcell Csincsik. Joshua Rogers from the Porsche Coanda Esports Racing Team finished the last race on P2 and reached fourth in the overall standings, right behind the new champion, Luke Bennett, and James Baldwin. Mitchell deJong, eliminated on Saturday, finished the season on P17. His teammate, Mack Bakkum, is classified on P24. Dayne Warren, who already got eliminated after round 8, is ranked P29. The Spring Major marks the end of the ESL R1 season and a unique event at the Motorworld Munich that offered many highlights for the sim racing fans besides the action on the virtual competition.
ESL R1 Spring Major – Joshua Rogers on P4 in the championship.
8 races on Spring Major Day 1.
Race day had finally come after the media day on Thursday and the 3 hours of practice sessions on Friday. Mitchell deJong and Mack Bakkum fought in Group A to proceed to Sunday. Joshua Rogers tried to gain as many points as possible for his Sunday run. The two Porsche Coanda Esports Racing Team drivers in Group A could not run at the front during their races. It was either a bad qualifying lap or missing luck in the races that meant the early end to their weekend. Though, Joshua Rogers started the race day perfectly: pole position and a start-to-finish-line win in the first race gained him crucial points for the top 12 and the Sunday action. A 12th place at the Hockenheimring, a 5th place in virtual Spa-Francorchamps, and a 9th place finish in Monza that was recently added to the simulation Rennsport were enough for the driver of the #92 Porsche 9111 GT3 R to proceed to Sunday.
The grand finale – Spring Major Day 2.
The top 12 sim racers met again on Sunday morning at Motorworld Munich to answer who will become the first champion of the ESL R1 racing series. The format? Racing until there’s a champion crowned. To become champion, the drivers had to score 160 points to reach the so-called 'Finalist Mode'. If a driver wins one of the following races in 'Finalist Mode', he is crowned the new champion. The points were reduced in relation to the first-place finisher after Saturday's races. Joshua Rogers started the race day in third place on Sunday with 85 points. A 6th place in the first race at Monza, a 5th place at the Hockenheimring, a 7th place at the Nürburgring and 2nd place at Spa-Francorchamps were not enough for Joshua Rogers to activate Finalist Mode after four races. However, Marcell Csincsik of R8G Esports activated the title contender status after the fourth race. In the following race, however, it was James Baldwin from Mercedes who stole the race win and, thus, the potential championship from the Hungarian in the last lap. James Baldwin also moved into the 'Finalist Mode' by winning the race. The two racers delivered breathtaking duels in the following races, which did not produce a champion. Races 5 and 6 resulted in a fifth and sixth place finish for the driver of the Porsche Coanda Esports Racing Team. Race 7, held at the Hockenheimring, made three more drivers move into the ‘Finalist Mode’. Joshua Rogers’ secured it by achieving a third-place finish. A furious start at Monza, the eighth race, opened the door widely for Marcell Csincsik to become champion. After a crash in the chicane on lap 1, his teammate in second place defended hard in front of Joshua Rogers, who overtook the R8G Esports driver too late to chase down Csincsik for the win. In the end, the Hungarian driver celebrated the championship. Joshua Rogers moved into P4 overall thanks to his second-place finish in the last race.
Competition, show, event – that’s a wrap for the ESL R1 Spring Major.
The first season of the ESL R1 racing series is in the books. Especially the Spring Major finale and the newly introduced racing format on Sunday created excitement amongst the drivers and the fans, who were in charge of a great atmosphere in the arena. The Porsche Coanda Esports Racing Team clinched P3 in the standings after round 8. Joshua Rogers' P4 in the drivers' championship added to a successful first season from the sporting perspective. How and when the next season of ESL R1 will start in this year's second half will be announced in due time. 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, Instagram, and Facebook), the Porsche Twitch channel, the Porsche Motorsport Instagram channel, and the Porsche Motorsport Hub.