Jordan Caruso is the 2023 PESC champion
Jordan Caruso clinches series title with victory in the sprint race
At the start of the seven lap long sprint race, Pinto held onto his lead, followed by Yohann Harth (F/Stormforce Racing ART), Alessandro Bico (IT/Williams Esports) and Caruso. With his opponents’ lowly starting positions, the Australian tried to take advantage of the situation, though not without incident. A collision between him and Bico left the Italian spinning off the circuit and dropping to the back of the field, while a small contact with the fighting duo of Pinto and Harth resulted in both going off the road in the first chicane.
Those incidents left Caruso in the lead, one that he didn’t lose until the end of the race, scoring his third win of the season when crossing the line. While Caruso’s incidents didn’t weren’t without consequence, his points advantage meant that he already couldn’t be caught by his pursuers anymore. They were now busy fighting it out for the second position, with Job jumping ahead of Campbell in the standings, as the American wasn’t able to score any points at the end of the sprint, while Job and Sánchez finished in the top ten. In eighth place and therefore on pole position for the following fourteen lap long main race was Gustavo Ariel (BR/TXC Racing by TK).
Gustavo Ariel scores final main race win of the season
Never one to turn down a golden opportunity, the Brazilian turned his pole position into a lights-to-flag victory, made even better by the fact that this result helped him to automatically requalify for the following season. There were only two drivers which he had to fight to keep his position: Oscar Mangan (IRL/Altus Esports) on the opening lap and later in the race Lasse Bak (DK/FYRA SimSport), who tried to get alongside multiple times. In their pursuit of Ariel, most of those behind him ended up being caught up in battles with one-another so much that they weren’t able to mount a proper challenge for the top spot as a result. Caruso simply tagged onto the back of that group during a conservative run to another decent points haul in twelfth.
Alejandro Sánchez ran a race very similar to his, though unlike for Caruso, that low result dropped him from fourth to fifth in the final standings. He was displaced by Charlie Collins (GB/VRS Coanda) who along with Diogo C. Pinto managed to take advantage of the aforementioned fights behind Ariel and were best of the rest with Collins finishing in second place while Pinto completed the podium in what was his final event with car number one for now. Second place in the standings was also decided in the very final race of the season, with the battle coming down to a single championship point.
Casey Kirwan and Parker White top the podium in All-Star-Series Finale
In qualifying, that trio showed right away that they also were very capable of lapping a track quickly, even if there are left as well as right turns. White and Conti lined up on the front row, Bussa was third with Pablo “ThePulpoLopez” Lopez next to him. Conti unfortunately moved before the lights went green for the first of the two eleven lap long races and received a jump start penalty. That eliminated him from the pool of drivers fighting for the win. Keenan Kusan, Lyubov “LoveFortySix” Ozeretskovskaya and Christian “keny500” Ortega were also caught up in trouble on lap three while Emily “Emree” Jones was the only driver to retire after an error a lap later. In the battle for the top spot, Casey Kirwan drove up from sixth to take the win, just ahead of Parker White in second place. Matt Bussa completed the podium in third.
Her early exit from the previous race at least meant that Jones would start the second race from the inverted grid’s pole, alongside Michael Conti. This time he didn’t get in his own way, nailed the start and took the lead into the first corner. Jones did stay with Conti throughout the race as both drove away from the rest of the field. For a few laps towards the end of the race, she also retook the lead, but had to give best to Conti on the final tour, him taking the win while she chased him across the line. In the battle for third, it was anyone’s spot to take, but in the end it was Pablo Lopez who managed to come through and narrowly beat out Tyson “Quirkitized” Meier, Christian Ortega and Parker White.