Fourth in the sprint race and a deftly fought victory in the main event: Sebastian Job has taken an important step towards claiming the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup title at the 24-hour version of the Nürburgring – a combination of the Grand Prix circuit and the Nordschleife. At the eighth of ten virtual one-make cup races run on the iRacing simulation platform, the Briton managed to pull well clear of his title opponents in the interim standings. His rivals experienced a disastrous race Saturday with the digital version of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup on the storied racetrack in Germany’s Eifel region. Reigning champion Joshua Rogers from Australia was robbed of a top placing after becoming entangled in a collision in the sprint race, with Alejandro Sánchez (Spain/MSI eSports) having to throw in the towel early in the main event. Heading to the penultimate round at Le Mans, Job now leads the standings with an 84-point advantage.
After qualifying on eighth place, Job’s German Red Bull Racing Esport teammate Patrik Holzmann took up the race from pole position and immediately swept into the lead ahead of Kevin Ellis (Great Britain/Apex Racing Team), Mitchell DeJong (USA/VRS Coanda Simsport), Sánchez and Max Benecke (Germany/Team Redline Fanatec). In the first of three laps of the 25.378 km circuit – the longest on the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup calendar – Job slipped past Benecke in the uphill passage after Bergwerk. The German then came under pressure from Rogers, fluffed a braking point at the Tiergarten entrance, veered off the track and shunted the driver who is in second place in the championship from the track. Rogers ultimately saw the flag in 18th, which was also his grid spot for the main race.
Meanwhile, Holzmann kept his nose clean at the front and spearheaded a five-car formation consisting of Ellis, DeJong, Sanchez and Job to the flag. With an eye on the championship crown, Job played it safe and avoided any risk. For Holzmann, this was his first major success of the season.
Despite the packed grid of 33 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars, the main race also began in a civilized manner, with Ellis promptly beating Holzmann off the line and snatching the lead spot, which he valiantly defended until the end of the second of four laps. On the long Döttinger Höhe passage, Job then used the slipstream of the two drivers in front of him to catapult past them at Antoniusbuche and assume the lead. At the end of the start-finish straight, Holzmann braked extremely late, forcing Job to let him pass again – but not for long. The championship leader took more speed with him out of the Bergwerk right-hander than his teammate and, with a daring manoeuvre, past him on the outside line. Again in first place, he eked out a small advantage and defended his lead to the flag. While Holzmann finished second, Ellis had to admit defeat to Mack Bakkum (Netherlands/VRS Coanda Simsport) in the notorious Mutkurve. He concluded the race in fourth ahead of Yohann Harth (France/Apex Racing Team) and DeJong.
Travelling to the Nürburgring ranking third overall, Alejandro Sánchez had to park his 485 hp 911 GT3 Cup after a collision. Joshua Rogers had fought his way up to ninth place, only to fall back down the field after sliding off the Grand Prix circuit. He ultimately took the flag in ninth place behind Martin Krönke (Germany/VRS Coanda Simsport) and Tuomas Tähtelä (Finland/Logitech G Altus eSports).
The misfortune of his main rivals for the title has given Job a healthy lead in the overall rankings. He now tops the leaderboard with 521 points, followed by Rogers (437) and Sánchez (407).
Next up on the calendar after the detour to the Nordschleife of the Nürburgring is another legendary racetrack: On September 26th, the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup sim racers will compete on the virtual Circuit des 24 Heures of Le Mans – exactly one week after the real French endurance classic.
Comments on the race
Sebastian Job (GB/Red Bull Racing Esports): “I took a very cautious approach and tried not to do anything that would jeopardise my position. As the points’ leader I didn’t want to take any risks. That patience paid off in the end. The duel with Patrik Holzmann was great fun. Like in a practice race, we often drove wheel-to-wheel – although his braking manoeuvre for turn 1 gave me a bit of a fright.”
Patrik Holzmann (D/ Red Bull Racing Esports): “A great result for our team! After the sprint race I knew that today was going to be my day. In the duel with Sebastian Job I was aware of the points’ situation, of course. I tried to give him a fair fight. But in the end he was simply faster than me. When he overtook me in the fast corners after Bergwerk, I couldn’t do a thing about it. Still, I’m more than happy with second place, especially after the terrible season I’ve had so far. I desperately needed this result – more so for myself than the standings. I was finally able to support Seb in his fight for the title.”
Mack Bakkum (NL/VRS Coanda Simsport):“What hectic races. But sixth and third on the podium are my best results in this year’s Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup. I always tackle each race with a positive attitude. Now I want to take this momentum with me to the upcoming races. Perhaps I’ll even win. I want to advance a little further up the rankings.”
Nürburgring (24-hour variant), sprint race
1. Patrik Holzmann (D/ Red Bull Racing Esport)
2. Kevin Ellis jr. (GB/Apex Racing Team)
3. Mitchell DeJong (USA/VRS Coanda Simsport)
4. Sebastian Job (GB/Red Bull Racing Esport)
5. Alejandro Sánchez (E/MSI eSports)
Nürburgring (24-hour variant), main race
1. Sebastian Job (GB/Red Bull Racing Esport)
2. Patrik Holzmann (D/ Red Bull Racing Esport)
3. Mack Bakkum (NL/VRS Coanda Simsport)
4. Kevin Ellis jr. (GB/Apex Racing Team)
5. Yohann Harth (F/Apex Racing Team)
Points standings after 8 of 10 championship races
1. Sebastian Job (GB/Red Bull Racing Esport), 521 points
2. Joshua Rogers (AUS/VRS Coanda Racing), 437 points
3. Alejandro Sánchez (E/MSI eSports), 407 points