iRacing‘s Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup is expected to return in the early part of 2023 for a fifth consecutive season. After Saturday’s crazy PESC Contender finale at Imola (5th November), the picture as to who will race in the 30 car field is much clearer, although not officially confirmed at this time.
In the 2022 season of PESC, the Top 15 drivers in the final standings were guaranteed a spot on the 2023 series roster. The drivers who finished 16th through 30th in the standings were relegated back down to the PESC Contender Series to match up against the Top 20 from the PESC Qualifying Series.
The main PESC series shrinks from 35 drivers down to 30 in 2023. It used to be 40 drivers back in 2020 and previous seasons. Due to this, the Contender Series was set to take the Top 15 drivers in the final standings after six races.
A wild ending in the final Feature race of the season saw some hopefuls fall short of advancing as others clawed their way back up above the cut line. The 15 preliminary drivers advancing to the 2023 PESC series include:
- Tuomas Tähtelä (2022 PESC driver)
- Gustavo Ariel
- Kevin Nielsen
- Peter Berryman (2022 PESC driver)
- Valentin Mandernach
- Julien Soenen (2022 PESC driver)
- Jordan Caruso (2022 PESC driver)
- Simone Maria Marcenò
- Quentiin Vialatte (2022 PESC driver)
- Mathias Stokbæk Jensen
- Gianni Vecchio (2022 PESC driver)
- Luca Kita
- Alexey Nesov
- Jeff Giassi (2022 PESC driver)
- Oscar Mangan
Gustavo Ariel won in dramatic fashion at Imola as drivers found trouble through the event. Hopefuls such as Oskar Biksrud and Lasse Bak found trouble during the race, allowing for guys below the cut like Alexey Nesov and Oscar Mangan to jump above. Alessandro Bico gave his best effort of the season, but it wasn’t enough to get back into the series for 2023, at least at this point as it stands.
Seven relegated drivers from the 2022 PESC season were able to make their way back into the series, the Contender championship won by Tuomas Tähtelä who finished 19th in the 2022 PESC standings.
Bico, Biksrud and the six other 2022 PESC drivers that did not make the Top 15 will have to go through the Qualifying Series in 2023.
The 15 drivers that prequalified through the 2022 PESC standings include:
- Diogo C. Pinto
- Sebastian Job
- Kevin Ellis Jr
- Zac Campbell
- Charlie Collins
- Jeremy Bouteloup
- Jamie Fluke
- Cooper Webster
- Maximilian Benecke
- Alejandro Sánchez
- Salva Talens
- Dayne Warren
- Yohann Harth
- Graham Carroll
- Moreno Sirica
It should be noted that this list is preliminary and not official, as drivers will need to be confirmed by iRacing officials.
Drivers will also need to accept their invite to the series. Remember last season – Five of the top running Coanda Esports drivers all declined their invitation to accept a role on the official Porsche Esports Works team, including the two time and defending champion Josh Rogers.
As it stands from the news last season, Coanda Esports driver Jeremy Bouteloup announced his retirement from competitive sim racing, and he’s one of the prequalified from the 2022 results.
If Bouteloup does not accept his invite back to the series as expected, then another spot should open up to promote a driver from the Contender standings. That would be 16th place finisher Bak, despite the rough go in the Contender round. If anyone else also declines, that could put Bico and others in.
The official roster should be expected soon. Historically, the series starts back up in the early months of the year, last year restarting in February. When the official roster and schedule become available, we’ll be sure to cover here on Traxion.GG. Keep it pinned.