The Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup took to the Nürburgring on Saturday (6th May) for the longest race of the season to date, at least in the length of the track. The Nürburgring Gesamtstrecke, or combined course, takes the Nordschleife and joins it with the Grand Prix layout on the south side. Each lap takes upwards of eight minutes to complete.
As usual, the All-Stars kicked off the show with their largest field of the season so far. Former Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup and current Porsche Factory driver Ayhancan Güven joined the battle, as did Porsche Junior Bastian Buus and Praga Cup champion Jimmy Broadbent.
Güven won the Sprint while Tyson “Quirkitized” Meier stole the show in the Feature. For the Supercup, Alejandro Sánchez won the TAG Heuer Pole Award and the Sprint while Alessandro Bico wound up taking control in the Feature.
AYHANCAN GUVEN RETURNS… AS AN ALL-STAR
A Feature winner in the 2022 Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup, Ayhancan Güven, a member of the Coanda Esports stable, was among the invited for the eighth race of the 2023 All-Stars season. As expected, he and his Porsche Junior teammate Bastian Buus were both contenders on Saturday.
Güven took the pole position ahead of the points leader, eNASCAR champion Casey Kirwan. Buus was fourth alongside Pablo “The Pulpo” López. Both the Sprint and Feature would be three laps in length, and in between races would be a full field invert.
The first lap was a tough one for many, including the defending champion of the series, Tyson “Quirkitized” Meier. Meier, along with Jaroslav “Jardier” Honzik and Oliver “Basic Ollie” Furnell found trouble early and wound up far behind in the early going.
Kirwan tried to stick close with Güven, but it was no match between the two, with Güven winning by nearly five seconds. Buus managed to get ahead of López to finish in third.
ALL-STARS: NÜRBURGRING SPRINT RACE TOP 10 RESULTS
|FIN||STA||CAR #||DRIVER||INTERVAL||SPRINT PTS||AGG PTS|
|1||1||913||Ayhancan Güven||3 LAPS||26||29|
|2||2||95||Casey Kirwan||+4.743 sec||20||20|
|3||4||914||Bastian Buus||+10.409 sec||17||17|
|4||3||504||The Pulpo López||+11.496 sec||14||14|
|9||9||56||Borja Zazo||+27.297 sec||7||7|
|10||13||35||Dan Suzuki||+32.415 sec||6||6|
DEFENDING CHAMPION QUIRKITIZED SMOKES THE FEATURE FIELD
With the full field invert, last place became first, and Quirk would not take that for granted. The previous Feature winner at Spa, Matt Malone, lined up alongside, but once the racing was back underway, Quirk was gone.
In the back of the field, Güven was struggling to find room, as were Kirwan, Buus and López. Jimmy Broadbent, Lyubov “LoveFortySix” Ozeretskovskaya and Dave “Dave Cam” Cameron were not having the best of times either in front of the faster drivers, and eventually things came to a clash.
Güven, LoveFortySix, Buus, Broadbent and Dave Cam would all find themselves out of the running before too long, with Tony Kanaan, Basic Ollie and Christian “Keny500” Ortega also running into their own issues.
Up front, Quirk was gone. Jardier managed to take second and finish there, nearly nine seconds back. López and Kirwan had incredible drives through the field, finishing third and fourth, respectively.
ALL-STARS: NÜRBURGRING FEATURE RACE TOP 10 RESULTS
|FIN||STA||CAR #||DRIVER||INTERVAL||FT. PTS||TOTAL PTS|
|3||15||504||The Pulpo López||+16.056 sec||18||32|
|4||17||95||Casey Kirwan||+16.136 sec||14||34|
|5||9||35||Dan Suzuki||+16.862 sec||12||18|
|6||2||83||Matt Malone||+17.212 sec||10||10|
|9||10||56||Borja Zazo||+23.174 sec||7||14|
With a 130 point lead and only 53 max points available per race, Casey Kirwan has essentially clinched the All-Stars title three races early. He leads over Quirkitized, in second, who only has a 23-point lead over Keny500 in sixth. The Top 5 is what these drivers are all aiming for.
López moves up to third ahead of both Emily “Emree” Jones and Jardier, who round out the Top 5. Also in the conversation is Xabier “Heikki360ES” Sanchez, Dave Cam and Dan Suzuki, all within 20 points of the Top 5.
ALL-STARS: POINTS AFTER EVENT #8 – NÜRBURGRING
|POS||CAR #||DRIVER||SP. WINS||FT. WINS||TOTAL PTS||BEHIND|
|3||504||The Pulpo López||1||1||164||-146|
SÁNCHEZ AND BICO, WINNERS AT THE NÜRBURGRING
As for the Supercup, this particular race did not disappoint last season, so would it be a similar event this time around? If you asked Alejandro Sánchez, he would probably have wished to lead both starts, as when he was in the lead, he was untouchable.
Sánchez scored the TAG Heuer Pole Award over Sebastian Job, with Luca Kita, Yohann Harth and Cooper Webster rounding out the Top 5 starting spots, all collecting some points.
THE SPRINT RACE
From the drop of the green, Sánchez was gone. Job attempted to hang on, but with a hungry Kita in the mirror, a good points day was more his concern than trying to challenge Sánchez and possibly overdriving it.
Sánchez was fast, and handedly won it when it was all said and over with. A contender for the championship, but all depending on where Jordan Caruso would end up, Sánchez maximized what he could, taking home 35 out of 35 points while Caruso, who started 13th and finished 12th, only brought home nine in the opening race.
Job as well, also in a good spot, managed 30 points off the bat while Zac Campbell fumbled a good invert finish and wound up 10th in the Sprint, only scoring two more points than Caruso.
Moreno Sirica wound up winning the fight for the invert pole by losing the seventh position to Charlie Collins on the final lap. The first driver outside the invert was Maximilian Benecke, in ninth.
PESC: NÜRBURGRING SPRINT RACE TOP 10 RESULTS
|FIN||STA||CAR #||DRIVER||TEAM||INTERVAL||PTS||AGG PTS|
|1||1||47||Alejandro Sánchez||Stormforce Racing ART||3 LAPS||25||35|
|2||2||22||Sebastian Job||Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports||+0.899 sec||22||30|
|3||3||16||Luca Kita||URANO Esports||+1.128 sec||20||26|
|4||5||37||Cooper Webster||Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports||+1.724 sec||18||20|
|5||4||90||Yohann Harth||Stormforce Racing ART||+2.474 sec||16||20|
|6||8||77||Alessandro Bico||Williams Esports||+3.596 sec||15||15|
|7||9||93||Charlie Collins||VRS Coanda Esports||+3.896 sec||14||14|
|8||6||69||Moreno Sirica||Williams Esports||+4.149 sec||13||13|
|9||10||11||Maximilian Benecke||MOUZ||+4.268 sec||12||12|
|10||7||15||Zac Campbell||VRS Coanda Esports||+4.737 sec||11||11|
THE FEATURE RACE
Now with Sánchez in eighth and Sirica in the lead, the real fun racing would begin. Sirica had decent pace off of the line, clearing Collins for the lead early and through half of the first lap.
Disaster struck for Collins just before the end of the twisty Nordschleife section, as he hit a bad bump and flew straight into a wall. It effectively ends his hopes at a championship as he leaves the ring with a 142 point deficit after leading it all earlier in the season.
After Collins’ exit, the lead changed hands as Williams Esports’ Alessandro Bico took over for his teammate Sirica before the end of the first lap.
Bico eventually had Yohann Harth in between him and his teammate before too long. On the final lap, things finally ramped up to max level.
In the first corner, Sánchez made a dive on Kita for the fifth position. It worked, but he also needed to slow down for the hairpin corner. In a last second decision, Sánchez moved left to attempt to miss the backend of Sirica. Unfortunately, he made contact with both Sirica in third and Job in fourth, effectively ending all of their chances.
This moved Caruso ahead of all of them, into seventh, Meanwhile, Harth was not letting Bico go. On the final set of corners, Harth laid the bumper to Bico, crossing him up. Bico was able to hold on and win in a photo finish.
PESC: NÜRBURGRING FEATURE RACE TOP 10 RESULTS
|FIN||STA||CAR #||DRIVER||TEAM||INTERVAL||PTS||TOTAL PTS|
|1||3||77||Alessandro Bico||Williams Esports||4 LAPS||50||65|
|2||4||90||Yohann Harth||Stormforce Racing ART||+0.042 sec||45||65|
|3||9||11||Maximilian Benecke||MOUZ||+0.182 sec||40||52|
|4||6||16||Luca Kita||URANO Esports||+0.233 sec||37||63|
|5||10||15||Zac Campbell||VRS Coanda Esports||+0.638 sec||34||45|
|6||14||4||Salva Talens||Stormforce Racing ART||+0.851 sec||31||38|
|7||12||12||Jordan Caruso||Altus Esports||+1.549 sec||28||37|
|8||1||69||Moreno Sirica||Williams Esports||+3.822 sec||26||39|
|9||7||22||Sebastian Job||Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports||+4.293 sec||24||54|
|10||13||81||Quentiin Vialatte||R8G Esports||+4.947 sec||22||30|
POINTS STANDINGS LEAVING THE NÜRBURGRING
With Caruso taking seventh in the Feature and an extra 37 points altogether, his lead sits at 78 points now with two events to go. A maximum of 85 points can be had on any given weekend, so if his lead increases to 86 points or more after the ninth race, barring any penalties, he would effectively clinch the title a race early.
Campbell didn’t have the flashiest of days, but did score 45 total points to hold on to second, now tied with Job who finished ninth in the Feature, bringing home 54 total points. Sánchez’s chances are slim after a 15-point penalty was introduced following the race, now he sits fourth more than 115 points behind Caruso.
PESC: POINTS AFTER EVENT #8 – NÜRBURGRING
|POS||CAR #||DRIVER||TEAM||SP. WINS||FT. WINS||T5s||TOTAL PTS|
|1||12||Jordan Caruso||Altus Esports||1||1||10||449*|
|2||15||Zac Campbell||VRS Coanda Esports||1||2||9||371|
|3||22||Sebastian Job||Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports||0||1||8||371*|
|4||47||Alejandro Sánchez||Stormforce Racing ART||2||0||8||333*|
|5||93||Charlie Collins||VRS Coanda Esports||0||1||6||307*|
|6||1||Diogo C. Pinto||Team Redline||1||1||7||298*|
|7||77||Alessandro Bico||Williams Esports||1||1||4||271*|
|8||90||Yohann Harth||Stormforce Racing ART||0||0||4||257*|
|9||37||Cooper Webster||Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports||0||0||4||244|
|10||69||Moreno Sirica||Williams Esports||0||0||0||201*|
UP NEXT: ANOTHER LONG RACE AT LE MANS
The Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup returns to La Sarthe for the penultimate event of the 2023 season. Not quite the same length as the Nürburgring, but still a long track nonetheless, the Circuit des 24 Heures du Mans will see a three lap Sprint and a six lap Feature in two weeks time.
The broadcast will be primarily advertised for the Porsche Motorsports social channels, although like eNASCAR, it will also find itself on the iRacing social channels. The broadcast kicks off around 2:00 pm ET / 6:00 pm GMT / 7:00 pm BST for the All-Stars while the World Championship goes off an hour later.
2023 PORSCHE TAG HEUER ESPORTS SUPERCUP SCHEDULE
|EVENT||DATE||VENUE||Sprint Laps||Feature Laps|
|9||20-May||Circuit des 24 Heures du Mans||3||6|
|10||3-Jun||Autodromo Nazionale Monza||7||14|