The first race of the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup was a wild one at the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg on Saturday (5th February). It was an all VRS Coanda Simsport showing as Dayne Warren won the Sprint race and Ayhancan Güven took the overall win in the Feature.
The purple and orange could be found all throughout the front of the running order, as well as their VRS teammates in the red and black. In fact, the Coanda teammates of Güven, Warren, and Jeremy Bouteloup were the only three drivers to lead a lap in either race on Saturday.
Güven picked up his first career victory after taking the lead from Bouteloup with 13 laps to go. In the closing laps, Güven held off a strong charge from Team Redline’s Diogo C. Pinto as other VRS Coanda Simsport drivers found themselves in trouble with the incident limit. Güven took the win with Red Bull Racing Esports’ Graham Carroll coming home second and Bouteloup in third.
SPRINT RACE – DAYNE WARREN DOMINATES
To kick things off, Dayne Warren took the very first pole position of the season. The pole position awards 10 points to whoever claims it and then files down to two for the fifth place qualifier.
Only a nine lap dash around the Hockenheimring, Warren pulled himself, VRS driver Charlie Collins, Pinto and Red Bull Racing Esports driver and 2020 Champion Sebastian Job away from the pack. The four would stay in line and out of trouble for the entirety of the race. Warren took the checkers for the maximum amount of points to that point, adding another 25 on to his 10 from qualifying.
To set the grid for the Feature, the Top 8 spots would be inverted. Williams Esports driver Moreno Sirica would get that honor, and would start alongside Jeremy Bouteloup.
HOCKENHEIMRING SPRINT RACE TOP 10
|3||44||Diogo C. Pinto||Team Redline||-0.583||26|
|4||22||Sebastian Job||Red Bull Racing Esports||-0.991||22|
|5||81||Quentiin Vialatte||R8G eSports||-2.206||18|
|9||37||Cooper Webster||Red Bull Racing Esports||-3.945||12|
|10||12||Jordan Caruso||Logitech G Altus Esports||-4.548||11|
FEATURE RACE – AYHANCAN GÜVEN SCORES FIRST WIN
Things got dicey almost immediately in the 18 lap Feature event. Sirica pulled away but wasn’t able to clear Bouteloup heading into the first corner. The two almost came together, but Sirica pulled away at the last second to avoid contact.
That gave Bouteloup the lead for the first five circuits. Bouteloup, who recently announced his retirement from competitive sim racing following this PESC season, had a pack of hungry cars waiting to pounce at any moment behind him.
A couple of laps in saw the demise of Sebastian Job after a stack-up entering the hairpin. Job got turned after the car behind him got hit from behind. Moments after the spin, Sirica had nowhere to go but into the front of the Red Bull, damaging both Porsches significantly. Sirica rebounded to finish seventh but Job would be relegated to a 22nd place effort.
IRACING INCIDENT DRAMA
On the sixth lap, Güven was ready to take control. He made the move inside of Bouteloup entering Mercedes, hoping to have the inside for the next braking zone in Sachs. As they were coming to that 12th turn, Bouteloup and R8G eSports rookie Quentiin Vialatte made slight contact, sending the rookie around. At the same time, Güven made the pass and started to pull away.
Towards the end of the race, Güven had immense pressure from Team Redline’s Diogo C. Pinto. However, Güven’s VRS Coanda teammate Collins wound up hitting the incident limit, forcing him to do a pass through. Collins then got on the gas and started racing Pinto as hard as he could, which helped Güven pull away. After Collins took his drivethrough, Warren also received a penalty for incidents after contact with Pinto, which sent Pinto into the gravel.
This all allowed Bouteloup and Graham Carroll to take advantage, but they were too far behind Güven to have a chance. Carroll would get the best of Bouteloup for the runner up spot, but it was Güven who would be celebrating his first career win on Saturday.
HOCKENHEIMRING FEATURE RACE TOP 10
|2||21||Graham Carroll||Red Bull Racing Esports||-1.993||45|
|4||44||Diogo C. Pinto||Team Redline||-2.549||37|
|5||37||Cooper Webster||Red Bull Racing Esports||-2.743||34|
|6||57||Alejandro Sánchez||SDK Gaming||-2.935||31|
|7||69||Moreno Sirica||Williams Esports||-3.342||28|
|8||97||Tuomas Tähtelä||KOVA Esports||-3.526||26|
|10||11||Maximilian Benecke||Team Redline||-6.727||22|
POINTS SITUATION LEAVING HOCKENEHEIM
With the late penalties, both Warren and Collins lost an immense amount of points, possibly around 25 to 30 points each due to their final finishing positions. Güven, who finished sixth in the Sprint race, only collected 15 points to start the day. His 50 collected in the feature will put him to the top of the standings, only two points ahead of Pinto.
Warren and Collins sit sixth and seventh, respectively. Had they not hit their incident limits, they’d likely be the two on top of the overall points. Collins and Warren are two of the favorites entering this season as their VRS Coanda teammates Joshua Rogers and Mitchell deJong aren’t running this season.
Another favorite will be the 2020 champion Job. Unfortunately, he’ll have to fight back from 12th overall after his misfortunes.
POINTS STANDINGS AFTER RACE #1 – HOCKENHEIMRING
|POS.||CAR #||DRIVER||TEAM||TOTAL PTS||SP. WINS||FEAT. WINS|
|2||44||Diogo C. Pinto||Team Redline||63|
|3||21||Graham Carroll||Red Bull Racing Esports||55|
|5||37||Cooper Webster||Red Bull Racing Esports||46|
|8||69||Moreno Sirica||Williams Esports||41|
|9||47||Alejandro Sánchez||SDK Gaming||36|
LAURIN HEINRICH DOMINATES ALL STARS
The PESC All Stars also had their fun in the virtual German sun on Saturday. Well known names such as Tony Kanaan, Jimmy Broadbent and Emily Jones were in the field for the warm-up act. Laurin Heinrich, who competed in the 2019 PESC season and is a 2022 Porsche Junior driver, was a dominant force throughout.
Heinrich started on the pole position and led from the drop of the flag until the finish in the Sprint race. With the full field getting inverted for the Feature, Heinrich stayed cool and methodically worked his way towards the front. Jones and Kanaan found themselves in the Top 2 when Heinrich showed up to the party.
It only took six laps, but once Heinrich took control, he led the final 10 laps and swept the entire race event. Heinrich also posted the fasted lap in every session and walked out of the Hockenheimring with max points in the All Stars standings.
PESC returns on the 19th of February for the second race event of the 2022 season. Both the All Stars and the Pro drivers will take on the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for another nine lap sprint and 18 lap feature.
It will be the third visit by the series to the venue. Last season, Series Champion Joshua Rogers took the pole and the Sprint race while Sebastian Job won the Feature. In 2020, Maximillian Benecke swept both the Sprint and Feature.
The coverage can be found starting at 12:30 p.m. ET / 5:30 p.m. GMT over on the Porsche Twitch channel.
2022 PORSCHE TAG HEUER ESPORTS SUPERCUP SCHEDULE
|DATE||TRACK||SPRINT LAPS||FEATURE LAPS|
|19th February||Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya||9||18|
|5th March||TBA – FAN VOTE||TBA||TBA|
|19th March||Silverstone Circuit||7||14|
|26th March||Red Bull Ring||10||20|
|9th April||Circuit Gilles Villeneuve||10||20|
|23rd April||Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps||6||12|
|7th May||Nürburgring – Gesamtstrecke 24H||3||4|
|21st May||Circuit des 24 Heures du Mans||3||6|
|4th June||Autodromo Nazionale Monza||7||14|