The sixth race of the 2022 Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup season took the Porsche competitors to North America for a couple of hours around the famed circuit in Montreal, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. After five compelling races to start the PESC season, race six would once again bring a differing, and winning strategy to the forefront.
Dayne Warren (Coanda) stole the show on Saturday (9th April 2022) as he took the pole position and ultimately wound up as the overall race winner following the 20 lap Feature. In the Sprint, whether it was by design or forced by penalty, Warren moved over and fell back. After finishing eighth, Warren was inverted back to the pole where he dominated all 20 laps for his first Feature win of the year.
During the post-race, Warren wanted to chalk it up to being the perfect design, but in reality, it was an error that caused the slow down. “It was a bit of a stupid mistake at the start of the Sprint,” Warren said post-race. Ultimately, it worked out better than he ever could have hoped, scoring the most points on the night at 73.
Montreal becomes Warren’s first career Feature victory, adding to his two prior Sprint race victories, one at Monza last season and the other at Hockenheim earlier in this one. The victory propels him back into the Top 8 in points, although he is 139 points behind the points leader, Porsche24 Team Redline’s Diogo C. Pinto.
SPRINT – ZAC CAMPBELL STEALS WIN FROM KEVIN ELLIS JR
Many of the usual suspects found their way to the top of the pylon following Montreal qualifying. Sebastian Job (Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports) has won two poles already this season, but he settled for third. Job was bested by Warren and Kevin Ellis Jr (Apex Racing Team), who took control of the front row. Zac Campbell (VRS) and Maximillian Benecke (Porsche24 Team Redline) rounded out the Top 5.
The opening moments of the Sprint seemed to be just fine, but only a few corners in, Warren moved aside. Presumably, Warren had a slow down penalty for cutting the course, and the sim required him to give back some time before a drivethrough penalty would be assessed.
That handed the lead over to Ellis Jr as Warren slipped back into ninth. For second place, Campbell was able to get around Job. The trio paraded a pack of about 10 cars around the Canadian course with Coanda’s Jeremy Bouteloup bringing up the caboose.
With only a few laps to go, Silverstone’s Feature winner Alejandro Sánchez (SDK Gaming) had a race-altering moment when his racing equipment failed on him. Sánchez told Traxion.GG that his “wheelbase pulled full force to the left” as he exited the corner, resulting in the crash from sixth place.
His Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car climbed the barriers and flopped around on the fast straightaway as he had no control over the matter. As his car continued to crash, Moreno Sirica (Williams Esports) had nowhere to go as he came across into his path.
The resulting damages led to a pair of DNFs. It also led to Warren moving back into the eighth position, the perfect place to be when considering the invert. As it is every week, the Top 8 in the Sprint results get inverted for the Feature.
Up front, the invert didn’t faze the Top 2 drivers. Ellis Jr had it, and Campbell wanted it. Coming out of the hairpin on the final lap, Campbell was able to get a huge run alongside. Heading into the final chicane, Campbell completed the pass and went on to score his first career Sprint race victory, adding to his Feature win earlier this season at Interlagos, also coming in a last lap pass against Ellis Jr.
CIRCUIT GILLES VILLENEUVE SPRINT RACE TOP 10
|1||15||Zac Campbell||VRS||10 LAPS||29|
|2||98||Kevin Ellis Jr||Apex Racing Team||+0.186 sec||30|
|3||22||Sebastian Job||Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports||+0.492 sec||26|
|4||21||Graham Carroll||Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports||+0.904 sec||18|
|5||11||Maximilian Benecke||Porsche24 Team Redline||+1.239 sec||18|
|6||44||Diogo C. Pinto||Porsche24 Team Redline||+1.760 sec||15|
|7||4||Salva Talens||MSi eSports||+2.137 sec||14|
|8||57||Dayne Warren||Coanda||+2.549 sec||23|
|9||77||Jeremy Bouteloup||Coanda||+3.330 sec||12|
|10||93||Charlie Collins||VRS||+4.760 sec||11|
FEATURE – DAYNE WARREN DOMINATES IN MONTREAL
Back in front of the field and with the proper knowledge to succeed, Warren didn’t make the same mistake twice. Warren lined up alongside Salva Talens (MSi eSports) and cleared him before the exit of Turn 2.
In that first lap, there was some jumbling of the field with some of those in the mid-pack going off course. It was relatively calm until the hairpin on the first lap. Sam Kuitert (URANO eSports) tried to defend his position, and in the process received a bump which sent him for a spin.
In the virtual grass, the brakes don’t work as well, if at all. The end result was a strike into a pair of R8G Esports cars and the Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports machine of Cooper Webster.
Towards the front, it looked as though the Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports cars were just not up to pace. First, both Job and his teammate Graham Carroll were outpaced by the Porsche24 Team Redline duo of Pinto and Benecke. As the run went on, Ellis Jr made his way through and up into the Top 5.
Carroll had the position on Job through the start, due to the invert, but possible team orders crept in as Job was able to take the spot. It didn’t help the pace, unfortunately, as even later into the run, Campbell caught the pair and passed them both to get into sixth.
Pinto, who was penalized another 10 points after some avoidable contact at the Red Bull Ring, wasn’t the best car on the night, but he did minimize the points loss to the drivers behind him by finishing third in the Feature.
As for the Top 2, Talens has nothing for Warren, but had enough pace to keep the rest of the field behind. It was no easy victory by any stretch of the imagination, but Warren sure did make it look as such.
CIRCUIT GILLES VILLENEUVE FEATURE RACE TOP 10
|1||57||Dayne Warren||Coanda||20 LAPS||50|
|2||4||Salva Talens||MSi eSports||+0.324 sec||45|
|3||44||Diogo C. Pinto||Porsche24 Team Redline||+0.737 sec||40|
|4||11||Maximillian Benecke||Porsche24 Team Redline||+1.154 sec||37|
|5||98||Kevin Ellis Jr||Apex Racing Team||+2.314 sec||34|
|6||15||Zac Campbell||VRS||+2.879 sec||31|
|7||22||Sebastian Job||Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports||+2.952 sec||28|
|8||21||Graham Carroll||Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports||+3.729 sec||26|
|9||50||Peter Berryman||Apex Racing Team||+7.221 sec||24|
|10||79||Oskar Biksrud [R]||Coanda||+7.500 sec||22|
POINTS SITUATION LEAVING CANADA
Through six rounds, Pinto continues to lead the way, even with 20 points being deducted by race administration this year. The gap is down to 21 points over Ellis Jr, who managed to gain nine points this weekend and leapfrog into second overall.
Job, on the other hand, lost a single point in the transaction, now sitting third in the standings. He’s 29 points behind, and with one bad week from Pinto, it could be any of the top three drivers on top.
Campbell is hanging on by a thread, and his Sprint win over the weekend helped keep him in the picture. He gained five points on Pinto and now sits 45 points back, also in a point where if all three drivers in front of him have a bad week, he could also take the reigns of the championship.
As for the rest of the field, from Charlie Collins (VRS) and on back, I wouldn’t say they’re completely out of it yet, at least mathematically. However, the most points obtainable in a single race is 85. That includes winning the pole (10 points) winning the Sprint (25 points) and winning the Feature (50 points). Collins is 86 points behind Pinto leaving Canada.
Warren made the most out of the weekend up north. He jumped up into eighth overall, just ahead of Bouteloup but still a bit behind Collins, Benecke and Jamie Fluke (Apex Racing Team). The Red Bull rookie, Webster, rounds out the Top 10 even after a rough outing at Montreal.
POINTS STANDINGS AFTER RACE #6 – CIRCUIT GILLES VILLENEUVE
|POS.||CAR #||DRIVER||TEAM||TOTAL PTS||SP. WINS||FEAT. WINS|
|1||44||Diogo C. Pinto||Porsche24 Team Redline||320*||1|
|2||98||Kevin Ellis Jr||Apex Racing Team||299||1|
|3||22||Sebastian Job||Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports||291||2||1|
|6||11||Maximilian Benecke||Porsche24 Team Redline||209*|
|7||49||Jamie Fluke||Apex Racing Team||207|
|10||37||Cooper Webster [R]||Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports||164*|
Other winners in 2022 include Hockenheim Feature Race winner Ayhancan Güven (11th) and Silverstone Feature Race winner Alejandro Sánchez (12th).
ALL STARS – QUIRK GROWS POINT LEAD WITH DOUBLE VICTORY
Before the Esports Supercup drivers took to the track, the PESC All-Stars warmed up the crowd with another fantastic outing. Once again in the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4s, 12 drivers looked to take top honors in Canada.
The day would belong to Tyson Meier, better know as Quirkitized. Quirk took the pole position and showed incredible pace the entire event. He handedly won the Sprint as his championship rival Emily Jones (Emree) struggled to stay in the fight.
Emree battled back from early contact in the Sprint to finish seventh, but it was a loss of 20 points right off the bat. In the Feature, Emree battled with Matt Malone for the top spot as Quirk closed in after starting dead last, following the full field invert.
As the trio all went for the lead entering the hairpin, Quirk went for a slide as Malone and Emree pulled away. The two would make contact a lap later, allowing Quirk and Borja Zazo to pass them both. Quirk went on to take the sweep while Emree wound up with a post-race penalty, finishing ninth.
The result in the standings was a 39 point swing in favor of Quirk. Quirk leads with four races to go by 45 points over Emree, and 46 over Zazo.
PESC ALL-STARS TOP 5 AFTER RACE #6 – CIRCUIT GILLES VILLENEUVE
|POS.||DRIVER||TOTAL PTS||SP. WINS||FEAT. WINS|
|1||Tyson Meier (Quirkitized)||221||2||1|
|2||Emily Jones (Emree)||176||1|
|4||Xabier Sanchez (Heikki360es)||149||1|
|5||Daniel Sosulski (Dan Suzuki)||146|
UP NEXT – A TRIP TO THE SPA
The next round of the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup will take place at Belgium’s most famous race track, the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. Sorry Circuit Zolder fans.
The Spa Sprint race will consist of 6 laps and the Feature will be 12. It will be the fourth trip to the venue in as many PESC seasons. If history proves to repeat itself, we might have to look out for a Sebastian Job sweep in two weeks.
In 2020 and 2021, Job has been nearly untouchable at the Spa facility. In his 2020 championship season specifically, Job managed to earn max points by winning the pole, winning the Sprint as well as the Feature. He also won the Sprint and Feature last season, but that was after starting in fourth.
The coverage starts at 1:30 p.m. EDT / 6:30 p.m. BST over on the Porsche Twitch channel with the All Stars on first, then 3:00 p.m. EDT / 8:00 p.m. BST for the World Championship event.
2022 PORSCHE TAG HEUER ESPORTS SUPERCUP SCHEDULE
|DATE||TRACK||SPRINT LAPS||FEATURE LAPS|
|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|