No fooling around, the racing throughout the fifth event on the season was sublime, with many unknowns through each race all the way down to the final laps. In the All-Stars, Casey Kirwan once again stole the show in the Sprint race, but in the Feature, it was Christian “Keny500” Ortega claiming his first career win.
Over in the Supercup, Altus Esports’ Jordan Caruso came into the race as the points leader despite his inability to find victory lane so far. That all changed in the Sprint when Caruso passed Alejandro Sánchez and held on for the win. Then, in the feature, the Brazilian rookie driver Gustavo Ariel turned heads after winning from 10th place.
KENY500 SCORES FIRST CAREER FEATURE VICTORY; KIRWAN COLLECTS ANOTHER SPRINT WIN
Everything kicked off with the All-Stars event, once again with 14 well-known sim racers from all different platforms taking on the twists and turns in Austria. The season has been dominated by eNASCAR Champion Casey Kirwan, but two weeks ago, perhaps one of his biggest challenges arrived in the form of The Pulpo López.
Kirwan snagged the pole but López managed to snag the lead on the early start of the race. In third, the defending champion Tyson “Quirkitized” Meier stayed attached to the Top 2, ready to pounce at any given notice.
In fact, Quirk did pounce and kicked Kirwan all the way back to third on a few occasions. López was unable to capitalize on it, however, and eventually, Kirwan was back in second and ready to make his move for the lead and win.
In the final laps, Kirwan made the move and López just couldn’t hold on. It wasn’t a photo finish, but it was yet another close call between the two for the top spot as Quirk managed to round out the podium in third.
ALL-STARS: RED BULL RING SPRINT RACE TOP 10 RESULTS
|FIN||STA||CAR #||DRIVER||INTERVAL||SPRINT PTS||AGG PTS|
|1||1||95||Casey Kirwan||10 LAPS||25||28|
|2||2||504||The Pulpo López||-0.246 sec||20||20|
|5||5||786||Dave Cam||-1.700 sec||12||12|
|6||7||35||Dan Suzuki||-3.678 sec||10||10|
|10||11||83||Matt Malone||-13.205 sec||6||6|
Chaos was the name of the game in the Feature race, always a toss up when the fast drivers go to the back and some unluckier ones make it to the front. Taking advantage of the invert was “LoveFortySix” who started on the pole position, but taking further advantage was Christian “Keny500” Ortega alongside.
Keny500 managed to take the lead just before LoveFortySix went around just before the carousel. That was just the start of the calamity. Moments later, three of the Top 4 finishers from the Sprint – Quirk, Kirwan and Emily “Emree” Jones – all managed to synchronize spin and lose valuable time.
This allowed for López to take full advantage with no Quirks or Kirwans to slow him down. Keny500 was a sitting duck, and sure enough, López caught him with a few laps to go. López was able to make the move, but heading down the straightaway, the two made contact!
This handed the lead briefly to Jaroslav “Jardier” Honzik, a winner at the Hockenheimring at the start of the season in a similar fashion. While López was out of it, Keny500 was still within distance. On the final lap, Keny500 managed to get by Jardier and take his first career victory.
ALL-STARS: RED BULL RING FEATURE RACE TOP 10 RESULTS
|FIN||STA||CAR #||DRIVER||INTERVAL||FT. PTS||TOTAL PTS|
|3||4||56||Borja Zazo||-1.586 sec||17||22|
|4||9||35||Dan Suzuki||-8.711 sec||14||24|
|5||14||95||Casey Kirwan||-9.420 sec||12||40|
|9||3||37||Basic Ollie||-11.402 sec||7||11|
Even with the troubles, Kirwan managed to extend his points lead over 100 points over second place Jardier. Emree and Quirk are tied for third, only one point back of second, with Xabier “Heikki360ES” Sanchez rounding out the Top 5 at current.
The big win for Keny 500 catapults him to eighth on the season so far, 11 points behind Heikki for the fifth position. In between the two sits Borja Zazo in sixth and Basic Ollie in seventh. Dave Cam and Dan Suzuki round out the Top 10 so far.
ALL-STARS: POINTS AFTER EVENT #5 – RED BULL RING
|POS||CAR #||DRIVER||SP. WINS||FT. WINS||TOTAL PTS||BEHIND|
MARQUEE RACING AT THE RED BULL RING
While the All-Stars included some uncontrolled chaos in their Feature, both races in the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup at the Red Bull Ring were controlled, yet intense. A longer-form race in terms of laps lent itself to more possibilities of penalties from incidents as well.
For the second week in a row, Alejandro Sánchez managed to score the pole position over the rest of the contenders. Jordan Caruso, Zac Campbell, Diogo Pinto and Julien Soenen rounded out the Top 5 and all took points home before the racing began.
THE SPRINT RACE
Sánchez led the field off the starting line in a fairly clean start. Only one driver managed to go spinning on the opening lap, and the leaders were able to show room as well as give it.
Campbell was the first to fall off the podium, losing the spot to Pinto early on. Caruso, in second, reacted by taking the lead away from Sánchez a few laps later as Pinto closed in for the spot.
Sánchez tried his best to hold off Pinto as well, but the defending PESC champion was too strong, moving around the bright yellow Stormforce Racing ART machine, bringing the likes of Sebastian Job and Campbell around eventually as well.
Pinto kept Caruso honest, but it wasn’t meant to be for the 2022 champion.
The 2023 leader was able to hang on for the remainder of the race and take his first career victory.
Meanwhile, for the transfer, things got physical when Bryn Collins was moved out of the groove by Jamie Fluke. This allowed Fluke to finish seventh while Moreno Sirica held off his Williams Esports teammate Alessandro Bico.
PESC: RED BULL RING SPRINT RACE TOP 10 RESULTS
|FIN||STA||CAR #||DRIVER||TEAM||INTERVAL||PTS||AGG PTS|
|1||2||12||Jordan Caruso||Altus Esports||10 LAPS||25||33|
|2||4||1||Diogo C. Pinto||Team Redline||+1.152 sec||22||26|
|3||6||22||Sebastian Job||Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports||+2.037 sec||20||20|
|4||3||15||Zac Campbell||VRS Coanda Esports||+2.548 sec||18||24|
|5||1||47||Alejandro Sánchez||Stormforce Racing ART||+3.424 sec||16||26|
|6||5||40||Julien Soenen||R8G Esports||+3.880 sec||15||17|
|7||7||49||Jamie Fluke||Apex Racing Team||+5.223 sec||14||14|
|8||10||69||Moreno Sirica||Williams Esports||+5.520 sec||13||13|
|9||11||77||Alessandro Bico||Williams Esports||+5.659 sec||12||12|
|10||13||21||Gustavo Ariel||TXC Racing by TK||+6.171 sec||11||11|
THE FEATURE RACE
Sirica started on the pole position, but it didn’t long for Fluke to take the point. Fluke built a decent lead early on, however, his Apex teammate Sánchez was formidable, cutting through the field quick and painlessly with help from Pinto.
Before halfway, Fluke was moved aside by Sánchez and Pinto as the pair began to pull away from the field. For a good number of laps, the two had a sizeable lead, but then Pinto decided it was time for him to go.
The ensuing battle between Sánchez and Pinto allowed the field of Soenen, Gustavo Ariel and Campbell to close back in for a shot at the lead.
Heading out of the final corner, up the straight and into Turn 1 with only a few laps to go, Pinto, Sánchez and Soenen all managed to compromise their lines. One driver, Ariel, continued to hit his marks, and out of Turn 1, the Brazilian rookie contender had taken the lead.
Soenen fell out of the equation, but Sánchez was still right on the rookie. Ariel didn’t flinch, and the rookie sensation managed to score his first career victory with Sánchez and Pinto rounding out the podium steps.
PESC: RED BULL RING FEATURE RACE TOP 10 RESULTS
|FIN||STA||CAR #||DRIVER||TEAM||INTERVAL||PTS||TOTAL PTS|
|1||10||21||Gustavo Ariel||TXC Racing by TK||20 LAPS||50||61|
|2||4||47||Alejandro Sánchez||Stormforce Racing ART||+0.916 sec||45||71|
|3||7||1||Diogo C. Pinto||Team Redline||+1.505 sec||40||66|
|4||5||15||Zac Campbell||VRS Coanda Esports||+1.968 sec||37||61|
|5||2||49||Jamie Fluke||Apex Racing Team||+2.723 sec||34||48|
|6||3||40||Julien Soenen||R8G Esports||+2.895 sec||31||48|
|7||25||93||Charlie Collins||VRS Coanda Esports||+3.041 sec||28||28|
|8||15||4||Salva Talens||Stormforce Racing ART||+3.734 sec||26||32|
|9||21||90||Yohann Harth||Stormforce Racing ART||+4.174 sec||24||24|
|10||1||69||Moreno Sirica||Williams Esports||+4.905 sec||22||35|
POINTS STANDINGS LEAVING AUSTRIA
Lost in the battle for the Feature win was the lack of pace from the points leader Caruso. Mired back in the eighth starting spot for the Feature, eventually his luck ran out and he was collected in a Cooper Webster spin.
Caruso’s main rival entering the night was Charlie Collins, and despite a strong seventh place finish in the Feature, his night was tough from the get go. Collins crossed the line in 10th in the Sprint, but he was relegated to 25th after a penalty of time was applied.
With both title leaders having issues and Pinto picking up a pair of podiums, the race for the championship is now again a three horse race with Caruso still leading.
Back in fourth is now Sánchez, leap frogging the two Red Bulls to go from sixth to fourth. Job falls to fifth after an incident penalty served in the Feature and Webster’s spin sent him down to sixth.
Campbell picks up one spot, moving to seventh with Yohann Harth now trailing further in eighth. Fluke and Soenen round out the Top 10.
PESC: POINTS AFTER EVENT #5 – RED BULL RING
|POS||CAR #||DRIVER||TEAM||SP. WINS||FT. WINS||T5s||TOTAL PTS|
|1||12||Jordan Caruso||Altus Esports||1||0||8||302*|
|2||93||Charlie Collins||VRS Coanda Esports||0||1||6||271|
|3||1||Diogo C. Pinto||Team Redline||1||1||7||270*|
|4||47||Alejandro Sánchez||Stormforce Racing ART||1||0||6||224*|
|5||22||Sebastian Job||Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports||0||1||6||213*|
|6||37||Cooper Webster||Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports||0||0||3||185|
|7||15||Zac Campbell||VRS Coanda Esports||1||1||4||184|
|8||90||Yohann Harth||Stormforce Racing ART||0||0||2||169*|
|9||49||Jamie Fluke||Apex Racing Team||0||0||2||136*|
|10||40||Julien Soenen||R8G Esports||0||0||0||107*|
UP NEXT: EMPIRE STATE OF MIND, WATKINS GLEN EDITION
There’s only a single week of break in-between the Red Bull Ring and our next course on the schedule, Watkins Glen International. The race is scheduled to take place on 8th April.
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|
|6||8-Apr||Watkins Glen International||11||22|
|7||22-Apr||Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps||6||12|
|9||20-May||Circuit des 24 Heures du Mans||3||6|
|10||3-Jun||Autodromo Nazionale Monza||7||14|