The fifth race of the 2022 Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup season took the All-Stars and the World Championship level drivers to the Red Bull Ring this past Saturday (26th March 2022), and after an intense final lap, it was Sebastian Job (Red Bull Racing Esports) on top of the world with his first feature win of the 2022 season.
In the closing laps, Job was able to both get around rookie driver Julien Soenen (R8G Esports) as well as hold off a charge from the PESC championship leader Diogo C. Pinto (Team Redline). Coming around the Würth Kurve on the final lap, Pinto and Soenen were side-by-side looking for their shot to stick it in one last time in Rindt.
Instead, the duo collided, and Job was able to pull away and take his first Feature of the season, adding on to his two Sprint wins at Interlagos and Silverstone. With the win, the 2020 champ Job moves up to second in the points standings, only 38 points behind Pinto with half of a season to go.
“I’m a bit lost of breath, to be honest,” Job said post-race. “That was a crazy race. I’m very glad to get a Feature win. The way it’s been going, I didn’t think I was going to get one… Luckily, I say luckily, my qualifying pace wasn’t as strong this week so I started a bit further back, but as you saw, the race was a bit chaotic, and it just kind of played into my hands.”
The Red Bull Ring victory makes it 10 career Feature wins, and 19 total including the nine Sprint wins that Job has accumulated over his storied PESC career. Only the two-time champ Joshua Rogers has more Feature wins, 11, although Job has more overall wins with more Sprint race victories.
SPRINT – CHARLIE COLLINS FINALLY VICTORIOUS
Qualifying has been a huge topic to discuss in the first five races of the season. The fact of the matter is that each pole winner has been able to win their respective Sprint races, usually with ease. However, with the Top 8 invert, not a single pole winner has been able to get back to the front and also win the Feature race.
The same would be true this week at the Red Bull Ring. Charlie Collins (VRS) took the pole and had dominant speed during the 10 lap Sprint. Kevin Ellis Jr (Apex Racing Team) started second and pressured Collins for the top spot, but was unable to get the pass done. With Cooper Webster (Red Bull Racing Esports) in third also maintaining, passing seemed to be at a premium.
Only Job managed to lose his qualifying spot in the Sprint, having been passed by Matti Sipilä (KOVA Esports) about halfway through. The result was a loss of two possible championship points, but it also gave him the opportunity to start in the second row as opposed to the third.
Collins went on to win with ease, but back in the eighth position, the rookie Soenen was able to put his car in the perfect place to capitalize, now on pole position for the Feature event. He was able to hold off Pinto for it, and quite possibly that made all of the difference in the way the Feature would shake out.
As for the winner Collins, it was his first Sprint race victory of the season, and the first ever win in his career. Collins finished third overall in the 2021 standings behind Rogers and Mitchell deJong, both no longer participating.
It was thought that Collins would have the breakout season as the next one up, but unfortunately it’s been a struggle in comparison. With the win and the third place finish in the Feature however, he’s back in the conversation, 70 points behind the leader in seventh.
RED BULL RING SPRINT RACE TOP 10
|1||93||Charlie Collins||VRS||10 LAPS||35|
|2||98||Kevin Ellis Jr||Apex Racing Team||+0.683 sec||30|
|3||37||Cooper Webster [R]||Red Bull Racing Esports||+0.860 sec||26|
|4||17||Matti Sipilä [R]||KOVA Esports||+1.164 sec||20|
|5||22||Sebastian Job||Red Bull Racing Esports||+1.507 sec||20|
|6||15||Zac Campbell||VRS||+2.054 sec||15|
|7||12||Jordan Caruso [R]||Logitech G Altus Esports||+2.415 sec||14|
|8||40||Julien Soenen [R]||R8G eSports||+2.948 sec||13|
|9||44||Diogo C. Pinto||Team Redline||+3.668 sec||12|
|10||11||Maximilian Benecke||Team Redline||+4.480 sec||11|
FEATURE – SEBASTIAN JOB TAKES VICTORY FROM JULIEN SOENEN’S GRASP
For the Feature, Soenen led the field from the front spot on the grid. Alongside was another rookie in Jordan Caruso, driving for Logitech G Altus Esports. Zac Campbell (VRS), winner at Interlagos in the third week, started in third, but trouble would befall him early.
Out of the first corner, Campbell got loose transitioning from the runoff back to the track surface. Behind him, the stack up may have led to a chain reaction, as Maximillian Benecke (Team Redline) also went for a spin. Many mid-pack racers were involved. Later in the lap, Caruso went wide in the carousel and lost valuable time. Exiting the first lap, Soenen had the lead, but it was Job right on his tail looking for more.
The pressure continued to mount behind Job. Pinto, who started in ninth, was moving forward in a hurry. Pinto seemed to be the only driver in the top part of the field that could set up others and make it stick. By the final section of the race, Soenen had the lead still, Job was pressuring, and Pinto was in third pressuring even harder.
With not much time remaining, Job worked his magic and got alongside Soenen. With Pinto right on his tail and able to make the moves he could, Job must have figured it was now or never. Pinto followed through into second for a moment, but it was the 2020 series champion out front with just two laps to go.
Soenen battled back. With the white flag in the air, Soenen had only a few more opportunities to get his nose underneath Job in a passing zone. Pinto had the same thought, and managed to work his Porsche alongside Soenen with a half of a lap to go.
Through the inner ring, Soenen and Pinto stayed side by side. As they exited, Soenen was forced off and into the gravel as Pinto lost some grip off of the racing line. This allowed Job to pull away, and the rest was history.
RED BULL RING FEATURE RACE TOP 10
|1||22||Sebastian Job||Red Bull Racing Esports||20 LAPS||50|
|2||44||Diogo C. Pinto||Team Redline||+0.707 sec||45|
|3||93||Charlie Collins||VRS||+0.925 sec||40|
|4||98||Kevin Ellis Jr||Apex Racing Team||+1.226 sec||37|
|5||17||Matti Sipilä [R]||KOVA Esports||+1.828 sec||34|
|6||40||Julien Soenen [R]||R8G eSports||+2.047 sec||31|
|7||37||Cooper Webster [R]||Red Bull Racing Esports||+2.286 sec||28|
|8||97||Tuomas Tähtelä||KOVA Esports||+2.547 sec||26|
|9||12||Jordan Caruso [R]||Logitech G Altus Esports||+2.716 sec||24|
|10||49||Jamie Fluke||Apex Racing Team||+2.912 sec||22|
POINTS SITUATION LEAVING RED BULL RING
For Pinto through five races, despite only having the single Sprint win at Barcelona Catalunya, he’s been a consistent factor inside the Top 5 nearly every race weekend. His point lead sits at 38 points ahead of Job, now a two-time Sprint and one-time Feature winner in 2022 after the Red Bull Ring.
Job’s season start wasn’t impressive, having been caught up in other people’s messes, but since the third week, he’s been on a steady climb back to the top. If this continues, we might see Job at the top of the standings before too long.
As for the rest of the field, Ellis Jr is also within striking distance, only two points behind Job with a Barcelona-Catalunya Feature win in his back pocket. Interlagos winner Campbell sits fourth, 60 points behind, while Red Bull Ring’s Sprint race winner Collins moves up to fifth overall.
Before last week, Jeremy Bouteloup (Coanda) found himself runner up in the championship. Now after two abysmal weeks of racing, the soon-to-be-retired competitor has moved down to eighth overall, more than 100 points back.
POINTS STANDINGS AFTER RACE #5 – RED BULL RING
|POS.||CAR #||DRIVER||TEAM||TOTAL PTS||SP. WINS||FEAT. WINS|
|1||44||Diogo C. Pinto||Team Redline||275*||1|
|2||22||Sebastian Job||Red Bull Racing Esports||237||2||1|
|3||98||Kevin Ellis Jr||Apex Racing Team||235||1|
|6||49||Jamie Fluke||Apex Racing Team||198|
|7||37||Cooper Webster [R]||Red Bull Racing Esports||164*|
|9||11||Maximilian Benecke||Team Redline||154*|
Other winners in 2022 include Hockenheim Sprint Race winner Dyane Warren (13th) and Silverstone Feature Race winner Alejandro Sánchez (11th).
ALL STARS – KIRWAN DOUBLES UP AT THE RED BULL RING
Last week at Silverstone, Casey Kirwan of eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series fame joined the PESC All-Stars for some fun with some other invited big names in streaming in sim racing. Kirwan wound up winning the Feature in that, and for that, he was invited back for a second straight week in the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 machines.
Jaroslav Honzik, also known as Jardier, took the pole position for the Sprint race. Early on, he was passed by both Kirwan and Emily Jones (Emree) for the battle for the lead. Towards the close of the Sprint, it looked like Emree had it won, but a time penalty for track limits gifted Kirwan the win.
Tyson Meier, known as Quirkitized and also known as the All-Stars points leader, was gifted pole position in the Feature after a last place effort in the Sprint. Emree and Kirwan fought their way through the field from the back after the full field invert and managed to take the fight to Quirk.
Kirwan was once again victorious, but the big story was the points gain by Emree towards Quirk with still half of a season to go. Quirk now leads by only six points, and even more, if Kirwan continues to show up, he’s already halfway to being in the conversation, having scored 80 points and sitting 86 points behind the leader now in eighth.
PESC ALL-STARS POINTS AFTER RACE #5 – RED BULL RING
|POS.||DRIVER||TOTAL PTS||SP. WINS||FEAT. WINS|
|1||Tyson Meier (Quirkitized)||166||1|
|2||Emily Jones (Emree)||160||1|
|4||Jaroslav Honzik (Jardier)||130||1|
|5||Xabier Sanchez (Heikki360es)||117||1|
|6||Daniel Sosulski (Dan Suzuki)||115|
|9||James West (GamerMuscle)||69|
UP NEXT – MONTREAL
The next round of the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup takes to the Canadian circuit known as Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. The Sprint race will consist of 10 laps and the Feature will be 20.
We’re guaranteed a new winner in two weeks as Montreal returns for a third race in the PESC history books. In 2019, Mitchell deJong and Joshua Rogers took the Sprint and Feature, respectively. In 2021 when the venue returned to the schedule, Rogers won the Sprint and deJong won the Feature.
Collins has a win in the PESC Contender Series at the venue back in 2020, and his teammate Campbell has a pole position in both the Contender and the Supercup in the last two years. Otherwise, I’d expect anyone with Coanda or VRS on their door to be a factor in Canada.
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|
|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|