The third round of iRacing‘s Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup was decided by the fans of the series. Given the choices between Imola, Laguna Seca and Long Beach, PESC fans chose the latter of the three choices, and that resulted in a chaotic day of racing around the streets in Southern California.
In the All-Stars, Laurin Heinrich returned to keep points leader Casey Kirwan out of victory lane in the Sprint. For the Feature, the duo had to fight through the field just to get to the back bumper of Dave Cam, who wound up putting on a master class in defense to win his first Feature.
As for the World Championship, rookie Altus Esports driver Simone Maria Marcenò got the jump on his teammate Jordan Caruso to take the Sprint. After chaos to start the Feature, Sebastian Job was able to escape and put his Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports machine in victory lane for the first time this year.
LAURIN HEINRICH, DAVE CAM WIN ALL-STAR RACES
14 well-known names in the sim racing and real-world racing sphere took to the twists and turns of the Long Beach streets first on Saturday (4th March) with Porsche Junior Laurin Heinrich returning as a special guest of the series.
Casey Kirwan has been pretty unstoppable up to this point in the season. With Long Beach as the venue, one of his favorite places to race at, things were looking up for our first possible sweep of the season.
Unfortunately for the 2022 eNASCAR champion, Heinrich was formidable throughout the Sprint, having gotten the jump on the start. Kirwan tried a dive on the final corner of the final lap, making contact, but Heinrich was able to drive away to the victory, his second in two races.
ALL-STARS: LONG BEACH SPRINT RACE TOP 10 RESULTS
|FIN||STA||CAR #||DRIVER||INTERVAL||SPRINT PTS||AGG PTS|
|1||2||911||Laurin Heinrich||12 LAPS||26||26|
|2||1||95||Casey Kirwan||+1.545 sec||20||23|
|3||6||37||Basic Ollie||+17.660 sec||17||17|
|6||7||56||Borja Zazo||+20.516 sec||10||10|
|8||14||35||Dan Suzuki||+21.946 sec||8||8|
|9||12||83||Matt Malone||+22.663 sec||7||7|
With a full field invert, two drivers that suffered misfortunes on the start of the Sprint were placed up front with Stradi starting alongside Dave Cam. Once again, the second place starter had the advantage, a theme that stayed constant throughout the entirety of the event.
Dave managed to gap the field by nearly five seconds, but both Heinrich and Kirwan were slicing their way through the traffic after starting on the last row. With five laps to go, the duo managed to place themselves in second and third, and the chase was on from there.
For the last two laps, the trio of Dave Cam, Kirwan and Heinrich were nose to tail with Dave making expert moves to defend. Once again, it came down to the final corner, the hairpin. Dave wound up sliding in, giving up the inside. Kirwan filled it but Heinrich also got a nose in. This allowed Dave to get the advantage needed to win.
ALL-STARS: LONG BEACH FEATURE RACE TOP 10 RESULTS
|FIN||STA||CAR #||DRIVER||INTERVAL||FEAT. PTS||TOTAL PTS|
|1||2||786||Dave Cam||20 LAPS||25||28|
|2||14||911||Laurin Heinrich||+0.192 sec||20||46|
|3||13||95||Casey Kirwan||+0.205 sec||18||41|
|8||9||56||Borja Zazo||+13.654 sec||8||18|
Three races down and Kirwan has nearly doubled the next full-time competitor, Jardier, leading by more than a full race at 130 total points. Heinrich, who at this point is slated as a guest, would be second in points if he were to go for the full season despite missing Hockenheim.
Newcomer Basic Ollie sits in fourth just ahead of two former All-Stars champions Quirkitized and Emree. Dave Cam shoots up to ninth overall with his feature victory.
ALL-STARS: POINTS STANDINGS AFTER EVENT #3 – LONG BEACH
|POS||CAR #||DRIVER||SP. WINS||FT. WINS||TOP 5s||TOTAL PTS||BEHIND|
WILD CARD – FANS VOTE FOR CHAOS, LONG BEACH DELIVERS
Either drivers loved the decision to put Long Beach on the schedule, or they absolutely despised it. With the narrow lanes barricaded by walls, there truly was no room for error.
Surprisingly, the All-Stars races could be deemed more tame, despite the two fantastic finishes, as opposed to the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup World Championship races. Both the Sprint and the Feature had opening lap catastrophic incidents that would implicate the 2023 championship battle.
THE SPRINT RACE
The Altus Esports duo of Jordan Caruso and Simone Maria Marcenò must have known that track position would be key in maximizing the day. They locked out the front row with Caruso taking maximum points. Marcenò was late in getting his lap down for Group A – He scored eight points for qualifying second but also was penalized eight points post race, so it is speculative that this could be the reason why.
Yohann Harth and Alejandro Sánchez for Stormforce Racing ART locked out the second row. Harth moved over to the Stormforce division of the Apex Racing Team following last week’s race. Bryn Collins rounded out the Top 5 in qualifying and took the last qualifying points available.
In the 13 lap Sprint, things started off crazy and ended just the same. On the opening lap, championship leader and defending champion Diogo Pinto wound up flipped leaving the hairpin. With no qualifying points and no chance to score points in the Sprint, he would have to rely solely on the Feature for points.
Of course, the battle for eighth would be just as important as the battle for the win. Coming to the white flag, Quentiin Vialatte had the spot and Alessandro Bico wanted it for the easy invert to the pole position in the Feature. They collided. Cooper Webster had to avoid it in 10th, which allowed Bobby Zalenski to sneak through after running 11th all afternoon.
Up front, Marcenò had gotten the jump on Caruso, and the pair were able to hold off Sánchez for the Altus 1-2 result.
PESC: LONG BEACH SPRINT RACE TOP 10 RESULTS
|FIN||STA||CAR #||DRIVER||TEAM||INTERVAL||PTS||AGG PTS|
|1||2||27||Simone Maria Marcenò||Altus Esports||13 LAPS||25||33|
|2||1||12||Jordan Caruso||Altus Esports||+0.562 sec||22||32|
|3||4||47||Alejandro Sánchez||Stormforce Racing ART||+0.803 sec||20||24|
|4||5||46||Bryn Collins||VRS Coanda Esports||+1.898 sec||18||20|
|5||8||93||Charlie Collins||VRS Coanda Esports||+3.091 sec||16||16|
|6||3||90||Yohann Harth||Stormforce Racing ART||+3.812 sec||15||21|
|7||7||22||Sebastian Job||Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports||+5.354 sec||14||14|
|8||10||83||Bobby Zalenski||VRS Coanda Esports||+9.374 sec||13||13|
|9||15||37||Cooper Webster||Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports||+10.678 sec||12||12|
|10||16||3||Kevin Nielsen||FYRA SimSport||+11.132 sec||11||11|
THE FEATURE RACE
Zalenski, a driver more accustomed to rolling starts having contended for the eNASCAR title for more than half of the last decade, would be the starting car for the standing start for the Feature. He did not get the start he wanted and it would ultimately cost him.
As the field went into the first corner, Bryn Collins and Caruso had gotten together, sending Collins on a slide and into Zalenski and Sánchez. This allowed for Sebastian Job, Yohann Harth and Caruso to slip by. Charlie Collins also managed to get by and began to work on moving up the order.
Job, who’s last win was the Feature finale in 2022 at Monza, had been winless in both Sprint and Feature races to this point in 2023 with many dismal finishes. For the first time, things looked to be going his way, but Charlie Collins was closing in quick behind in the closing laps after he cleared Caruso and Harth.
Job stayed strong, despite not having the pace he would have liked through the weekend. Collins closed in but ran out of time as Job closed his first win of 2023, reestablishing his place as a title contender once more.
PESC: LONG BEACH FEATURE RACE TOP 10 RESULTS
|FIN||STA||CAR #||DRIVER||TEAM||INTERVAL||PTS||TOTAL PTS|
|1||2||22||Sebastian Job||Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports||26 LAPS||50||64|
|2||4||93||Charlie Collins||VRS Coanda Esports||+0.438 sec||45||61|
|3||7||12||Jordan Caruso||Altus Esports||+0.820 sec||40||72|
|4||9||37||Cooper Webster||Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports||+1.123 sec||37||49|
|5||3||90||Yohann Harth||Stormforce Racing ART||+4.345 sec||34||55|
|6||11||77||Alessandro Bico||Williams Esports||+4.932 sec||31||41|
|7||8||27||Simone Maria Marcenò||Altus Esports||+5.313 sec||28||61|
|8||13||10||Christopher Dambietz||FYRA SimSport||+17.048 sec||26||34|
|9||15||81||Quentiin Vialatte||R8G Esports||+17.196 sec||24||30|
|10||1||83||Bobby Zalenski||VRS Coanda Esports||+17.884 sec||22||35|
POINTS STANDINGS LEAVING LONG BEACH
There were quite a number of penalties following the skirmish that was Long Beach. Originally, Caruso was only three points behind Collins for the top spot. However, due to the incursion of 10 penalty points, Caruso now sits 13 points behind.
Pinto also loses five points towards the championship after his own skirmishes in the event. Instead of being tied with Job leaving Long Beach, Pinto now falls to fourth, 56 points out of the lead following the rough day at the office. He only had scored eight points as it was, so it was almost a complete waste.
Marcenò’s Sprint win vaults him up to 10th overall in the championship, despite also receiving an eight point penalty. In total, seven drivers wound up with a points penalty leaving Long Beach, including Caruso, Pinto, Bico, Marcenò, Maximilian Benecke, Gustavo Ariel, Quentiin Vialatte and Gianni Vecchio.
PESC: POINTS STANDINGS AFTER EVENT #3 – LONG BEACH
|POS||CAR #||DRIVER||TEAM||SP. WINS||FT. WINS||T5s||TOTAL PTS|
|1||93||Charlie Collins||VRS Coanda Esports||0||1||5||197|
|2||12||Jordan Caruso||Altus Esports||0||0||5||184*|
|3||22||Sebastian Job||Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports||0||1||4||146*|
|4||1||Diogo C. Pinto||Team Redline||1||0||4||141*|
|5||37||Cooper Webster||Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports||0||0||3||120|
|6||15||Zac Campbell||VRS Coanda Esports||1||1||2||103|
|7||90||Yohann Harth||Stormforce Racing ART||0||0||1||93*|
|8||77||Alessandro Bico||Williams Esports||0||0||1||91*|
|9||47||Alejandro Sánchez||Stormforce Racing ART||0||0||2||83*|
|10||27||Simone Maria Marcenò||Altus Esports||1||0||1||70*|
UP NEXT: TEXAS HOLD ‘EM
The Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup stays in North America but heads South to Texas for Round 4 of the 2023 season. Circuit of the Americas hosts PESC for the first time this season, replacing Silverstone Circuit’s place on the schedule from a season ago.
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 is set to kick off around 1:00 pm ET / 6:00 pm GMT for the PESC All-Stars, while the PESC World Championship goes off an hour later.
2023 PORSCHE TAG HEUER ESPORTS SUPERCUP SCHEDULE
|EVENT||DATE||VENUE||Sprint Laps||Feature Laps|
|4||18-Mar||Circuit of the Americas||8||16|
|5||1-Apr||Red Bull Ring||10||20|
|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|