Three races into the 2022 Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup season and once again, we have a new winner. On the final lap at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace, Zac Campbell was able to get around Kevin Ellis Jr (Apex Racing Team) and hold him off to win the feature race.
It has been a much different landscape in this year’s season. Since the start of the season, six different drivers have won between the sprint and feature events. Campbell (VRS) is the latest first-time PESC winner in the series, and third to cross the checkers first so far in 2022.
The Brazilian venue better known as Interlagos was voted as the place to race in week 3 by PESC fans. It beat out Watkins Glen, Long Beach and the Hungaroring in popularity. It was fitting to run at nonetheless as it coincides with the Brazilian Stock Car release happening on Tuesday (8th March 2022).
SPRINT RACE – SEBASTIAN JOB BACK ON TOP
The 2020 PESC champion hasn’t had the best start to the 2022 season. As the only defending champion in the field for this season, he was picked as one of the early favorites for the title. After a 22nd place finish in the Hockenheim feature, followed up by a 25th place feature finish at Barcelona. Job found himself well outside the Top 10 entering Interlagos.
However, the Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports driver was able to put the pedal down and grab the pole position over Apex Racing Team’s Jamie Fluke. Salva Talens (MSi eSports), Campbell and Dayne Warren (Coanda) rounded out the Top 5 qualifiers, all earning points towards the championship.
The sprint itself was a 10 lap event, and Job nailed every single one of them. With pressure from Fluke, who had pressure from Talens, and so on through the Top 7 spots, Job kept his wits and left no chance for Fluke to get an advantage. Fluke had the same thing in mind behind him, and basically the Top 5 all finished in the same spot they qualified.
The cameras turned instead to the battle for eighth place. Per PESC rules, there is an invert of the Top 8 spots from the sprint race. While Job went on to win it, that meant an eighth place starting spot for the main event. The Top 7 had pulled away from the rest of the field, so the battle for eighth was intense.
Diogo C. Pinto (Team Redline), the points leader entering, had the spot, but his main championship rival on the season so far, Jeremy Bouteloup (Coanda), was right on his heels. Earlier in the run, Bouteloup ran into some trouble against Yohann Harth (Apex Racing Team) which ended up costing him track position. Harth would end up spun later, but it played out to where Pinto had it and Bouteloup wanted it.
On the final lap, Bouteloup tried all he might, but Pinto took the spot and the pole for the feature event.
INTERLAGOS SPRINT RACE TOP 10
|1||22||Sebastian Job||Red Bull Racing Esports||10 LAPS||35|
|2||49||Jamie Fluke||Apex Racing Team||+0.062 sec||30|
|3||4||Salva Talens||MSi eSports||+0.236 sec||26|
|4||15||Zac Campbell||VRS||+0.617 sec||22|
|5||57||Dayne Warren||Coanda||+0.837 sec||18|
|6||53||Ayhancan Güven||Coanda||+1.888 sec||15|
|7||98||Kevin Ellis Jr||Apex Racing Team||+1.933 sec||14|
|8||44||Diogo C. Pinto||Team Redline||+8.728 sec||13|
|9||77||Jeremy Bouteloup||Coanda||+8.801 sec||12|
|10||93||Charlie Collins||VRS||+9.109 sec||11|
FEATURE RACE – ZAC CAMPBELL WINS ON LAST LAP PASS
With the entire Top 7 behind him, the same 7 who all pulled away from him in the previous sprint race, Pinto took the field to the green flag for the feature race. Job, the sprint winner, was mired down in eight, and for the most part, the field was absolutely stacked on top of one another.
The feature would be double the distance, 20 laps. Ellis Jr peaked his nose multiple times through the first section of the show, but Pinto held true to the preferred line and kept the position for a good amount of time.
Finally, on Lap 6, Ellis Jr was able to get the proper run down to the bottom line and cleared Pinto. Eventually, Pinto was passed by both Dayne Warren (Coanda) and Campbell as he settled back into the groove in fourth.
Warren found an extra gear and moved his way into the lead just past halfway on Lap 13. For about four laps, Warren had the top spot, but it didn’t seem that his car was able to lead like the other were. With four laps to go, Ellis Jr made the move back into position around Warren and into the lead. Warren wound up with too many incident points and had to serve a pass through after that.
Following through the pass, Campbell was right on Ellis Jr’s heels. Just after taking the white flag, Campbell made his move into Turn 1. He held it on the outside and into Turn 2, where he earned the advantage. The rest of the lap was tense with Ellis Jr tucked right up behind.
Campbell was able to hang on and score his maiden victory in the series.
INTERLAGOS FEATURE RACE TOP 10
|1||15||Zac Campbell||VRS||20 LAPS||50|
|2||98||Kevin Ellis Jr||Apex Racing Team||+0.081 sec||45|
|3||44||Diogo C. Pinto||Team Redline||+0.246 sec||40|
|4||4||Salva Talens||MSi eSports||+0.639 sec||37|
|5||53||Ayhancan Güven||Coanda||+1.461 sec||34|
|6||77||Jeremy Bouteloup||Coanda||+3.807 sec||31|
|7||22||Sebastian Job||Red Bull Racing Esports||+4.326 sec||28|
|8||49||Jamie Fluke||Apex Racing Team||+4.743 sec||26|
|9||37||Cooper Webster [R]||Red Bull Racing Esports||+5.207 sec||24|
|10||50||Peter Berryman||Apex Racing Team||+6.466 sec||22|
POINTS SITUATION LEAVING INTERLAGOS
With an eighth place finish in the sprint combined with the bottom step of the podium in the feature, Pinto was able to stay just ahead of Bouteloup for the overall lead in the standings. Bouteloup brought home a ninth and a sixth while Hockenheim’s winner Ayhancan Güven closed the gap with a sixth and fifth place effort.
The feature winner, Campbell, moves up into fourth overall, 17 points out of first place. Two Apex Racing Team drivers in Fluke and Ellis Jr occupy the next two spots, fifth and sixth in the points respectively. As for Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports, the team’s rookie driver Cooper Webster currently sits in seventh, 19 points ahead of his champion teammate Job, down in eighth.
The man with the highest iRating on the iRacing service, Maximilian Benecke had a tough showing at Interlagos, picking up a single point for his efforts and falling down to ninth overall. He’s tied with Hockenheim’s sprint race winner Dayne Warren to round out the Top 10.
POINTS STANDINGS AFTER RACE #3 – INTERLAGOS
|POS.||CAR #||DRIVER||TEAM||TOTAL PTS||SP. WINS||FEAT. WINS|
|1||44||Diogo C. Pinto||Team Redline||155||1|
|5||49||Jamie Fluke||Apex Racing Team||135|
|6||98||Kevin Ellis Jr||Apex Racing Team||130||1|
|7||37||Cooper Webster [R]||Red Bull Racing Esports||120|
|8||22||Sebastian Job||Red Bull Racing Esports||101||1|
|9||11||Maximilian Benecke||Team Redline||78|
EMILY JONES, TYSON MEIER WIN IN ALL STARS
The PESC All Stars were also on display on Saturday’s show. In the sprint race, Tyson Meier, also known on Twitch as Quirkitized, was a dominant force. He held off Borja Zazo in the closing minutes to take the sprint win.
The entire field would invert for the second race, which put Quirk to the back and put Maxime Bijmans out front. The real winners in the restack were Jaroslav Honzik (AKA Jardier) and Dan Suzuki, but the defending champion Emily Jones was also able to capitalize. Jones made the move around halfway and never looked back to take the victory.
Other notable names in the All-Star show included Tony Kanaan (sixth), Matt Malone (seventh) and Jimmy Broadbent (eighth).
PESC returns on the 19th of March for the fourth race event of the 2022 season at Silverstone. Both the All Stars and the Pro drivers will take on a seven lap sprint and a 14-lap feature event at a venue familiar to us here at Traxion.GG.
This might just be what Job needs to turn his season completely around. The series has been visiting the track since it started in 2019. In that race, Job took both the sprint and feature race wins. in 2020, Bouteloup was able to score the sprint win while Alejandro Sánchez won his first career feature on that day. Last season, Mitchell deJong won the sprint, but it was Job who got the job done in the 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 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|