The 30 drivers that will race in this season’s Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup this season were revealed during the first broadcast of the season at Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg on Saturday (4th February).
30 drivers among 14 teams of varying numbers will compete in the 2023 edition of PESC. Some of the biggest names on the road side of the iRacing community are entered in the series that will offer a prize purse of $200,000 this season.
Drivers are either returning to the series from the 2022 roster, or by advancing back from the 2022 Contender Series which took place later last year. The way it was supposed to work based on the written rules was that:
- The 15 highest points-scoring drivers after results finalization from the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup Contender Series 2022 / 2023 will be admitted entry to the series.
- The 15 highest points-scoring drivers after results finalization from the Porsche TAG
Heuer Esports Supercup 2022 will be admitted entry to the series.
With that said, there were many drivers who opted out this season. iRacing does make it clear that “drivers can voluntarily opt out of the series at any time,” but “re-entry to the series will not be admitted.”
Returning to the action this year will include the defending champion Diogo Pinto, once again driving for Team Redline. As the defending Champion, Pinto chose to wear the No. 1 this year as opposed to the No. 44 he drove to the title in 2023. Gianni Vecchio will race for Redline as well, returning through Contender.
The former World Champion Sebastian Job, who finished second last season, will also return into his seat with Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports. He’ll be paired up with the now sophomore driver in Cooper Webster, the duo taking the numbers 22 and 37 as expected.
Two of the top VRS Coanda Esports drivers from 2022 in Zac Campbell and Charlie Collins will also be returning to action this year. Bobby Zalenski will join them after returning from the Contender Series.
Apex Racing Team is partnering up with Stormforce Racing to field two teams this season. Drivers such as Jamie Fluke and Yohann Harth will be in the regular ART team cars while Alejandro Sánchez and Salva Talens will join forces on Stormforce Racing ART.
Maximillian Benecke will also be returning to the series, but under a new banner. Announced as a driver for the new MOUZ ESL R1 program, Benecke would also be taking on PESC again for the fifth straight season with those new MOUZ colors.
Tuomas Tähtelä, also with a new squad in HEROIC, will also double dip with ESL R1 this year. Tähtelä also had to requalify through the PESC Contender Series last year, but he did so in epic fashion by winning the Contender title.
Moreno Sirica and Alessandro Bico will return for Williams Esports this year. Sirica was the last driver locked in from last season, while Bico had to go through the Contender once more.
RETURNING CONTENDERS AND NEW ROOKIES
From the Contender round, a host of up-and-coming talent will take the grid this year alongside many mainstays in the series.
Altus Esports will expand from one to three drivers this year as Jordan Caruso’s rookie stripes have been peeled away, returning back through Contender this year. He’ll be joined by Simone Maria Marcenò and Oscar Mangan on the brightly-colored team.
BS+COMPETITION will have a zebra in the series this year with Oskari Rinne, while Gustavo Ariel will race for Tony Kanaan as a member of the TXC Racing by TK team this season.
FYRA SimSport will have three entries in the series this year, all joining through the Contender. While Christopher Dambietz returns after missing out on 2022, he’ll be joined by two top rookies from that Contender Series, both Kevin Nielsen and Lasse Bak.
Another two teams returning include R8G Esports with Julien Soenen and Quentiin Vialatte behind the wheel, as well as URANO eSports which will sport rides for the returning Sam Kuitert and the rookie pairing of Luca Kita and Alexey Nesov.
Two teams we mentioned before, VRS Coanda and Stormforce Racing ART, will both have a rookie apiece this season that qualified in through Contender. Coanda’s contender is Bryn Collins and for the Apex-affiliated ride, it’s Mathias Stokbæk Jensen behind the virtual wheel.
THOSE WHO DID NOT RETURN
In total, from the 15 drivers that were pre-locked by finishing in the Top 15 in points last season, only 11 would return to the fold for 2023. The offseason saw Kevin Ellis Jr, Dayne Warren, Jeremy Bouteloup and Graham Carroll opt out for this year.
While Bouteloup’s retirement is precisely that, the other three will compete in the ESL R1 this year instead. This notion didn’t keep the likes of Harth, Fluke, Benecke or Tähtelä from double dipping, as well as Campbell or Collins from being Coanda reserves.
Things do get a little murkier when looking into the PESC Contender points and realizing who didn’t accept the invites after earning them. 19 spots would be available to the Top 19 drivers in Contender. In fact, four of those drivers also opted out.
Peter Berryman was the highest on that list, finishing fourth in Contender. He was a part of the Supercup in 2022, but will race for Apex Racing Team in ESL R1 in 2023.
It’s unclear why Valentin Mandernach did not take his place on the 2023 PESC grid, but he was the next in Contender points to not make it to the series this year despite qualifying. He was with R8G Esports last season and recently competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual with Peugeot Sport.
As for both Jeff Giassi and Oskar Biksrud, they’ll also be putting focus on ESL R1 over on Rennsport this year. Giassi will race with FURIA while Biksrud will take on that challenge with HEROIC.
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.
The season begins today (4th February) and lasts 10 weeks until June, ending at Monza. The 30-driver roster is listed below.
|1||Diogo C. Pinto||Team Redline|
|3||Kevin Nielsen (rookie)||FYRA SimSport|
|4||Salva Talens||Stormforce Racing ART|
|5||Oskari Rinne (rookie)||BS+COMPETITION|
|10||Christopher Dambietz||FYRA SimSport|
|12||Jordan Caruso||Altus Esports|
|15||Zac Campbell||VRS Coanda Esports|
|16||Luca Kita (rookie)||URANO eSports|
|21||Gustavo Ariel (rookie)||TXC Racing by TK|
|22||Sebastian Job||Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports|
|24||Lasse Bak (rookie)||FYRA SimSport|
|27||Simone Maria Marcenò (rookie)||Altus Esports|
|28||Sam Kuitert||URANO eSports|
|33||Alexey Nesov (rookie)||URANO eSports|
|37||Cooper Webster||Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports|
|40||Julien Soenen||R8G Esports|
|46||Bryn Collins (rookie)||VRS Coanda Esports|
|47||Alejandro Sánchez||Stormforce Racing ART|
|49||Jamie Fluke||Apex Racing Team|
|69||Moreno Sirica||Williams Esports|
|70||Gianni Vecchio||Team Redline|
|77||Alessandro Bico||Williams Esports|
|81||Quentiin Vialatte||R8G Esports|
|83||Bobby Zalenski||VRS Coanda Esports|
|90||Yohann Harth||Apex Racing Team|
|92||Mathias Stokbæk Jensen (rookie)||Stormforce Racing ART|
|93||Charlie Collins||VRS Coanda Esports|
|99||Oscar Mangan (rookie)||Altus Esports|
2023 PORSCHE TAG HEUER ESPORTS SUPERCUP SCHEDULE
|EVENT||DATE||VENUE||Sprint Laps||Feature Laps|
|2||18-Feb||Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours||9||18|
|3||4-Mar||TO BE VOTED UPON||TBD||TBD|
|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|