Chaos in Hong Kong and a grand finale: a round-up of the weekend's virtual races
Saturday saw two more nail-biting online races for Porsche Motorsport, including the deciding round of the Supercup Virtual Edition. Three drivers were in contention for the single-make series as the field assembled on the Autodromo Nazionale Monza. On 132 points, Porsche Junior Ayhancan Güven had his nose just in front, but 22-year-old Dutchman Larry ten Voorde was a mere two points behind after the three previous double-headers. And with a total of 50 points up for grabs, Dylan Pereira, in third spot on 91 points, was also in technical contention.
At the start of race seven, pole-sitter Güven immediately ducked to the inside and fended off ten Voorde. But on lap four, the flying Dutchman inherited the lead when Güven slid off and dropped three places. There was more drama to come for the talented Turk, too. In the Seconda Variante turn on his last lap, Güven took too much kerb and lost another two places and with it critical points. Ten Voorde went on to win, followed by Pereira and the rookie Köhler. The Porsche Juniors Güven and Jaxon Evans finished fourth and fifth with Roar Lindland winning the ProAm class.
In the final round of the championship, ten Voorde dominated from the start and defended his lead perfectly for a convincing lights-to-flag victory and the overall title. Evans, Köhler and Güven fought valiantly for the podium places in his wake, the decisive move for second coming in lap six when Güven passed both Köhler and Evans to finish on the heels of his main rival. Down the field, Leon Köhler took first place in the rookie championship, while Marc Cini secured the Pro-Am title.
“I did a lot of preparation work with my team for these two races,” said an elated ten Voorde. “Ayhancan Güven and I put on a great show for the fans. I managed to control the race well and I’m delighted with the title.”
“The season finale was perfect proof that a virtual season of our series was the right decision,” added Oliver Schwab, Project Manager of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. “Both races were gripping from start to finish. It’s fantastic that the drivers and teams embraced the virtual competition with such enthusiasm. Now we’re looking forward to the start of the real season.”
On the other side of the virtual world, meanwhile, a mass pile-up caused chaos at the fourth round of the ABB Formula E ‘Race at Home Challenge’ in Hong Kong, denying our TAG Heuer Porsche drivers the chance to score points.
After starting from 10th and 17th and following the chaotic scenes at turn one, some fine driving saw both works drivers make up several places, only to find themselves propping up the field after a series of not-at-fault collisions.
Nevertheless, both drivers demonstrated good race pace and great fighting spirit as they gained eight places apiece. Lotterer finished 15th, with Jani just one place behind. This means that Jani remains fifth in the drivers’ standings with 24 points, while Lotterer is 14th with six points.
In the earlier ‘Challenge Grid’ race for sim racers and influencers, Joshua Rogers took pole position and second in the race in his 99X Electric, netting him a useful 20 points to bring him to fifth in the overall standings.
“It is no exaggeration to say that it was a tumultuous race,” said Marco Ujhasi, Manager Esports at Porsche Motorsport. “It was the first time that qualifying for the ‘Race at Home Challenge’ took place on a wet surface. That was a challenge for all the drivers. Neel and André started from midfield. Right at the start of the race, they were involved in some incidents on turn one that pushed them back down through the field. Josh Rogers did another great job on his second appearance in the event for sim racers. However, he made a small error after securing pole position and a very good starting phase. Nonetheless, second place is a very good result.”
Three rounds remain in the ‘Race at Home Challenge’, with the final scheduled for 7 June.