Porsche Esports Supercup hits Le Mans
All change at the top as the series heads south
Round 4 of the 2020 Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup descended on Le Mans at the weekend, with the world’s best professional sim racers going head-to-head around the 13.6km Circuit de la Sarthe aboard identical virtual 911 GT3 Cup cars.
The 15-minute sprint race saw a number of drivers vie for the lead. Norwegian Sindre Setsaas initially took early control before bowing to pressure from Kevin Ellis and Alejandro Sánchez. Australian ace Joshua Rogers then took control before a collision with Ellis at Arnage relegated him to fifth. Remarkably, the 20-year-old managed to fight back to the front of the field again, but a pit stop just before the flag allowed Ellis to take the win ahead of Sebastian Job and his compatriot Jamie Fluke.
An in-form Ellis took up the 30-minute main race from pole position ahead of Job and Fluke. Ellis and Job traded the lead for several laps until Ellis braked too late for the Mulsanne corner and forced Fluke to run wide. This allowed Harth and Benecke – who had started from tenth – to move into second and third place behind Job. Over the last three laps, the trio were neck-and-neck before Benecke made his move on the last lap, outbraking Harth at Indianapolis to snatch the lead and a deserved third win of the season.
After claiming second in the sprint race and third in the main, Briton Sebastian Job now leads the standings in the global esports championship. Title defender Rogers came away empty-handed, meanwhile, slipping back to third place in the rankings behind Benecke.
“My day was pretty good,” says Job. “After the practice sessions, I realised that we’d see a lot of duels and accidents here at Le Mans. So I took a relaxed approach and avoided any skirmishes. That worked brilliantly. My main priority today wasn’t to win, but to focus on the championship.”
Round five of ten in the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup calendar will be held at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife on 4 July. Including the Grand Prix circuit, the infamous 25.9km racetrack poses one of the toughest challenges in circuit racing.