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ESL R1: Rogers leads Porsche Coanda one-two at Spa

The look of the ESL R1 regular season standings had changed massively after Round 6, with R8G Esports being replaced by Team Redline at the top of the teams’ standings and Luke Bennett – also of Team Redline – taking the lead in the drivers’ standings.

The turnaround was also framed by the emergence of the Mercedes-AMG powered teams – Mercedes-AMG Williams Esports and Mercedes-AMG Petronas Esports – as the front runners as they shared the last three wins.

With just two rounds left for the drivers to secure a spot in the Top 24 Championship and qualify for the ESL R1 Spring Major in Munich, those on the cusp would need to up their game.

quarter finals

The first Quarterfinal saw an intense battle for sixth place qualifying as James Baldwin and Sebastian Job, two of the greatest talents in sim racing esports right now, went head-to-head. After a few color changes, Baldwin took the lead, but was later penalized and gave Job the crucial position.

Drama ensued again in the second quarter-final as championship leader Marcell Csincsik appeared to be out of the picture for qualifying until Bono Huis misjudged an out braking maneuver and sent him straight into Jack Keithley’s Williams Esports car. Huis was penalized and Csincsik progressed.

However, it was disaster for former Championship leader Jiri Toman in Quarter-Final 4 as the Czech driver served a slowing penalty amidst a group of cars and caused chaos. To sum up the turning point in the fate of our championship protagonists: All four Redline drivers had qualified for the semi-finals.

semi-final 1

Sebastian Job and Dayne Warren were the fastest off the line in Semifinal 1, but Luke Bennett was able to move into second place before the end of the lap.

Behind, Csincsik was shielded from attacking his sixth position by teammate Erhan Jajovski, who hedged his bets after forcing Moritz Löhner off the track and eventually succumbing to a slowing penalty. Job won ahead of Bennett, with Warren, Mitchell deJong, Enzo Bonito and Csincsik making it to the final.

ESL R1, Race, Spa Francorchamps

semi final 2

But what about Joshua Rogers? The Aussie had been at the forefront of the Championship standings since Katowice and made quiet progress on Round 7 – taking pole position for Semi-Final 2.

And so the race continued as he held on to claim a steady win. Further back, the crucial battle for sixth place between Ibraheem Khan and Jeffrey Rietveld was eventually decided by a slowing down penalty for Khan after he was deemed overly aggressive in his defense.

Joni Törmälä was second for G2 Sim Racing followed by Kevin Ellis Jr., Mikkel Gade, Caique Oliveira and Rietveld on the qualifying spots.

ESL R1, Race, Spa FrancorchampsKevin Siggy spins

final

Rogers’ dominance continued as he claimed pole position, with the top seven separated by less than a tenth of a second. Away from the line, Rogers was under pressure from Bonito as deJong took second place from the Redline driver on lap one, earning a one-two for Porsche Coanda Esports.

ESL R1, Race, Spa FrancorchampsDisaster for Ellis Jr. (left)

Ellis Jr was sent around at Turn 1, ending the Scot’s hopes after an otherwise impressive performance for the Apex Racing Team. Warren and Oliveira fought an entertaining battle for seventh place, but the top six remained unchanged for the rest of the race, with Bennett’s sixth place being enough to maintain his championship lead.

Rogers finished the job to win round 7 from deJong, with Bonito cementing third place for Redline. The result extends Redline’s teams championship lead to 72 points over R8G Esports, with Rogers coming within four points of Bennett at the top of the Spring Season Drivers’ table.

ESL R1, Race, Spa Francorchamps

ESL R1, SPRING SEASON, ROUND 7 FINAL RESULTS

  1. Joshua Rogers – Porsche 911 GT3R (992) – Porsche Coanda Esports 15:52.321
  2. Mitchell deJong – Porsche 911 GT3R (992) – Porsche Coanda Esports +0.565 s
  3. Enzo Bonito – BMW M4 GT3 – Team Redline +1.961 s
  4. Mikkel Gade – Porsche 911 GT3R (992) – HEROIC + 2,567s
  5. Marcell Csincsik – Audi R8 LMS GT3 evo II – R8G Esports +2,682s
  6. Luke Bennett – BMW M4 GT3 – Team Redline + 3,970s
  7. Caique Oliveira – BMW M4 GT3 – FURIA +4,624 s
  8. Dayne Warren – Porsche 911 GT3R (992) – Porsche Coanda Esports +5,983s
  9. Jeffrey Rietveld – BMW M4 GT3, Team Redline +7,900s
  10. Sebastian Job – BMW M4 GT3 – G2 Sim Racing +8,050s
  11. Kevin Ellis Jr. – Audi R8 LMS GT3 evo II – Apex Racing Team +9.820s
  12. Joni Törmälä – BMW M4 GT3 – G2 Sim Racing +13.778 s

ESL R1, SPRING SEASON, DRIVER CLASSIFICATION AFTER ROUND 7

  1. Luke Bennett – BMW M4 GT3 – Team Redline, 239 points
  2. Josh Rogers – Porsche 911 GT3R (992) – Porsche Coanda Esports, 235 points
  3. Marcell Csincsik – Audi R8 LMS GT3 evo II – R8G Esports, 218 points
  4. Jiri Toman – Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II – R8G Esports, 190 points
  5. Erhan Jajovski – Audi R8 LMS GT3 evo II – R8G Esports, 177 points

ESL R1, SPRING SEASON, TEAM SCORING AFTER ROUND 7

  1. Team Redline, 683 points
  2. R8G Esports, 611 points
  3. Porsche Coanda, 504 points
  4. Mercedes-AMG Williams Esports, 448 points
  5. MOUZ, 444 points

ESL R1 2023, SPRING SEASON – UPDATED SCHEDULE

  • Round 1, IEM Expo Katowice, Poland, ESL Pro Tour – February 11, 2023
  • Round 2, IEM Expo Katowice, Poland, ESL Pro Tour – February 12, 2023
  • Round 3, online – March 13, 2023
  • Round 4, online – March 27, 2023
  • Round 5, online – April 10, 2023
  • Round 6, online – April 17, 2023
  • Round 7, online – April 24, 2023
  • Round 8, online – May 15, 2023 (updated)
  • ESL R1 Spring Major, Rennsport Summit, Munich, Germany – 3-4. June 2023 (updated)

Images courtesy of ESL R1

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