PESC: Job, Harth win as Caruso’s point lead evaporates at Le Mans

The gloves proverbially came off at Circuit de la Sarthe this past weekend in the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup. Jordan Caruso (Altus Esports) has been sitting on a sizable lead for a good portion of the 2023 campaign, but after a last lap crash in the Porsche Curves on Saturday (20th May), the title bout is wide open.

Possible contact with Sebastian Job (Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports), who also won the Sprint Race and is one of the top drivers on the season sent Caruso around on the final lap, and it resulted in a 25th place finish for the points leader.

Job won the Sprint and finished eighth as the other possible title fighter, Zac Campbell (VRS Coanda Esports) finished fourth and fifth in the two races respectively.

After penalties were assessed, Caruso leads by only 37 points—still a large gap but not nearly the gap he had two race events ago. Campbell sits second while Job, who is 41 points back, sits in third. Alejandro Sánchez (Stormforce Racing ART) was also assessed penalty points, but also has an outside mathematical shot.

In the All-Stars, the opposite was true as Casey Kirwan managed to clinch the title following a Feature victory. Despite the defending champ Tyson “Quirkitized” Meier scoring the Sprint win and scoring more points, Kirwan cannot lose with only one race remaining in the season.

QUIRKITIZED BESTS THE PULPO LĂ“PEZ IN ALL-STAR SPRINT

It wasn’t just a ride in the park for Kirwan at Le Mans. He still needed to score enough points to make the clinch a guarantee, and that almost became a tough chore after failing to put down a qualifying lap. Pablo “The Pulpo” López took the pole position and started alongside Lyubov “LoveFortySix” Ozeretskovskaya.

LoveFortySix would not have a great start, and that opened the door for Quirk to take advantage. Both LĂłpez and Quirk managed to pull away as the rest of the field fell back. On the second lap, Kirwan and LoveFortySix collided, ending both of their chances. It meant they would start on the front row of the Feature, however.

Up front, Quirk managed to snooker LĂłpez. In Indianapolis on the final lap, Quirk took control as LĂłpez took a trip into the kitty litter. The two still finished 1-2 as Dave Cam managed to come in third.

ALL-STARS: LE MANS SPRINT RACE TOP 10 RESULTS

FIN STA CAR # DRIVER INTERVAL SPRINT PTS AGG PTS
1 4 1 Quirkitized 5 LAPS 26 26
2 1 504 The Pulpo LĂłpez +1.009 sec 20 23
3 9 786 Dave Cam +6.782 sec 17 17
4 5 23 Heikki360ES +8.474 sec 14 14
5 12 37 Basic Ollie +8.796 sec 12 12
6 7 56 Borja Zazo +9.089 sec 10 10
7 10 35 Dan Suzuki +11.223 sec 9 9
8 6 81 Stradi +11.419 sec 8 8
9 8 83 Matt Malone +26.948 sec 7 7
10 3 51 Emree +1:35.480 sec 6 6

KIRWAN BOUNCES BACK FOR ALL-STAR FEATURE VICTORY

For the Feature, Kirwan was up front once again, but his lack of expertise at the venue caused another unforced error early as he obtained a slow down penalty while leading. This opened the door for Javier “Stradi” Soto to take the lead, and later, Dan Suzuki. Kirwan wasn’t out, but he did have to fight back.

On the final lap, Kirwan managed to take back the lead. As the likes of Xabier “Heikki360ES” Sanchez, LoveFortySix and others went off course, Kirwan managed to get a large gap back to the rest of the field.

Without the drafting help, Kirwan was able to win easily by over two seconds.

ALL-STARS: LE MANS FEATURE RACE TOP 10 RESULTS

FIN STA CAR # DRIVER INTERVAL FT. PTS TOTAL PTS
1 1 95 Casey Kirwan 6 LAPS 26 30
2 6 35 Dan Suzuki +2.130 sec 20 29
3 12 1 Quirkitized +2.875 sec 17 43
4 11 504 The Pulpo LĂłpez +3.630 sec 14 37
5 5 81 Stradi +4.922 sec 12 20
6 8 37 Basic Ollie +9.508 sec 10 22
7 2 46 LoveFortySix +10.569 sec 9 14
8 7 56 Borja Zazo +11.891 sec 8 18
9 3 51 Emree +16.488 sec 7 13
10 4 83 Matt Malone +18.474 sec 6 13

Quirk was able to gain points on Kirwan, but he truly would have needed to win from the pole to have a realistic shot at obtaining enough points. In fact, Kirwan may have been able to clinch the moment the green flag flew at Le Mans.

The real battle will be for the Top 5, the payout spots of the All-Star Series. Quirk and López are sitting somewhat comfortably in the Top 3, but after that, it’s anyone’s guess as to who finishes in the Top 5.

Emily “Emree” Jones and Suzuki are currently in those spots, but Heikki360ES, Dave Cam, Jaroslav “Jardier” Honzik and Christian “Keny500” Ortega have a realistic shot at pointing in. Borja Zazo, Stradi, Oliver “Basic Ollie” Furnell and Matt Malone also have an outside mathematical shot as well.

ALL-STARS: POINTS AFTER EVENT #9 – LE MANS

POS CAR # DRIVER SP. WINS FT. WINS TOTAL PTS BEHIND
1 95 Casey Kirwan 4 2 340 LEADER
2 1 Quirkitized 1 1 223 -117
3 504 The Pulpo LĂłpez 1 1 201 -139
4 51 Emree 0 0 177 -163
5 35 Dan Suzuki 0 0 169 -171
6 23 Heikki360ES 0 0 167 -173
7 786 Dave Cam 0 1 165 -175
8 39 Jardier 0 1 160 -180
9 182 Keny500 0 2 157 -183
10 56 Borja Zazo 0 0 145 -195

CHAMPIONSHIP BATTLE GETS CLOSE AFTER CARUSO CRASH

Two race events ago at Spa-Francorchamps, Jordan Caruso was in position to have the championship locked up possibly as soon as after the Nürburgring. His Green Hell experience wasn’t the best, so that possibility moved to this week at the Circuit des 24 Heures du Mans. Again, it didn’t happen.

Even worse, his competition has a realistic shot at overtaking him if he continues to have this poor luck.

Caruso’s lead is down to 37 points leaving Le Mans, and if Zac Campbell or Sebastian Job can get a perfect day at Monza, Caruso would still need 49 points scored to clinch, no easy task. Winning a Feature would be the only guarantee Caruso has, and as we see on a weekly basis, nobody is safe from danger.

THE SPRINT RACE: JOB GETS THE JOB DONE OVER PINTO

Knowing that his competition would need some poor luck to be back in the conversation, Sebastian Job had to get a solid day out of Le Mans to keep the dream alive for his second PESC title. Defending series champion Diogo Pinto (Team Redline) took the pole and the early lead, but Job was in attack mode early.

Three-wide on the first lap with Pinto, Job and Alejandro Sánchez gave Job the advantage by the end of the first lap. Pinto made it out of there in second while Sánchez was relegated to third. They stayed calm until the final lap, where Pinto possibly made his move too early.

Job briefly lost the top spot to Pinto, but he fought back on the outside entering Indianapolis and managed to pull off the pass. Job held on through the Porsche Curves and stole the Sprint win, gaining 17 points on Jordan Caruso who finished seventh. Yohann Harth would invert to the Feature pole after finishing eighth.

PESC: LE MANS SPRINT RACE TOP 10 RESULTS

FIN STA CAR # DRIVER TEAM INTERVAL PTS AGG PTS
1 3 22 Sebastian Job Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports 3 LAPS 25 31
2 1 1 Diogo C. Pinto Team Redline +0.437 sec 22 32
3 2 47 Alejandro Sánchez Stormforce Racing ART +0.676 sec 20 28
4 4 15 Zac Campbell VRS Coanda Esports +1.104 sec 18 22
5 9 93 Charlie Collins VRS Coanda Esports +1.291 sec 16 16
6 5 77 Alessandro Bico Williams Esports +1.647 sec 15 17
7 8 12 Jordan Caruso Altus Esports +2.082 sec 14 14
8 6 90 Yohann Harth Stormforce Racing ART +2.412 sec 13 13
9 11 4 Salva Talens Stormforce Racing ART +2.778 sec 12 12
10 12 24 Lasse Bak FYRA SimSport +3.103 sec 11 11

THE FEATURE RACE: HARTH FINALLY TAKES PESC VICTORY

In the Feature, three drivers made themselves known as the ones to beat. Harth, Alessandro Bico (Williams Esports) and Charlie Collins (VRS Coanda Esports) were the three best through the six-lap feature. Collins had help from behind with Campbell while Harth had help from Sánchez.

On the penultimate lap, Job and Caruso were fighting for a Top 5 spot when they made contact, sending Caruso into the wall and Job down the order with a slow down penalty. The two were out of the running for the win, but the intensity did not cease.

On the final lap in the same area, the Porsche Curves, Caruso once again hit the wall, but this time it was catastrophic. Whether Job or another car behind made contact was not clear, but what was clear was that Caruso was going to score minimal points.

Up front, Harth took Bico and Collins three-wide down the final long straight. Harth got a perfect shove from Sánchez behind as the pair cleared the others and took control. Harth managed to hang on for his first career victory in the series.

PESC: LE MANS FEATURE RACE TOP 10 RESULTS

FIN STA CAR # DRIVER TEAM INTERVAL PTS TOTAL PTS
1 1 90 Yohann Harth Stormforce Racing ART 6 LAPS 50 63
2 6 47 Alejandro Sánchez Stormforce Racing ART +0.184 sec 45 73
3 4 93 Charlie Collins VRS Coanda Esports +1.214 sec 40 56
4 3 77 Alessandro Bico Williams Esports +1.517 sec 37 54
5 5 15 Zac Campbell VRS Coanda Esports +1.848 sec 34 56
6 9 4 Salva Talens Stormforce Racing ART +2.551 sec 31 43
7 7 1 Diogo C. Pinto Team Redline +2.664 sec 28 60
8 8 22 Sebastian Job Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports +4.383 sec 26 57
9 14 92 Mathias Stokbæk Jensen FYRA SimSport +4.665 sec 24 31
10 25 3 Kevin Nielsen FYRA SimSport +4.984 sec 22 22

POINTS STANDINGS LEAVING LE MANS

Following penalties levied on certain drivers, the points situation is clear. Jordan Caruso needs to score 49 points to ensure the championship in two weeks at Monza. If he doesn’t he needs to hope either Zac Campbell doesn’t score 38 more points than him, or Sebastian Job 41 more points.

Alejandro Sanchez has had a career season, and he has an outside shot at the title at 73 points behind. The maximum points in a race, by scoring the pole and winning both races, is 85 points. Sánchez would be a lot closer if not for 55 points in penalties removed.

As for the rest of the field, their championship hopes are done and dusted. Collins, Pinto, Bico and Harth are all locks into the 2024 season and will avoid relegation. Cooper Webster (Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports) should be safe as well. The rest of the field, for the most part, will be doing what they can to avoid relegation.

PESC: POINTS AFTER EVENT #9 – LE MANS

POS CAR # DRIVER TEAM SP. WINS FT. WINS T5s TOTAL PTS
1 12 Jordan Caruso Altus Esports 1 1 10 464*
2 15 Zac Campbell VRS Coanda Esports 1 2 11 427
3 22 Sebastian Job Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports 1 1 9 423*
4 47 Alejandro Sánchez Stormforce Racing ART 2 0 10 391*
5 93 Charlie Collins VRS Coanda Esports 0 1 8 358*
5 1 Diogo C. Pinto Team Redline 1 1 8 358*
7 77 Alessandro Bico Williams Esports 1 1 5 325*
8 90 Yohann Harth Stormforce Racing ART 0 1 5 320*
9 37 Cooper Webster Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports 0 0 4 248
10 69 Moreno Sirica Williams Esports 0 0 0 227*

* = Drivers have been subtracted points by race stewards this season.

UP NEXT: MONZA FINALE

PESC: Diogo Pinto wins the 2022 Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup title

The Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup will conclude the 2023 season with another finale battle at Autodromo Nazionale Monza. The Temple of Speed will host the championship where Caruso, Campbell, Job or Sánchez could be crowned.

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 kicks off around 2:00 pm ET / 6:00 pm GMT / 7:00 pm BST for the All-Stars while the World Championship goes off an hour later.

2023 PORSCHE TAG HEUER ESPORTS SUPERCUP SCHEDULE

EVENT DATE VENUE Sprint Laps Feature Laps
1 4-Feb Hockenheimring Baden-WĂĽrttemberg 9 18
2 18-Feb Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours 10 20
3 4-Mar Long Beach – FAN VOTE WINNER 13 26
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
8 6-May NĂĽrburgring Combined 3 4
9 20-May Circuit des 24 Heures du Mans 3 6
10 3-Jun Autodromo Nazionale Monza 7 14

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