Joshua Rogers’ chances at a second straight Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup championship may be somewhat slim, but the Australian kept them alive on Saturday with his third victory of the season at Circuit de la Sarthe. The win allowed him to gain precious points on Sebastian Job going into next month’s finale from Monza, ensuring that the championship battle will go to the very end.
“At the end of the day, it is a big gap, but we did the most that we could to try and maximize as best as we could,” Rogers said. “It’s an awesome result. Overall, I’m excited—I think the main goal this weekend was to keep the championship alive, and we have one more chance to turn something around. We’re going to push as hard as we can to try and close it up.”
The high-speed Le Mans circuit featured plenty of slipstreaming, with lead cars facing tons of pressure from their opponents throughout the event. Job and Rogers were attracted to one another like magnets throughout the day, clawing their way up from sixth and eighth on the sprint race grid after the eight-car qualifying inversion to finish fourth and second, respectively. The real intrigue came as the duo dealt with Rogers’ VRS Coanda Simsport teammate Tommy Ostgaard; Job had a much harder time getting past, and the duo made accidental contact in the final corner that dropped Ostgaard to 20th in the sprint race results.
“I was trying to make (Ostgaard) take a wider line into the final corner, but I kind of overshot a little bit, and we made contact,” Job apologized after the race. “So I’m very sorry for that—it ruined his two races, I think. But in reference to everything else, I’m pretty happy with that. I didn’t manage to wrap it up, but I was never going to do anything stupid today. I just wanted a couple of solid results to make it easier at Monza.”
Another Coanda car would start first in the feature thanks to Mitchell deJong’s sprint win, but Rogers completed his climb up after the qualifying inversion to finally see daylight for the first time and never looked back. He led all eight laps of the main event, with Job and deJong completing the podium behind him. The trio managed to break away from the first, but many of the top drivers stayed in a closely matched pack—in fact, fifth and 17th place were separated by just six seconds at the checkered flag.
In the Porsche Esports Sprint Challenge race earlier in the day, it was Antti Ahola who managed to get around Peter Berryman on the last of five laps to take his first super session win of the season. Berryman, Cooper Webster, and Moreno Sirica all crossed the line within a second of Ahola in the feature race for the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport division.
Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup results from Le Mans were as follows:
|1||2||92||Joshua K Rogers||8||8||3:59.916||82|
|6||6||98||Kevin Ellis Jr||8||-9.926||0||4:00.303||46|
|7||8||33||Ricardo Castro Ledo||8||-10.030||0||4:00.629||41|
|18||28||36||Joshua W Anderson||8||-20.951||0||4:00.396||8|
|26||29||4||Marin S Colak||8||-41.006||0||4:01.973||0|
|28||25||18||Antoine Higelin||5||-3 L||0||4:01.352||0|
|29||13||29||Carl E Jansson||4||-4 L||0||4:00.493||8|
|30||23||7||Jeff Giassi||3||-5 L||0||4:00.122||0|
|31||31||43||Brian Lockwood||0||-8 L||0||0|
Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup points after nine rounds are as follows:
- Sebastian Job, 590
- Joshua Rogers, 519
- Alejandro Sanchez, 432
- Kevin Ellis Jr., 361
- Maximilian Benecke, 351
- Dayne Warren, 323
- Tommy Ostgaard, 260
- Mack Bakkum, 249
- Jeff Giassi, 239
- Graham Carroll, 237
The Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup season reaches its conclusion on Saturday, October 10 at Autodromo Nazionale Monza. As always, the race will stream live at 10AM ET on the iRacing Facebook, Twitch, and YouTube pages. For more information on iRacing and for special offers, visit www.iracing.com.