It’s been a wild year thus far for Maximilian Benecke, one of iRacing’s top road racers and a top threat for this year’s Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup title. After switching to Team Redline in the offseason and some strong performances prior to the championship opener last week at Circuit Park Zandvoort, Benecke’s Porsche season opened with a zero in the points column. But he made up for it in a big way on Saturday at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya by sweeping both the sprint and feature race, reminding the field just how formidable of a force the German driver is.
Benecke’s Team Redline teammate Max Verstappen finished second, giving the team a long-sought after 1-2 finish in the feature race. The Formula 1 superstar, who earned his place in the championship with strong qualifying series results over the winter, worked his way up from 10th place in qualifying to seventh in the sprint race, and got past five other cars in the 30-minute main event to earn his first podium of the season. Sindre Setsaas completed the feature race podium.
Defending series champion Joshua Rogers and Zandvoort winner Sebastian Job posted the top two qualifying times, but found themselves in the heartbreak hotel after early trouble in the sprint race. Rogers would claw his way to 15th in the feature after starting 37th, while Job would gain 10 places of his own to finish 26th, but neither could build on the strong points performances of the season opener.
In the Porsche Esports Sprint Challenge race preceding the Supercup round, Thomas Gibson led all 11 laps from the pole to take the victory over Cooper Webster and Peter Berryman. Zandvoort winner Simone Maria Marceno did not finish the race.
Results from the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup feature at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya were as follows:
|7||10||98||Kevin Ellis Jr||17||-8.326||0||1:46.767||39|
|10||17||36||Joshua W Anderson||17||-13.675||0||1:46.839||26|
|15||37||92||Joshua K Rogers||17||-16.826||0||1:47.145||22|
|18||34||4||Marin S Colak||17||-20.336||0||1:46.963||8|
|23||18||29||Carl E Jansson||17||-23.414||0||1:46.626||6|
|31||35||42||Matti Kaidesoja||16||-1 L||0||1:50.624||0|
|32||14||5||Martin Krönke||8||-9 L||0||1:46.835||7|
|33||33||211||Thibault Cazaubon||3||-14 L||0||0|
|34||30||21||Graham Carroll||2||-15 L||0||0|
|35||11||49||Jamie Fluke||2||-15 L||0||10|
|36||31||70||Gianni Vecchio||1||-16 L||0||0|
|37||12||33||Ricardo Castro Ledo||1||-16 L||0||9|
|38||28||24||Mitchell deJong||1||-16 L||0||0|
|39||27||66||Greger Huttu||0||-17 L||0||0|
The third round of the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup season will see the series make its debut on Donington’s Grand Prix layout, capping off one of two months with three championship rounds this season. The event can be seen on Saturday, May 23 at 9:15AM ET on the iRacing eSports Network, starting with the Porsche Esports Sprint Challenge. For more information on iRacing and for special offers, visit www.iracing.com.