Caruso in full control, wins Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup Feature at Spa
April 24th, 2023 by Justin Melillo
Only three Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup events remain in the 2023 season, and after a convincing performance from Jordan Caruso at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on Saturday, April 22, the championship battle may be all but wrapped up. After Caruso inverted his Altus Esports’ Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 992 machine to the front for the Feature, and he was able to get around the likes of Sebastian Job, he proved why he’s leading the points by such a large margin this deep into it.
The fastest man in Belgium was Alessandro Bico for Williams Esports, grabbing the TAG Heuer Pole Award and then dominating in that first six-lap Sprint. It was actually Job who inverted to the Feature pole position with an eighth place finish in the Sprint, but Caruso took seventh and would start alongside the front row. Into La Source on the opening lap, Caruso managed to get beneath Job and take the lead. This began a 12-lap chess match between the two, with Job looking to get as big of a run as possible up Eau Rouge and Raidillon to make the pass at the end of the Kemmel Straight. There were a few opportunities, but none bigger than the final lap, his last opportunity. Job took the lunge, but it didn’t stick – he wound up mowing the lawn in Les Combes and giving up the solid finish. Oskari Rinne brought BS+Competition home to the second step of the podium while Zac Campbell managed to get a pair of podiums with a third place finish in both the Sprint and the Feature.
The other competitors in the championship coming into the event seemed to have the worst luck imaginable through the day. It started out with Team Redline’s Diogo Pinto failing to set a lap during qualifying. Starting shotgun on the field, Pinto was able to claw his way up to 16th by the end of the Sprint. The Feature would be a different story that included multiple incidents and an underwhelming 19th place finish for the defending series champion.
Charlie Collins has been on a downward spiral as well these last few events. In almost a repeat of what happened at Watkins Glen two weeks ago, Collins was sent spinning on the opening lap of the Sprint, ultimately making his day a long and fruitless one with a 15th place overall finish. Again, as it was at Watkins Glen for Job as well, he had the opportunity to score some needed points on the last lap, but wound up losing out by falling to sixth in the Feature. The real winner was Campbell; thought to be out of the conversation after a few rough races, he now sits second to Caruso. Still, the gap is an astonishing 86 points, more than a perfect race is worth.
Speaking of insurmountable points gaps, the All-Stars have been dealing with the dominance of Casey Kirwan all season long. That has been curved a bit since the arrival of Pablo “The Pulpo” Lopez a few races ago, as well as the switch to the Porsche 911 RSR. Lopez took the pole in the Sprint, and while Emily “Emree” Jones and Dave “Dave Cam” Cameron were pressing throughout the first race, Lopez was untouchable in the opening seven lap run. For once, however, Kirwan was nowhere to be found at the end of the Sprint, relegated to a 10th place finish after an off-track through Les Combes resulted in a slow-down penalty before Bruxelles while racing for the top spot.
Kirwan would invert to fifth in the Feature with Dan Suzuki and Matt Malone starting directly ahead in the first and second rows, respectively, as well as Tyson “Quirkitized” Meier alongside in sixth. Those would end up being the four in contention late into the Feature, with Malone and Suzuki swapping the lead throughout. On the final lap, Malone was able to hold them all off for his first career All-Stars victory. Kirwan’s recovery in the Feature means he leaves Spa-Francorchamps with a 121-point advantage over Meier with three races left.
Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup feature results from Spa-Francorchamps were as follows:
|19||16||1||Diogo C. Pinto||12||-21.832||0||2:20.012||12|
|23||28||92||Mathias Stokbæk Jensen||12||-41.905||0||2:20.542||3|
|28||17||27||Simone Maria Marcenò||0||DNF||0||———||4|
Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup points through seven rounds are as follows:
- Jordan Caruso, 412
- Zac Campbell, 326
- Sebastian Job, 317
- Diogo Pinto, 302
- Alejandro Sanchez, 302
- Charlie Collins, 298
- Cooper Webster, 222
- Alessandro Bico, 206
- Yohann Harth, 197
- Moreno Sirica, 162
The 2023 Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup series takes a trip to Germany for Race #8, which will take place at the combined version of the Nürburgring. Coverage for the event will kick off on Saturday, May 6 at 18:00 GMT (2PM ET) as the All-Stars open the show with the Porsche 911 RSR. After that, the Supercup pros begin their trip around the Gesamtstrecke at 19:00 GMT (3PM ET).
For more information on the 2023 Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup season, visit www.iracing.com/pesc. For more information on iRacing and for special offers, visit www.iracing.com.