March 15th, 2021 by Chris Leone
It came down to the very last lap, but in the end, Sebastian Job successfully defended his 2020 Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup victory at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on Saturday, outfoxing Alejandro Sanchez in an intense last-lap duel to score his series-leading third win of the 2021 season. The victory enabled the defending series champion to climb to second in series points, jumping ahead of both Mitchell deJong and Kevin Ellis Jr. in the chase to catch Joshua Rogers with just three races remaining.
While Job looked set for a strong finish throughout the day, topping the practice sheets and qualifying fourth, Rogers and deJong proved that starting up front is no guarantee of a good result. The duo made contact on the first lap of the sprint race and ended up in the Bruxelles gravel trap, plummeting from first and second to 26th and 29th at the end of the sprint. Rogers would salvage a 13th place finish in the feature to mitigate the points damage, but deJong could only muster 25th place at the end of the main event.
That opened the door for some fresh faces up front alongside Job, who eventually took the sprint race victory, in the feature. Sanchez, Job, and Charlie Collins were the top three finishers in the sprint, but they didn’t let the subsequent eight-car invert faze them. All three would be back in podium position by the end of lap one and each would lead at least one lap, although Collins’ time up front was shortened by a nudge off track from Job and subsequent slowdown penalty that dropped him to ninth.
From there, Job and Sanchez would take the gloves off and settle it amongst themselves. Sanchez would sneak past Job for the lead on the penultimate lap, but Job would use the draft to make the eventual winning pass back early on the final lap. An effective challenge from Sanchez would pull the duo nearly neck and neck coming out of the final bus stop chicane, but Job would manage to hang on in the drag race to the finish line.
The All-Star event that preceded the Supercup action saw a fresh infusion of names on the grid, and both races ended with newcomers on top. Dave Cam claimed the checkered flag in the sprint race ahead of Borja Zazo, but it was IndyCar legend Tony Kanaan who took top honors in the feature by nearly five seconds ahead of Xabier “Heikki_360” Sanchez. Emily “Emree” Jones completed the podium in both races.
Results from the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup feature at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps were as follows:
|9||23||121||Diogo C. Pinto||12||-5.300||0||2:21.791||24|
|13||26||92||Joshua K Rogers||12||-6.573||0||2:21.392||26|
|15||10||30||Kevin Ellis Jr||12||-9.029||0||2:21.763||23|
|23||27||33||Ricardo Castro Ledo||12||-18.462||0||2:22.003||3|
|30||22||13||Alexander Wolters||8||-4 L||0||2:21.904||0|
|31||24||28||Carlos Fenollosa||6||-6 L||0||0|
|32||34||50||Ricardo Rico||5||-7 L||0||2:23.981||0|
|33||33||42||Matti Kaidesoja||3||-9 L||0||2:23.960||0|
|34||3||911||Ayhancan Guven||1||-11 L||0||15|
|35||4||57||Dayne Warren||0||-12 L||0||18|
|36||25||211||Thibault Cazaubon||0||-12 L||0||0|
Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup points through seven rounds are as follows:
- Joshua Rogers, 435
- Sebastian Job, 336
- Mitchell deJong, 331
- Kevin Ellis Jr., 304
- Charlie Collins, 289
- Maximilian Benecke, 254
- Alejandro Sanchez, 254
- Dayne Warren, 237
- Graham Carroll, 235
- Zac Campbell, 230
The Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup season resumes on March 27 at the Nurburgring Nordschleife, as Job looks to equal his 2020 total of four race wins at another track where he won last season. As always, coverage kicks off at 1PM ET with the All-Star action, and continues with the sim racing pros at 2PM ET. For more information on iRacing and for special offers, visit www.iracing.com.
All-Star Race image via Justin Prince