It’s an iRacing endurance racer’s dream: two premier events from Circuit de la Sarthe in one weekend.
This weekend’s iRacing 24 Hours of Le Mans is open to the public, running twice around the clock in the beautiful French countryside with a mix of premier prototype and GT cars. But for the 40 top iRacers in the world on road courses, Saturday’s Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup race stands above all as a premier test of driver ability—and the fourth round of what is already proving to be a hard-fought season.
The first few rounds of the season have seen plenty of unpredictability, with the top 10 in the standings evenly split between returning drivers from 2019 and series rookies. Defending series champion Joshua Rogers has found his way back to the top of the points table through the first three events, in spite of failing to lead a single lap thus far this season. Behind him is Sebastian Job, whose pair of feature victories have him just six points off the top spot, and 20 points clear of third place Tommy Ostgaard.
Job scored the victories in the season opener from Zandvoort and most recent race at Donington, while 2019 series runner-up Maximilian Benecke earned the feature win in the second round of the season in Barcelona. Like all three, Le Mans is a new addition to the calendar this year, but it’s also significantly longer than any of them; only the Nurburgring Nordschleife, which marks the halfway point of the season in two weeks’ time, boasts a lengthier layout.
But while many of the series’ familiar faces are setting up for what should prove to be an intense title battle, the 20th place cutoff to retain a championship license for 2020 is also beginning to get interesting. Right now, David Williams is the first driver on the outside looking in, three points behind Aleksi Uusi-Jaakola for the 20th spot. But with up to 85 points on the line per weekend, that margin is exceptionally thin, and few drivers should consider themselves safe; even Benecke in fourth place is within a perfect weekend of Williams right now.
As always, the Porsche Esports Sprint Challenge will immediately precede the Supercup race, with the top 30 drivers from this week’s action in the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport set to take part in a Super Session for their own championship. So far, Simone Maria Marceno, Thomas Gibson, and Cooper Webster have taken the three victories in the new series, which will award $25,000 in cash on top of the $200,000 on offer to Supercup drivers.
Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup action from Circuit de la Sarthe begins on Saturday at 8:45AM ET on the iRacing eSports Network. From there, the season continues with a visit to the Nurburgring Nordschleife on July 4. For more information on iRacing and for special offers, visit www.iracing.com.