August 17th, 2020 by Chris Leone
Halfway through the 2020 season, the battle for the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup looked to be down to three drivers. Saturday’s thriller at Brands Hatch only drove the point home further.
The trio of Sebastian Job, Joshua Rogers, and Alejandro Sanchez entered the event in the top three spots in points, and filled all three podium spots in both races from the venerable British circuit. Sanchez took the sprint race victory, but Rogers made the decisive move in the middle of the 30-minute feature to take the overall weekend win, his second of the season, to tighten the gap to Job for the championship lead.
Rogers’ streak of five straight pole positions in qualifying was snapped after a half-spin coming to the finish line on his final time trial lap, allowing Dayne Warren to score his first career pole. The eight-car inversion before the sprint race played to Sanchez’s advantage, as he started on the outside of the front row, got past Jamie Fluke for first on Lap 2, and extended a more than four second advantage over the field. Job fought from seventh on the grid to second, getting around Rogers, who had a two-position advantage on the grid.
The feature was a different story. Sanchez once again jumped out to the lead, but Rogers would assert himself in second place and shadow the Spanish driver for multiple laps. Finally, on Lap 11 of 22, he made his move, taking advantage as Sanchez opened the door to the inside line. The drivers raced one another cleanly even as they took the corners side by side, and Sanchez proved he could match Rogers’ pace by finishing just .346 seconds behind at the finish.
Fluke and Yohann Harth completed the top five, while Maximilian Benecke retained fourth in the standings despite falling further back of the top three with a sixth place run. Warren was involved in an incident on the second lap that dropped him from seventh to 27th, but he fought his way back to 18th at race’s end and remains the top rookie driver in the standings in fifth.
In the Porsche Esports Sprint Challenge, which ran earlier in the day, former Supercup driver Peter Berryman took the checkered flag after leading all 14 laps. Moreno Sirica, winner of the previous two rounds, continued his podium streak in second, while Matti Sipila was third.
Full results from the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup feature at Brands Hatch were as follows:
|1||3||92||Joshua K Rogers||22||12||1:24.162||74|
|7||8||98||Kevin Ellis Jr||22||-9.094||0||1:24.588||47|
|11||12||33||Ricardo Castro Ledo||22||-12.178||0||1:24.569||29|
|28||24||36||Joshua W Anderson||18||-4 L||0||1:24.909||0|
|29||31||110||Christopher Dambietz||17||-5 L||0||1:24.700||0|
|30||28||23||Aleksi Uusi-Jaakkola||1||-21 L||0||0|
|31||29||43||Brian Lockwood||1||-21 L||0||0|
|32||20||29||Carl E Jansson||0||-22 L||0||1|
Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup points through six rounds are as follows:
- Sebastian Job, 360
- Joshua Rogers, 346
- Alejandro Sanchez, 333
- Maximilian Benecke, 285
- Dayne Warren, 246
- Jeff Giassi, 209
- Kevin Ellis Jr., 189
- Tommy Ostgaard, 186
- Sindre Setsaas, 158
- Jeremy Bouteloup/Graham Carroll (tie), 139
The Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup season continues in two weeks’ time with a visit to the legendary Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. As always, the race can be streamed live on the iRacing Facebook, Twitch, and YouTube channels, with the Porsche Esports Sprint Challenge kicking off the festivities at 9AM ET. For more information on iRacing and for special offers, visit www.iracing.com.
Images via Justin Prince