A successful start to the new season of the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup for Graham Carroll and Sebastian Job: The British duo from the Red Bull Racing Esports squad won the first two races of the 2020 season on the Circuit Zandvoort in the Netherlands.
Carroll crossed the finish line first in the 15-minute sprint race, with Job winning the 30-minute main event. While last year’s champion Joshua Rogers (AUS/VRS Coanda Simsport) claimed a podium spot in the main race, Formula 1 driver Max Verstappen (NL/Team Redline) ploughed through the field to finish on eleventh. Forty sim racers lined up to contest the opening round of the Porsche Esports championship on the iRacing simulation platform.
“The start of the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup couldn’t have gone much better. Right up to the last corner in both races, we were treated to lots of duels and overtaking manoeuvres. What’s more, the field is even stronger than last year. In the qualifying, the best 20 were separated by just 0.27 seconds. This underlines just how incredibly competitive our series is,” summarised Marco Ujhasi, Manager Esports at Porsche Motorsport.
Carroll emerged at the front after an action-packed start of the sprint race in his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, with Tommy Østgaard (N/VRS Coanda Simsport) and Brian Lockwood (USA/RaceKraft Esports) in hot pursuit. However, the 29-year-old kept his cool to claim his first Esports Supercup victory.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to have won the first race. Patrik Holzmann and Sebastian Job are two very strong teammates, and that, of course, is motivating. We aim to be as successful as possible this year,” said Carroll. Østgaard and Lockwood completed the podium. Last year’s champion Joshua Rogers crossed the finish line in fourth ahead of Sebastian Job.
In the main race, pole-sitter Carroll came under immediate pressure from Østgaard after the start. In the second minute of the race, the Norwegian snatched the lead and managed to pull clear of the field. Taking up the race from the fifth grid spot, Job manoeuvred his way up the order to rank second during the first ten minutes of the race. A few laps later, the Red Bull driver slashed the gap to Østgaard to less than a car length.
The decisive moment came in the 18th minute: Job pulled level with Østgaard, the vehicles touched and the Briton moved into the lead. Østgaard lost several positions, while Job proceeded to break free of the field. After 19 laps, the 20-year-old took the flag 2.2-seconds ahead of Carroll. Rogers claimed the third podium step. “Starting the new season with a win feels terrific. I spent the last weeks preparing intensively and I’m pleased that I was able to reward myself for it,” said Job.
Formula 1 star Max Verstappen made his debut in the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup as the local hero. Position 21 in the sprint race also meant grid position 21 in the main race for the newcomer from Team Redline. Still, the 22-year-old put in a spirited drive with plenty of overtaking manoeuvres on the racetrack at the Dutch North Sea coast. Verstappen finished on eleventh place.
The second event on the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup calendar will be contested next Saturday (9 May), with the virtual one-make cup competing on the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain. The circuit in Montmeló north of Barcelona offers a diverse track layout featuring a combination of long and tight corners.
Zandvoort, sprint race
1. Graham Carroll (GB/Red Bull Racing Esports)
2. Tommy Østgaard (N/VRS Coanda Simsport)
3. Brian Lockwood (USA/RaceKraft Esports)
4. Joshua Rogers (AUS/VRS Coanda Simsport)
5. Sebastian Job (GB/Red Bull Racing Esports)
Zandvoort, main race
1. Sebastian Job (GB/Red Bull Racing Esports)
2. Graham Carroll (GB/Red Bull Racing Esports)
3. Joshua Rogers (AUS/VRS Coanda Simsport)
4. Tommy Østgaard (N/VRS Coanda Simsport)
5. Brian Lockwood (USA/RaceKraft Esports)