The knockout stages went largely to form, as the championship’s top five drivers all made it through unscathed. That included the points leader Sebastian Job (G2 Esports), who claimed second as Siggy took the win on an entertaining final lap. The race also saw previous round winner Nikodem Wisniewski (Williams) eliminated in one of the two major upsets of the knockouts.
Erhan Jajovski (R8G) was the other big casualty, as the highest-ranked driver to fail to progress. He seemed to suffer an equipment failure midway through his race, which was won by Dayne Warren (Porsche), just ahead of Luke Bennett (Redline). Porsche’s team talisman Joshua Rogers also took a win, ahead of Tuomas Tahtela (Heroic) following a post-race penalty for the Finn, while Tahtela’s team-mate Tommy Ostgaard claimed victory in the fourth race by a relatively comfortable margin from Redline’s Jeffrey Rietveld.
Tahtela took pole position in the first semi-final, a race that would prove notable for a major incident on the first lap involving four of the championship’s top ten drivers. Although the incident seemed to be precipitated by Maximilian Benecke (Mouz) squeezing Kevin Ellis Jr (ART) onto the grass in the braking zone for Les Combes, the stewards determined Ellis to be at fault. After losing control, the British driver collected not only Benecke but two-time round winners Luke Bennett and Daire McCormack - eliminating four potential race winners at a stroke. Ahead of this, Rogers took an early lead to romp to victory from defending champion Marcell Csincsik (R8G), with Warren claiming third ahead of Tahtela.
Job set an imperious lap time to claim pole in the second semi-final, while Ostgaard couldn’t back up his earlier win and racked up last on the grid. The British driver would claim a lights-to-flag victory from Siggy in untroubled fashion, made easier by a drive-through penalty for Rietveld, but the rest of the pack put on a thrilling show as five cars fought for two spots all race long. Thibault Cazaubon (R8G) initially took fifth, but was slapped with a post-race penalty for a clumsy lunge that took out both Porsche cars of Mitchell deJong and Mack Bakkum. That promoted Yuri Kasdorp (R8G) into fifth and allowed Caique Oliveira (Furia) to qualify for his fifth successive final.
After the chaos of the semi-finals, the final itself was an excellent display of driving, particularly from the front four. That was initially headed by Job, beating polesitter Siggy into Les Combes on the opening lap, before being re-passed at the same spot on lap four. From there, Siggy eked out just enough of an advantage to keep position as Job and his old rival Rogers scrapped for second, with Tahtela in close attendance throughout the entire race. The British driver closed back up on Siggy on the final lap, but never got close enough for another attempt at the lead, with Rogers unable to find a way past and settling for the final step of the podium.
The result propels Siggy up into eighth and almost certain qualification for the Major in November, while Job extends his championship lead to 60 points over Toman. Rogers moves back up into third, just three points worse off. Courtesy of getting all four cars through to the semi-finals, Porsche has jumped up into second overall and cut R8G’s lead to 169 points with two rounds remaining. Williams’ poor return sees the team drop to third, now only 20 points ahead of fourth-place Redline, the defending champions.
ESL R1 Fall Season Round 6 Results:
1 – Kevin Siggy (Redline) - BMW M4 GT3 - 7 laps 2 – Sebastian Job (G2 Esports) - BMW M4 GT3 - +0.518s 3 – Joshua Rogers (Porsche Coanda) - Porsche 992 GT3 R - +0.837s
The Porsche Esports Supercup Contender Series entered its penultimate round at Long Beach, with much of the field still in contention for one of the 15 qualifying spots for the 2024 edition of the full PESC championship.
After a victory in the feature race at Road America, Matti Sipila moved up onto the fringes of qualification and backed that up with a pole position for the sprint at Long Beach. He’d lose out in the early stages to relative unknown Rasmus Christensen, who’d run to a comfortable victory as the front three streaked clear.
Porsche Esports Supercup Contender Series Round 5 Sprint Results:
1 – Rasmus Christensen (VG Racing) - Porsche 911 GT3 Cup - 13 laps 2 – Matti Sipila (Sontek) - Porsche 911 GT3 Cup - +0.516s 3 – Dino Lombardi (Altus) - Porsche 911 GT3 Cup - +1.392s
The reverse-grid feature race saw championship leader Luke McKeown involved in an early incident which also saw a luckless Sipila caught up and slipping to the back of the field.
William Chadwick had initially held the lead, but he found the notorious final hairpin to be a weak spot as he lost several positions on successive laps. Michael Janney briefly took the lead too, before Kevin Nielsen did the same thing to him at the same place – along with Simone Maria Marceno one lap later. This duo then streaked clear of the chasing pack to claim the top two steps of the podium, with Nielsen securing his place in PESC next year along with the win.
Porsche Esports Supercup Contender Series Round 5 Feature Results:
1 – Kevin Nielsen (Fyra) - Porsche 911 GT3 Cup - 26 laps 2 – Simone Maria Marceno (Altus) - Porsche 911 GT3 Cup - +0.611s 3 – Dino Lombardi (Altus) - Porsche 911 GT3 Cup - +6.577s