Job and Rogers trade wins in Porsche Esports Supercup | FOS Future Lab

18th January 2021
Andrew Evans

It was a tale of two champions in this weekend’s Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup, at Spain’s Catalunya circuit, as the 2019 and 2020 event winners took race wins. 

Once again it was 2019 champion Joshua Rogers who proved the form driver in qualifying, as the Australian took pole from team-mate Mitchell DeJong by just under a tenth of a second for the sprint race, for the second week in a row.

While the front of the grid pulled away without incident, there were more tangles further back. Alejandro Sanchez and Graham Carroll were both involved in a multi-car incident at the final chicane, and that allowed Job – from a relatively poor starting spot of 16th – to break into the top ten early on.

As the final lap started, Job attacked Tommy Ostgaard, with the two running door to door through the first half of the lap until Ostgaard span in turn five. That allowed the Norwegian’s team-mate Jeremy Bouteloup to take the position off Job for all of one corner before the Brit took it back.

The lead four cars finished as they started, with Rogers taking the sprint race win for the second week in a row, from DeJong, Dayne Warren, and Charlie Collins. Crucially, Job finished in eighth to take the pole position for the reverse grid feature race.

With clear road ahead, the 2020 champion didn’t need a second invitation. Once he’d cleared the first corner Job took charge of the race and drove off into the distance. Further back there was some chaos, as last week’s feature race winner Kevin Ellis slid off into turn ten and collected other cars as his 911 nosed back onto the track. This caused a major pile-up as other drivers tried to avoid the incident and were collected, or dropped it themselves.

Job’s inadvertent rear gunner, Sindre Setsaas, soon found himself swamped by VRS cars. Collins was the first to pass, with Rogers and Warren following through shortly after. Rogers then moved up into second as he passed Collins into the first turn starting the second half of the race. However, he couldn’t eat into Job’s lead over the ensuing nine laps, and had to settle for second, and a double-podium over the event, while rookie driver Collins took his first podium in the series. 

At this early stage it’s the USA’s DeJong who leads the championship on 124 points, with Rogers on 118, and Warren in third on 107. Despit

Job was also on form in the Porsche Esports Carrera Cup GB, at Oulton Park. The Red Bull driver took pole position by just under 0.4 seconds from Jamie Fluke, with Carroll a sliver behind in third. However, contact between the two, in what looked like enormous understeer on cold tyres through Old Hall saw both yield position to Peter Berryman.

As Job disappeared over the horizon, Berryman and Carroll enjoyed a race-long tussle until the closing stages. In what seemed to be a half-hearted move that was never really on, Carroll put his nose up the inside of Berryman into Druids and simply helped him off into the gravel. Despite this, Carroll finished second, over seven seconds behind Job, with Jack Sedgwick in third.

With reverse grid also in operation here, Kevin Ellis Jr. took pole and made a solid start to lead away from Josh Thompson and Isaac Price, but Sedgwick bogged down, allowing Carroll and Job past before the first turn.

Carroll was quickly past Price too, and up onto the front two in short order. A mistake by Price into Lodge saw Job get past too, and join his Red Bull team mate on the hunt for the win, though the lead seven were running almost nose-to-tail.

In the end it was Carroll’s luck that ran out. Thompson made an error through Britten’s which tempted Carroll into the pass, but as the two ran side-by-side through Hislop’s and into Knickerbrook there was the lightest of contacts. It was enough to nudge Carroll onto the grass, dropping him down into seventh.

Job made no such mistake, breezing past Thompson through Cascades, and set off after Ellis who’d managed to build a gap with all this squabbling. It wasn’t quite enough of a gap though as, on the final lap, Job made his move. With an overtake that lasted from Hilltop right to the finish line, the two ran on each other’s door handles, until Job nosed ahead with the inside line on Deer Leap to win by 0.121 second.

With three wins from four races this season, Job takes the championship lead from Ellis too, heading into next week’s races at Donington Park.

Formula 1 has also revealed this week that the Virtual Grand Prix series will return. The series was one of the first to appear during the mayhem caused by COVID-19 last year, and saw some of F1’s top names – including George Russell, Lando Norris, and Charles Leclerc – race in virtual events using the championship’s official game, F1 2019.

Although there was no official championship last season – Russell would have taken the title from Alexander Albon if there had been – this year that will change. There’s only three races scheduled, but the event will give prize money to the top teams across those weekends, for the charity of their choice.

Each team will consist of a pro esports driver, who’ll compete in a five-lap race to determine the feature race order, and an invited celebrity – which may include the F1 drivers themselves – who’ll team up with them for the half-distance feature races. The first race takes place on 31st January.

Sony has also announced that its official FIA event in Gran Turismo – which sees the winners collect their prizes at the FIA Prize Giving bash each December – will return for its fourth season this year.

The series is open to anyone with a copy of Gran Turismo Sport and a PlayStation 4 (or PlayStation 5) to play it on. Although a full calendar hasn’t been released, players will be able to qualify for the showpiece finals events by competing in around 40 online races spread across 2021, starting in the spring.

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