Saturday looked to be the day that Mitchell deJong, one of iRacing’s most well-rounded World Championship drivers and a three-year veteran of the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup, finally scored his first victory in the prestigious series at Road Atlanta. Until it wasn’t.
In a heartbreaker for both drivers, last-lap contact between deJong and Kevin Ellis Jr. in their laps-long battle for the lead sent deJong spinning, and opened the door for 2019 series champion Joshua Rogers and Tommy Ostgaard to get through. While Rogers had led all 10 laps of the sprint race to set the feature grid, he only led one lap—the most important one—on the way to his second win of the season, extending his points lead in the process.
Ostgaard, who started first in the main event thanks to the eight-car invert from the sprint results, led 12 laps on the way to his best finish of the year, while Ellis retained the final spot of the podium despite sliding across the line and into the grass and retaining wall. It was a much tougher go across the line for deJong, who would only recover to 14th place after running in the top three for almost the whole rest of the event. The American would retain second place in the point standings, but now sits 89 points back of Rogers at the halfway point of the campaign.
Still, it was a much harder-luck day for drivers like Dayne Warren and Zac Campbell, who both retired from the race before the halfway point after a multi-car accident that sent Warren tumbling out of a top five spot, and defending series champion Sebastian Job, who could only recover to 18th in the final running order after first-lap drama of his own. On the other side of the coin, Yohann Harth was the biggest gainer, recovering from 32nd on the grid after trouble in the sprint race to finish in the top 10; his 22-position jump was best of all drivers.
In the All-Star race, Emily “Emree” Jones continued her winning ways in the sprint race, coming to the line ahead of Jaroslav “Jardier” Honzik and Dan Suzuki in the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport. But it was guest driver and Porsche works driver Matt Campbell who scored the main event win, with Emree and Jardier completing the podium. It was Campbell’s first feature win after back-to-back sprint race victories to start the season, while both Emree and Jardier returned to the feature podium from the previous round at Silverstone.
Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup feature results from Road Atlanta were as follows:
|1||8||92||Joshua K Rogers||20||1||1:21.270||83|
|3||3||30||Kevin Ellis Jr||20||-0.315||5||1:21.477||55|
|25||34||33||Ricardo Castro Ledo||20||-26.926||0||1:21.645||1|
|27||20||12||Alexander Thiebe||8||-12 L||0||1:21.343||1|
|28||10||15||Zac Campbell||8||-12 L||0||1:21.216||11|
|29||23||911||Ayhancan Guven||8||-12 L||0||1:21.583||0|
|30||7||57||Dayne Warren||7||-13 L||0||1:21.173||28|
|31||35||51||Josh Thompson||7||-13 L||0||1:21.550||0|
|32||29||42||Matti Kaidesoja||4||-16 L||0||1:23.053||0|
|33||26||99||Mikkel Gade||3||-17 L||0||0|
|34||21||121||Diogo C. Pinto||3||-17 L||0||1:22.150||0|
|35||33||50||Ricardo Rico||2||-18 L||0||0|
|36||28||13||Alexander Wolters||1||-19 L||0||0|
|37||40||10||Jack Sedgwick||1||-19 L||0||0|
|38||25||16||Mack Bakkum||1||-19 L||0||0|
|39||24||729||Maxim Ramsteijn||1||-19 L||0||0|
|40||27||211||Thibault Cazaubon||1||-19 L||0||0|
Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup points through five rounds are as follows:
- Joshua Rogers, 348
- Mitchell deJong, 259
- Charlie Collins, 222
- Kevin Ellis Jr., 221
- Dayne Warren, 201
- Sebastian Job, 200
- Maximilian Benecke, 196
- Graham Carroll, 161
- Alejandro Sanchez, 145
- Tommy Ostgaard, 138
The Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup season continues this weekend with a return to Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, as the series kicks off the second half of its season but wraps up its two-race North American stretch at the same time. As always, coverage kicks off at 1PM ET with the All-Star action, and continues with the sim racing pros at 2PM ET. For more information on iRacing and for special offers, visit www.iracing.com.
All-Star Race image via Justin Prince