Images via Justin Melillo
American racer Zac Campbell became the third different feature winner in three events to kick off the 2022 Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup season on Saturday, holding off former teammate and defending track winner Kevin Ellis Jr. in a charge to the finish at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace, better known as Interlagos. After an intense battle for the top spot in the closing stages of the feature, Campbell followed Ellis past Dayne Warren with just a handful of laps to go before finally making his move for the win on the final lap.
Interlagos was chosen to host the third round of the 2022 season after defeating three other tracks in a fan vote that ran through the opening two rounds of the season. Host of last year’s opener, the Brazilian track is popular the world over for its many elevation changes and mix of lengthy straightaways and tight corners, each of which can push drivers to their limit.
Red Bull Racing Esports’ Sebastian Job, the 2020 series champion, was the top qualifier, and led a train of a handful of drivers throughout the sprint race. While Apex Racing Team’s Jamie Fluke finished just .062 seconds back in second, and the entire top five was separated by under a second, Job led all 10 laps of the sprint race, scoring maximum points but dropping to eighth on the grid with the invert for the feature.
Barcelona sprint winner and incoming points leader Diogo Pinto of Team Redline would take over the pole for the 20 lap main event, leading the first five laps before Ellis finally pushed his Apex Racing Team entry ahead. Coanda Simsport’s Dayne Warren would get around Ellis on lap 13 and lead four laps of his own before Ellis, Campbell, and Pinto would get back around him; Warren would later need to pit and ended up an unrepresentative 19th place in the final results. But Campbell, once Ellis’ Apex teammate and now Warren’s teammate at Coanda, would stalk the lead in the closing laps before making a calculated move for the win, leading just one lap all day long—the most important one.
Pinto would maintain a four-point lead on Jeremy Bouteloup, who finished sixth in the feature, while Hockenheim winner Ayhancan Guven sits third thanks to a top-five result of his own. The top five in the standings head into back-to-back weekends at Silverstone and Red Bull Ring later this month split by just 20 points.
Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup feature results from Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace were as follows:
|2||2||98||Kevin Ellis Jr||20||-0.081||10||1:34.183||59|
|3||1||44||Diogo C. Pinto||20||-0.246||5||1:34.150||53|
|33||13||47||Alejandro Sánchez||10||-10 L||0||1:34.080||8|
|34||24||28||Sam Kuitert||10||-10 L||0||1:34.543||0|
|35||26||12||Jordan Caruso||5||-15 L||0||1:35.015||0|
Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup points after three rounds are as follows:
- Diogo Pinto, 155
- Jeremy Bouteloup, 151
- Ayhancan Guven, 148
- Zac Campbell, 138
- Jamie Fluke, 135
- Kevin Ellis Jr., 130
- Cooper Webster, 120
- Sebastian Job, 101
- Maximilian Benecke, 78
- Dayne Warren, 78
The 2022 Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup season continues on March 19 at Silverstone Circuit, where Job led seven laps on the way to his second of three feature victories last year. As always, the action kicks off at 12:30PM ET with All-Star competition, before the Supercup goes green at 2PM ET, and all the action streams live at twitch.tv/Porsche. For more information on iRacing and for special offers, visit www.iracing.com.