Porsche Motorsport Weekly Event Notes: Monday, June 22, 2020

This Week.
• Le Mans Supercup. Ellis and Benecke Win Sim Races; Job into Esports Supercup Points Lead. • Supercup Real Life. 2020 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup Season to Launch with Test. • Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup 2020 Calendar. • Race Track to Sim Racing. Joshua Rogers on His Passions.

Porsche Profile.
Event Story Lines.
Le Mans Supercup. Ellis and Benecke Win Sim Races; Job into Esports Supercup Points Lead.

Round four of the TAG Heuer Esports Supercup saw Kevin Ellis Jr. (Great Britain) charge the Apex Racing UK Porsche 911 GT3 Cup virtual race car to victory in the 15-minute sprint race portion on the digital Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans, France. In the 30-minute main event, later in the day on June 20, Germany’s Maximilian Benecke took the win piloting the Redline-entered Porsche 911 GT3 Cup virtual racer. After claiming second-place in the sprint race and third-place in the main race, British sim racer Sebastian Job moved into the season-long point standings of the global esports championship in the Red Bull Racing Esports Porsche. The TAG Heuer Esports Supercup is the world’s first manufacturer-supported one-make sim racing championship. Now in its second season, the championship uses the iRacing platform to match sim racers from around the globe in a nearly real-world digital replication of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car.

Last week’s Virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans winner and 2019 TAG Heuer Esports Supercup champion, Joshua Rogers (Australia) entered round four of the season as the series points’ leader. However, the success at La Sarthe last weekend did not carry over to the one-make cars this weekend dropping him from the top spot. With 217 points to his credit, Sebastian Job moved up to first-place in the points table, followed by Benecke (193 points) in second-place.

Next up on the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup calendar is the Nürburgring-Nordschleife race on July 4. Including the Grand Prix circuit, the legendary 16.09-mile (25.9-kilometer) rollercoaster racetrack poses one of the most difficult challenges in circuit racing.

Max Benecke, Driver, Redline Virtual Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
“Tenth at the first race put me in a good position for the main race. Our car handled very well in the Porsche Curves. I knew if I could take the lead after the Indianapolis turn on the last lap, I had a chance of winning. But braking for this curve is particularly tricky. In the slipstream, you’re easily five km/h faster than usual. I’m thrilled about this success. I hadn’t expected to do so well. A perfect result in the battle for the championship.”

Sebastian Job, Driver, Red Bull Racing Esports Virtual Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
“My day was pretty good. After the practice sessions, I realized that we’d see a lot of duels and accidents here at Le Mans. So, I took a relaxed approach and avoided any skirmishes. That worked brilliantly. My main priority today wasn’t to win, but to focus on the championship.”

Supercup Real Life. 2020 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup Season to Launch with Test.
The break from on-track racing is over. On July 5, 2020, the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup makes a belated start to the season at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria. Eight races within less than ten weeks make up the calendar of the one-make cup featuring 485 hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup racing cars. As always, all events are held as support to the FIA Formula One World Championship. Each weekend features a 30-minute sprint race. To prepare for the most compact season in the history of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, official tests will be held at the Red Bull Ring on June 23-24. Porsche also fields a VIP vehicle at selected rounds of the 2020 season.

After a second round in Spielberg one week later, teams head to Budapest followed by two consecutive race weekends at Silverstone (Great Britain) before travelling to Barcelona (Spain) and on to Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium). The finale is contested at Monza (Italy) on the first weekend in September.

New Zealander Jaxon Evans (BWT Lechner Racing) and Ayhancan Güven (Martinet by Alméras) from Turkey are the two Porsche Juniors contesting the 2020 Supercup season. Evans is in his second year as a Porsche Junior while Güven is a first-year Porsche Junior.

Oliver Schwab, Project Manager of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup.
“Along with Formula 1, we are trailblazers within Europe with our return to the racetrack. This exceptional situation entails a high degree of responsibility. The health measures required to protect everyone involved pose a major challenge, but we have meticulously prepared for them. I’m looking forward to a shortened but extremely gripping season. As originally planned, the calendar includes eight races. Despite the difficult situation, the grid line-up is just as strong as in previous years. The sporting value of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup is still high.”

Jaxon Evans, Driver, BWT Lechner Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
“It’s been almost eight months since I last drove the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup in Mexico City. The waiting time has really tested my patience. Words can’t describe how eager I am to finally get into a racing car again. I reckon the 2020 season will be pretty hectic, but I’ve already had a year in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. Now I’m driving for another team, but I know all the racetracks so I’m feeling very confident.”

Ayhancan Güven, Driver, Martinet by Alméras Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
“Over the past months, I’ve been contesting virtual races on a simulator. That was huge fun and great practice. But now, I can’t wait to drive a real Porsche on a real Grand Prix circuit. The races come in quick succession. I’m anticipating ten weeks of intense pressure. There’ll be no time for recovery or if need be, a mental reboot.”

Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup 2020 Calendar.
July 5 – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg (Austria)
July 12 – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg (Austria)
July 19 – Hungaroring, Budapest (Hungary)
August 2 – Silverstone (Great Britain)
August 9 – Silverstone (Great Britain)
August 16 – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona (Spain)
August 30 – Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium)
September 6 – Autodromo Nazionale Monza (Italy)

Race Track to Sim Racing. Joshua Rogers on His Passions.
Joshua Rogers is currently regarded as one of the best sim racers in the world. Success has seen the Australian quickly make a name for himself on the Esports scene – particularly in association with Porsche. Last autumn, the 20-year-old was crowned champion of the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup. Rogers has recently competed for the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team in a virtual Porsche 99X Electric in the ABB Formula E “Race at Home Challenge”, as well as in the virtual version of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In episode nine of the “Inside E” podcast, Rogers discusses his origins in motorsport, his move from real to virtual motor racing, the parallels and differences between both worlds, and his collaboration with the Stuttgart-based sports car manufacturer.

Sim racing has enjoyed a real boom in recent months, thanks largely to the coronavirus pandemic. In the “Race at Home Challenge”, launched by Formula E, the regular drivers in the electric racing series competed alongside professional sim racers in a separate category. One name that featured regularly at the top of the results was that of Rogers who drove a digital Porsche 99X Electric for the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team. He impressed with one victory and three podiums from a total of five starts.

The Australian’s passion for motorsport began in the real world. When he was given his first kart at the age of seven, he was a regular at racetracks down under. At the same time as karting, Rogers also began to use sim racing as part of training in 2014, and soon started to enjoy it.

In 2019, he made his hobby his profession. Winning the titles in the Porsche SimRacing Trophy and the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup were the breakthrough for the 20-year-old that also convinced him to move his life to Europe.

Rogers and teammates Nick Tandy, Ayhancan Güven and Tommy Ostgaard claimed their first virtual victory in the GTE class at the Virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans with the digital version of the Porsche 911 RSR race car on June 13 - 14.

The Porsche Formula E podcast is available in English and can be downloaded in the Porsche Newsroom. “Inside E” is also available on other platforms, such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts.

Joshua Rogers, Sim Racer.
“There are definitely similarities, but also differences between real and virtual racing. There are more general techniques, like how to find the racing line, accelerate out of corners, or internalize braking points, which are very similar to real motorsport. Conversely, you obviously don’t have the driving experience and connection to the car, which you would do on a racetrack. Finding the best configuration for the car and analyzing telemetry data is part of my everyday work.”

Social Media.
Porsche. @Porsche
Porsche GT Team (North America). @PorscheNARacing
Porsche Motorsport – GT Cars. @PorscheRaces
Porsche Racing. @PorscheTeam
Porsche Motorsport North America. @PorscheMotorsportNorthAmerica (Instagram)
Porsche Formula E. @PorscheFormulaE (Twitter)
@porsche.formulae (Instagram) Porsche Newsroom. @PorscheNewsroom (Twitter)
newsroom (Instagram)

Model Hashtags.
Porsche 99X Electric. #99XElectric
Porsche 911 RSR. #911RSR
Porsche 911 GT3 R. #911GT3R
Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. #911Cup
Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport. #GT4Clubsport
Porsche 935. #Porsche935
Porsche 911 GT2 RS Clubsport. #GT2RSClubsport

Series Hashtags and Handles.
GT3 Cup Challenge USA. #GT3USA
GT3 Cup Challenge Canada. #GT3Canada
Porsche Sprint Trophy USA West. @PirelliTrophyWestUSA (Instagram)
SRO America @SROAmerica
SRO GT4 America #GT4America
FIA World Endurance Championship. @FIAWEC
Intercontinental GT Challenge. @IntercontGTC
FIA ABB Formula E Championship. @FIAFormulaE

  • Image courtesy of Porsche Motorsport