Job takes a clean sweep after masterful Esports Carrera Cup final lap

Job takes a clean sweep after masterful Esports Carrera Cup final lap

The second Porsche Esports Carrera Cup GB weekend took place at a virtual recreation of Oulton Park in Cheshire on Sunday 17 January – just one week after the championship's successful introduction to the Porsche Motorsport GB pyramid for 2021. The third championship in the UK is aimed at professional sim racers and sits alongside Cayman Islands Porsche Sprint Challenge GB and Porsche Carrera Cup GB – the fastest single marque GT racing championship in the UK.

2020 Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup champion Sebastian Job put together a perfect performance, securing pole position and two wins in a pair of exciting virtual races broadcast live online via the Porsche Twitch and YouTube channels. Job produced a lights-to-flag victory in race one and snatched glory on the final lap of race two having started sixth on the grid. The Esports star now sits at the top of the championship table with six weekends remaining on the calendar.

A grid of 26 professional sim racers, including guest driver 2014 Porsche Carrera Cup GB champion Josh Webster, took part in a 60-minute practice session followed by a 20-minute qualifying session to set the grid for the first of the day's two 25-minute races. Job was the driver to beat in qualifying around Oulton Park's challenging 2.69-mile International circuit, the Esports star at the top of the timesheet throughout the early part of the session.

As many of the drivers struggled to find space for a fast lap, Job successfully navigated the traffic to improve further in the closing stages – cementing his first pole position of 2021 on a track where overtaking is traditionally difficult. Job was joined on the front row by an impressive Jamie Fluke, with Graham Carroll and Peter Berryman making up row two.

Race one
At the start of the weekend's first race, Job maintained his lead into the first corner while Fluke and Carroll engaged in a spat for second – Fluke left the circuit as a result and dropped down the order. Berryman slotted into second with Carroll directly behind in third. Job began pulling away during the early phase of the race and with just five minutes of race time elapsed he was 1.5-seconds ahead of Berryman in second. Further back there was drama when contact between Fluke and Thompson relegated the former to P21 – Thompson managed to continue in sixth and soon began challenging Isaac Price ahead for fifth.

As the top three pulled out a 2.5-second gap back to Jack Sedgwick in fourth, a recovering Fluke engaged in a battle with Fraser Williamson for P17. When Williamson ran wide at Old Hall Corner the pair were almost inseparable for half a lap. Williamson fended off Fluke's advances until Shell Oils Corner, but Fluke got a good run out of Britten's and over Hilltop to get alongside for Hislop's. The classic switchback move gave Fluke P17.

In the final five minutes of the race, Carroll was tucked right under the rear wing of Berryman for second but while their battle cost them time Job pulled further ahead. Running as one for most of a lap, Carroll showed his nose at Druids but there was contact between the pair – Berryman was sent off the track while Carroll continued his race. Jack Sedgwick benefitted from the incident by inheriting the final podium position.

With the top six finishers reversed for race two, Jon Robertson was keen to maintain his sixth place to the flag. However, when Robertson got on the grass at Hilltop on the final lap, round two race winner Kevin Ellis Jr didn't need a written invitation, snatching the all-important position.

Job crossed the line seven-seconds ahead of Carroll in second spot with Sedgwick securing his first podium result of the season in third. Finishing sixth, Ellis Jr would take reverse grid pole position while a frustrated Berryman came home in P10.

Following the race Carroll was handed a 10 sec penalty for the incident with Berryman, this displaced Carroll to P9, Sedgwick to second and Price to the final podium position.

Race two
The grid for the second race was determined by reversing the top six finishing positions from race one. Pole sitter Ellis Jr was joined on the front row by Thompson with Price and Sedgwick forming row two, Carroll and Job started from the third row. At the start of the race Ellis Jr got away well to maintain his lead into Old Hall Corner, Sedgwick was slow off the line allowing Carroll and Job to pass. Drama on the opening lap saw cars off at Denton's and Druids, but the all-important order at the front was Ellis Jr, Thompson, Price, Carroll and Job. Carroll and Job soon dispatched Price leaving a train of cars behind Ellis Jr fighting for the lead – all covered by less than one second.

Still recovering from his misfortunes in race one, an impressive Fluke quickly fought his way up to P12, but attentions soon returned to the battle at the front of the race. Carroll had been looking for a route around Thompson for some time, and when the Williams Esports driver ran wide at Britten's, Carroll mounted a run on his rival into Hislop's. At the following corner, Knickerbrook, the pair made contact and Carroll was relegated to seventh as a result. The battle allowed Job to move up to third and on the following lap he overtook Thompson at Cascades for second. Job now had five minutes in which to close down a gap of eight-tenths to race leader and team mate Ellis Jr ahead.

In the closing stages of the race, Price came under pressure from Berryman for fourth when he made an error, leaving the circuit and allowing both Berryman and Robertson through. Now the fastest driver on the circuit, a flying Job closed up to the rear bumper of race leader Ellis Jr with just two laps remaining. As the pair completed their final tour, Ellis Jr clipped a tyre stack at Britten's. This gave Job enough momentum to get to the outside of the leader for the entry to Hislop's chicane, in turn giving him the inside at the exit.

The pair ran side-by-side all the way through Knickerbrook and up Clay Hill, Job just getting ahead for Druids with Ellis Jnr expertly offering just enough space for the pair to keep line abreast. Still around the outside through Lodge Corner, Job crossed the finish line just 0.121secs ahead of Ellis Jr to take his second win of the weekend and his third of 2021. Thompson came home third, while Fluke completed his impressive recovery drive to finish seventh, marking him out as another to watch this season.

After the race Berryman was given a 10 sec penalty for contact with Kieran Harrison on the opening lap. Five seconds was added to the race time of Thompson for his contact with Carroll on lap 11 – this promoted Carroll to the final podium spot in race two, relegating Thompson to P4. Finally, for an incident with Thomas O'Leary, Simeon Lynch was handed a 20 sec penalty applied to his race time.

Following his thrilling last lap overtake for victory, Job's perfect weekend of pole position and two race wins at Oulton Park moves him to the top of the driver's championship table 21 points ahead of fellow championship contender Ellis Jnr. Next, the championship heads to Donington Park on Sunday 24 January where rounds five and six will take place on the famous 2.48-mile Grand Prix circuit. With plenty of overtaking opportunities, the Leicestershire circuit is certain to deliver another closely-contested weekend of Esports racing.

Championship positions:

1st Sebastian Job 92
2nd Kevin Ellis Jr 71
3rd Graham Carroll 61.

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