Fluke forges ahead with double top ten at 'The Ring'
iRacing Porsche Tag Heuer eSports Supercup Round 8
As the world’s toughest sim racing championship reaches its eighth round, the Rahal Letterman Lanigan (RLL) Esport and Apex Racing Team (ART) face their most severe encounter of the Porsche Tag Heuer eSports Supercup season. Dubbed ‘The Green Hell’ by a man who mastered the circuit – Sir Jackie Stewart – the Nurburgring Nordschleife has been steeped in notoriety ever since.
Even for the world’s best sim racers, over eight minutes is required to complete a hot lap of the combined Nurburgring layout. Therefore, intricate circuit knowledge would be rewarded.
Flying Frenchman, Yohann Harth, was quickest of the RLL/ART during the one lap qualifying dash and started the opening sprint race from eighth. Two rows behind in twelfth was championship frontrunner, Kevin Ellis Jr. Zac Campbell, Jamie Fluke and Jeff Giassi lined up immediately behind Ellis Jr.
Frustratingly, Harth and Ellis Jr’s three-lap sprint race ended 500 metres from the green flag. On the frantic charge down to the perilously tight and narrow turn one, the customary Nurburgring traffic jam ensued. Sadly, Harth and Ellis Jr. emerged battered and bruised. Neither would score points.
Picking up the mantle for Apex Racing Team and RLL respectively, Jamie Fluke and Zac Campbell forged ahead into the top ten by the end of lap one. While Fluke maintained ninth position in the freight train, Zac Campbell couldn’t hang on to the top ten. Nevertheless, eleventh place booked another haul of points for the American star in a standout rookie season.
Apex Racing Team’s brilliant Brazilian, Jeff Giassi, progressed to twelfth place by the flag.
Narrowly missing out on reverse grid pole, Jamie Fluke led the charge for RLL and ART into the feature race from ninth on the grid. In a similar complexion to race one, Fluke, Campbell and Giassi patiently held position as others faltered ahead. By half race distance, Fluke, Giassi and Campbell occupied ninth through eleventh place.
Flying down the Dottinger Hohe straight for the final time, Jeff Giassi drafted past Campbell to claim the final spot in the top ten. Nevertheless, Campbell’s consistency over recent rounds has hauled the Georgian ace up to eighth in the championship. Up ahead, Jamie Fluke completed a solid day at the Nurburgring with a brace of ninth place finishes.
A nightmare day at ‘The Green Hell’ continued for Kevin Ellis Jr.. Heading onto the Nordschleife section on lap three, a tangle with Charlie Collins thwarted any chance of championship points for the Scottish star.
Unfortunately, Yohann Harth’s wretched fortune continued with a finish far down the field in twenty-eighth. The iRacing World Rallycross champion now faces a brawl to remain in the top twenty and secure his place for next season.
Jamie Fluke: “I came into this race with fairly low expectations. The Green Hell is not a track I have ever really got on top of, so despite feeling a bit better than last season’s event here, I still have a couple of chinks in the armour around here. Despite that, I put an above average lap in for qualifying to put me 14th and surrounded by teammates off the start which was comforting. From there, luck was finally on my side as I could scoot around the outside of the 2nd corner to avoid the blockage, pick up 5 positions, and hang on from there. Little of note happened in either race for me from then on. I just kept my nose clean and picked up points!
Zac Campbell: “Overall I thought it was an okay weekend, nothing really to write home about. We had a solid car but I was lacking a bit in terms of the speed I had, just because of how hard the Nurburgring really is. I just was able to salvage and I think 11th is probably where I deserved to end up. Glad to move up in the standings and I’m really looking forward to battling it out for the next 2 weeks”
Yohann Harth: “It was all setup to be a good night of racing after another solid qualifying effort but I ruined my night with a rookie mistake. I let off the brakes before T1 to give myself a bit more breathing room with the guys behind but I ended up tipping around Charlie Collins. The Feature race was just as bad, insane lack of racecraft from the guys at the back fighting for P25 on lap 1 and losing the draft to the pack ahead instead of working together”
On the tenth of April, the iRacing Porsche Tag Heuer eSports Supercup heads to another world-famous venue – Le Mans. With the series now at its penultimate round, the Rahal Letterman Lanigan and Apex Racing Team crew will be working flat out to prepare for a crucial round of the championship. Watch live on Apex TV or our Twitch Channel