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Campbell clinches podium in Le Mans thriller!

iRacing Porsche Tag Heuer eSports Supercup Round 9

Rahal Letterman Lanigan and Apex Racing Team arrive at the penultimate round of the Porsche Tag Heuer eSports Supercup within the top twenty of the championship. Crucially, if these championship positions are maintained, all five of the RLL/ART stars will receive automatic entry to next season.

Despite a challenging day at the Nordschleife, Kevin Ellis Jr. still retains fourth place in the championship. Thus, cementing his place within the elite of sim racing.

Sprint Race

The world famous Le Circuit de la Sarthe plays poses a unique challenge for the penultimate round of the series. Long full throttle drag races from one corner to the next will serve up ample opportunities for slip stream manoeuvres. Therefore, a wisely deployed strategy will be key.

Jamie Fluke thrashed his #48 ART Porsche to fifth on the grid during qualifying. Therefore, the Armagh ace would have the opportunity to run up front in the leading pack.

RLL Esport stablemates, Zac Campbell and Kevin Ellis Jr., rolled off from the eighth row. Unfortunately, Jeff Giassi was forced to the back of the grid due to an untimely connection issue.

In the opening stages of the three-lap sprint race, Jamie Fluke calmly settled in to fifth place. Although the leading trio of Rogers, Collins and Job were beginning to stretch the gap, Fluke looked completely comfortable at the front of the pack.

Enjoying a grandstand view of an epic tussle for victory between Job and Rogers, Fluke held fifth place with ease and booked a strong haul of championship points.

Zac Campbell and Kevin Ellis Jr. co-operated effectively to work their way through to tenth and eleventh place, respectively.

Feature Race

Utilising his second row grid spot, Jamie Fluke headed onto the Mulsanne straight for the first of six laps in fourth position. By half distance, Fluke still held his spot in the leading group. However, the pressure was mounting around the Northern Irish star. A cast of Porsche Tag Heuer eSports Supercup stars swarmed around Fluke in a Talladega style, high speed dog fight.

Eventually, contact between Job and Bouteloup gave Fluke a little room to breathe. Campbell and Ellis Jr. would also profit from the demise of their rivals and climb into the top ten.

RLL ace, Zac Campbell, seized the opportunity from the bickering up front and forged ahead of Fluke in the leading pack. With one lap to go, Campbell had an outside chance of a podium finish. Throughout the final lap, various high-profile stars fell by the wayside. Campbell and Ellis Jr. deployed jedi reflexes to avoid the calamities ahead. A podium finish for Campbell and fifth place for Ellis Jr solidifies a tremendous debut season for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Esport.

Unfortunately, the luckless Jamie Fluke lost out on a double top five finish with three corners to go. Diogo Pinto’s errant 911 spun into the path of Fluke, leaving the Northern Irishman with nowhere to go.

Tenaciously battling through the pack, Jeff Giassi ascended from the back of the grid in race one to tenth place in race two. A superb recover drive from Apex Racing Team’s brilliant Brazilian.

Post Race

Jamie Fluke: “This was the race that I had prepared for the best, things finally felt like they were starting to click and I was really comfortable in the car. Deep down I backed myself for a top 5 going into it, however we never have total control over what happens in a race like this. I put in an ok Q lap which gave me 5th, sat nice and comfortably in 5th in the sprint race and thought I might have a good day here. All was basically ok until I got blocked aggressively on the run to Indianapolis with 2 to go, forced to check up and then the line I was on failed to move. Got damage in Arnage and was struggling to keep up on the final lap. It all still nearly fell into place, but the spinning car ahead in the Karting curves on the final lap decided not to have the decency to hold the brakes whilst sliding and swung back onto the track. I had nowhere to go and limped home 21st. Disappointing but ultimately not surprising around here, I just can’t quite catch a break.”

Kevin Ellis Jr.: Feels good to bounce back with a top-5 after 2 rough rounds in a row. Stayed out of trouble all night and brought home a decent amount of points. Still 4th in points heading into the final round.

Jeff Giassi: “The race at Le Mans was amazing! Great recovery from P33 due a connection failure to P10 at the line.
As an optimistic person, I was not disappointed by the connection issue. This might have saved me from being in the middle of some big crashes that happened during the sprint and feature races.
Starting from the very back of the field, somehow, might have been lucky when considering the final result!

Zac Campbell: “Saturday was absolutely insane from start to finish! Never thought I’d be standing on the podium at the end of the day, especially after starting 15th, which honestly wasn’t unexpected with how I felt my pace was. The race was a completely different story though, it fell right into our hands. The boys in our alliance at RLL Esport, Apex Racing Team, and MSi Esports provided us one of the best race cars I’ve ever had under me, and just let me move to the front with ease. The car was so good and just being able to read the draft was massively important, and luckily starting out in IndyCar you learn that sort of thing, so it just came naturally and we were able to move up through the pack! It’d be really hard to be anything but pleased with that race, super proud of our guys can’t wait to get to Monza!”

In a fortnight’s time, the Rahal Letterman Lanigan and Apex Racing Team crew head to Monza for the season finale of the Porsche Tag Heuer eSports Supercup.

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Images by @Groove_Media

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