Virtual Porsche Supercup: Simona De Silvestro scores double top 10
After a thrilling Monza round, ten Voorde was crowned first ever champion of the Virtual Porsche Supercup, as Simona de Silvestro claimed two top-10 finishes in a cleaner race for the ladies on the grid.
The glorious (digital) Autodromo Nazionale di Monza was the stage of the fourth and final double-header round of the first ever Virtual Porsche Mobil1 Supercup edition. While the championship fight was very much a battle between iRacing specialists Larry ten Voorde and Ayhancan Güven, the Porsche one-make series provided plenty of action in the midfield and great racing among drivers of different simracing experience, with the final event being by far the most competitive throughout the field.
Only two points separated the two title contenders at the eve of the final races, with the Martinet by Almeras driver Güven leading on EliteGP's ten Voorde. The 15 minutes qualifying session once again confirmed the names at the top: as Güven was the first driver to set a competitive laptime, all the eyes were then on ten Voorde. The Dutchman initially struggled to navigate the traffic and then attempted a classic Monza strategy: in his teammate slipstream, ten Voorde firstly had to abort a flying lap after a mistake at Ascari, but then claimed provisional pole with a lap under the 1:50 min mark. With less than two minutes left on the clock, Güven once again went fastest and clinced pole, in an already very exciting qualifying that would anticipate the races mood.
Spa Francorchamps winner Dylan Pereira was second, while Simona De Silvestro finished her qualifying lap in 18th place. W Series racer Fabienne Wohlwend, racing in the Porsche Supercup as a full time guest in the Vodafone Group entry, was 22nd fastest.
At the first race start, Güven cutted straight across the main straight defending from ten Voorde; the two made slight contact and the Dutch driver was forced on the grass, but both managed to enter the challenging Monza first chicane unscathed. The fierce battle went on throughout the first lap, with the leading pair running side-by-side for most of the corners and Dylan Pereira close behind in the BWT Lechner car.
In the midfield, Simona De Silvestro lightly tagged guest driver David Fumanelli at Prima Variante, resulting in a spin by the Italian racer.
The first pass for the lead change arrived at Ascari few laps later: ten Voorde completed an outstanding move around the outside of the iconic Monza corner, but a few breaking zones later, it was Güven again in front. The battle kept the whole field very close, with Pereira ready to pick up the pieces.
In the ABB sponsored entry, De Silvestro had an outstanding first half of the race and moved up to eleventh place, in a much cleaner competition despite the constant 3-wide action on the fast straights.
The first big blow for Güven's chances came when the Turkish driver made a mistake at the second Lesmo corner and went wide into the gravel, allowing past ten Voorde, Pereira and Kohler. Now in fourth place, Güven regrouped and chased back the new leader.
The two ladies in the field continued their progression, as De Silvestro climbed into the top ten and Fabienne Wohlwend advanced to P14.
With Leon Kohler's car suffering from some lagging, Güven regained the top-3 and, one lap later, passed Pereira as well. The fight for the victory resumed among the championship contenders, but remained very much open to the four frontrunners. With two minutes to go, Güven attacked at La Roggia chicane, again clipping the gravel and opening the door to Pereira and Kohler, who quickly jumped back ahead of the Turkish ace.
Larry ten Voorde crossed the finish line to win the first race in Monza, followed by Dylan Pereira and Leon Kohler, while a disappointed Ayhancan Güven was only fourth.
Simona De Silvestro, after a stunning battle with Richard Lietz and a drag race at the finish line, was tenth and Fabienne Wohlwend brought home more points and a P15, after having dropped three places in the final laps.
The second header started with the same results from race one, meaning ten Voorde had a realistic match ball in his hands starting from pole and with his championship rival in fourth on the second row. The Dutchman only had to finish third in fact, to be officially crowned champion.
Unfortunately, the huge pressure on Ayhancan Güven resulted in a dreadful start from the Martinet by Almeras driver: Güven was swallowed by the field coming into turn one and ultimately involved in a first corner contact.
De Silvestro had a good start, moved up a few places and found herself battling Güven into La Roggia. The Swiss lady defended but she had to cut the chicane to avoid the spinning car of Nick Tandy.
After the first lap, ten Voorde led Pereira and Kohler, with Güven in seventh position. Soon after, Pereira went wide at Ascari, hit the outside wall and dropped to fourth. Behind, a huge accident coming towards Parabolica wiped out a big part of the field luckily sparing Fabienne Wohlwend who survived in 16th place.
An unanticipated pitstop stripped Vanthoor of fourth position and allowed Güven to further move up the field. As Jaxon Evans and Leon Kohler battled for second, Larry ten Voorde saw the opportunity to open a gap and check out. After one more switch-back between Evans and Kohler, Güven passed both drivers and reclaimed second in another masterful move. But winning wasn't enough now for Güven, as he also needed ten Voorde to finish fourth or lower.
De Silvestro, in another very solid drive, moved ahead of Lietz and brought herself up to P6, while Wohlwend also recovered to 14th. The Swiss Porsche works driver was set for another oustanding performance but, in a battle with Mawson was tagged and spun around by Honkavuori at Parabolica, losing several positions.
After an exciting and action filled season finale on the Monza circuit, Larry ten Voorde won back to back and was crowned Virtual Porsche Supercup champion. Güven was second at the finish line after a beautiful season-long battle with the EliteGP racer, finishing 14 points behind.
Kohler secured the lowest step of the podium and was best rookie, ahead of Evans and Pereira.
Simona De Silvestro was again tenth at the finish line, claiming her second top ten. Wohlwend retired during the last lap of the race but was classified 18th. The driver from Liechtenstein completed her first iRacing simracing championship, collecting important experience for the upcoming W Series Esports League that will see her and 19 other female racers battling on the same sim platform.
The Porsche Supercup is expected to try to resume its real-life racing activities in Austria, together with the Formula 1 program, but no revised schedule has been announced yet