Real world Porsche Supercup stars Ayhancan Guven and Dylan Pereira shared the wins in the fifth and sixth rounds of Porsche’s Virtual Supercup series at a chaotic – and captivating – Spa-Francorchamps.
BWT Lechner Racing’s Pereira was the man who took advantage of a gloves-off scrap between championship leaders Guven and Larry Ten Voorde to secure victory.
At the start of the 25-minute encounter, Ten Voorde led off the line to hold first over Guven with Pereira within close observation in third.
Porsche Junior driver Guven, though, wasn’t happy to play second best and quickly made his presence known with a number of audacious moves in order to try and secure the lead for himself.
Going into Bruxelles, Guven tried to dive down the inside of Ten Voorde but ended up tapping the Dutchman into a spin and into the gravel trap on the outside of the corner (which has made its virtual return to Spa for this iRacing-hosted contest). Rather than face the wrath of the stewards, Guven slowed down to allow Ten Voorde back through, with the pair recovering to third and fourth.
Their squabble promoted Pereira into the lead, with Porsche Middle East Champion Leon Koehler moving into second.
He didn’t hold second for long though as the Lechner Racing Middle East driver was relegated first by Ten Voorde and then by Guven on the long run through Blanchimont and into the Bus Stop chicane.
Despite ten minutes remaining on the clock, neither of the two championship front runners could cut down on Pereira’s advantage. The Luxembourger’s win all but confirmed with two minutes left as Guven bounced across the kerbing at Les Combes in an attempt to snatch away second, with Ten Voorde forced to take avoiding action – and Guven giving an automatic slow down by race control – Pereira romped home to victory.
Behind the squabbling pair, Koehler held on to take fourth despite coming under increasing pressure by Porsche Junior Jaxon Evans.
IMSA, and all-round GT star, Laurens Vanthoor took a solid sixth in what is his home event, while Max Van Splunteren finished not too far behind in seventh.
Guven recovered from an opening race nightmare to take a solid victory in the second as he prevailed in an early battle with pole-sitter Pereira to taking a storming victory and ensure his deficit in the championship standings wasn’t stretched too finely ahead of the Monza finale.
After a decent start from pole, Pereira let his guard slip heading into La Source for the second time and Guven didn’t need inviting twice as the Turkish star slipped up the inside and powered into the lead.
While Guven settled into a steady rhythm at the front of the field, Pereira’s race went from bad to worse. At first, a spin coming out of the Bus Stop relegated him to fifth, and then just a few corners later he tried to dive his way past Team GP Elite’s Jesse Van Kuijk at Bruxelles but horrible misjudged the manoeuvre and sent them both into the gravel. The pair both recovered back onto the track, but slipped to the lower reaches of the top ten.
The chaos ahead proved to be of benefit to a number of big Porsche names. Vanthoor, who had been put under pressure for his third place by Van Kuijk, suddenly had a touch more breathing space while Joey Mawson and Nick Tandy unexpectedly found themselves boosted up to fourth and fifth.
It was that battle for third with Vanthoor, Mawson and Tandy that proved to be the most interesting in the field – especially once Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux racer Loek Hartog made it a four-way fight for the final spot on the podium – as Vanthoor proved why he’s a GT ace as he stuck his elbows out to stymie the threat from the drivers behind.
The battle exploded in the final minutes. With Mawson able to pull clear of Vanthoor a lap earlier, Vanthoor and Tandy unexpectedly found themselves robbed of fourth and fifth. That’s because as the pair really slowed going through Les Combes, 17-year-old Hartog found a gap heading into Malmedy and pulled off a remarkable double move to sweep up to fourth.
Vanthoor was then quickly pushed down from fifth by Tandy as the Brit secured the inside line going into the Bus Stop and blocked the Belgian from being able to cut back going onto the front straight.
Ahead of them, Guven crossed the line five seconds ahead of Ten Voorde, but couldn’t stop the latter from claiming the lead in the overall standings.
Third went to Mawson ahead of Hartog. Behind Tandy and Vanthoor was the recovering Van Kuijk with Dylan Pereira a place behind in eighth and Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland regular Marius Nakken in ninth. Richard Lietz rounded out the top ten, in a solid turnaround for the WEC racer after being forced to retire in a first corner collision in race one.