24 April 2020
Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup Virtual Edition, 3rd race day, Spa-Francorchamps/Belgium
Loek Hartog will represent Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux in the virtual Supercup
With the cessation of real competitions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual championships are inevitably on the upturn at the moment. For fans and professional drivers alike, they allow you to satisfy your appetite for competition while staying safe at home!
If Sim Racing races see virtual driving specialists competing against each other, Porsche Motorsport has gone a step further by creating the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup Virtual Edition. The principle is simple: only real drivers representing real Supercup teams can compete in this digital version of the prestigious one-make cup. In addition, a number of invitations have been extended to official Porsche Motorsport drivers (including Belgian Laurens Vanthoor and German André Lotterer) or drivers who could receive a Wild Card in the real championship. Porsche therefore wanted to create a series that is an almost perfect copy of the competition which takes place at Formula 1 Grand Prix events.
It is on the iRacing simulation platform that drivers compete at the wheel of the 485-hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. After free practice (30 minutes) and qualifying practice (15 minutes), the competitors compete in two 25-minute sprint races. To say the least, the first races were very lively, exciting and spectacular!
Champion of the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux in 2018, the Turkish driver Ayhancan Güven is one of the great entertainers of the early season as he is joint leader of the championship with Dutchman Larry Ten Voorde, representing Team GP Elite. This is also the case for the 2019 Benelux champion Max van Splunteren and Jesse van Kuijk, other well-known figures in the fastest one-make cup in the Benelux and among the drivers entered all year round. But during the Spa-Francorchamps race, all these will be joined by Loek Hartog, the local guest driver for this event.
“I am very honoured to have been chosen by Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux to be their representative in the virtual Supercup race at Spa-Francorchamps,” explains the 17-year-old Dutchman. “Last year I was able to take part in the Belgian event of the real Supercup thanks to a Wild Card. The concept is quite similar this time and I will have the honour to drive the new official livery of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup Virtual Edition with the famous #911 on the doors.”
On the podium of the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux in 2019 after winning the Junior Recruitment Programme at the end of 2018, Loek Hartog is undeniably one of the great motor sport talents of tomorrow. Having opted for the Porsche Motorsport pyramid to climb the motor sport ladder, he never imagined he would be selected for a… virtual race. “Until now, I have obviously been concentrating on my real-life career and I hope to be able to shine very soon on real circuits in 2020,” he explains. “But until competition resumes, Sim Racing is a great way to train and to keep up the pace. The Porsche 911 GT3 Cup in the iRacing simulation portal has very similar reactions to the one I drive in real life and I have a great deal of fun driving it.”
True to his reputation, Loek Hartog is not there just to make up the numbers. “Ayhancan Güven and Larry Ten Voorde are really fast,” confirms the Junior of the Porsche Carrera Cup Benelux. “But I would like to be able to fight with them and aim for the podium!”
This Saturday, 25 April 2020 from 4.00 pm, the qualifying sessions and the two races will be streamed live on www.porsche.com/virtualPMSCSpa as well as on the Porsche YouTube channel (https://youtu.be/i2fk9RQzbzk), with commentary provided by former Supercup driver Jan Seyffarth. Several TV channels (Sport1 in Germany, Eurosport in France and the Netherlands, Ziggo Sport in the Netherlands) will also broadcast the two races of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup Virtual Edition. If you have never seen a Sim Racing race, do not miss this event which will certainly not leave you unmoved!
The schedule (25 April)
4.00 – 4.15 pm: Qualifying
4.20 – 4.45 pm: Race 1
4.50 – 5.10 pm: Warm-up
5.12 – 5.37 pm: Race 2
(All times CEST)