Last night’s ARG eSports Cup saw the competitors racing two completely different cars – the Audi RS3 TCR car and Dallara Formula 3 car – in a couple of rapid-fire, back-to-back races. While the regular series front-runners were mostly in the mix, the main talking point was the scorching performance from a wildcard entrant.
WORDS: Lachlan Mansell
IMAGES: Australian Racing Group
Thumbs Up – Cody Burcher
He had to finish inside the top three in a Wednesday night wildcard qualification race just to earn his spot on the grid, but Cody Burcher looked immediately at home as soon as the field hit the track.
For those who have watched the Orange Formula Ford racer’s other sim racing exploits, such as his front-running performances in the Tuesday night Just Send It series, Burcher’s results wouldn’t have been a surprise but his performances in both races were still mighty impressive. He was narrowly pipped for the win in the TCR race and he drove to a dominant victory in the F3 race.
Thumbs Down – Harley Haber
The series leader entering the round, Haber was lucky to leave Phillip Island with his points lead intact after incidents in both races. In Race 1, he received a 30-second penalty for an incident with Garth Tander, which left him buried in the field and in Race 2, he spun off the circuit on the opening lap.
Haber’s drive through the field to fifth in the F3 car ensured he salvaged some points from a difficult night, but the main reason he maintained his position at the head of the standings was due to his title rivals Ash Sutton, Nathan Herne and Dylan O’Keeffe experiencing dramas of their own.
Thumbs Up – Jaden Ransley
Kiwi Jaden Ransley has been steadily creeping up the leader-board and last night’s results have catapulted him to equal second in the standings.
Of the top five drivers in the championship, Ransley was the only one to finish both last night’s races in the top 10; his recent upturn in form has elevated him from an outside chance to a genuine threat for the title.
Thumbs Down – inconsistent stewarding decisions
With a multitude of camera angles and easy access to data, it should be a straightforward exercise making fair and accurate judicial decisions, but last night’s judgements left a bit to be desired.
As noted previously, Haber was penalised for contact with Tander in Race 1, but an incident in Race 2 between John Martin and Dylan O’Keeffe saw no such penalty applied, even though there was clear nose-to-tail contact between the two cars which resulted in O’Keeffe having to drive the rest of the race without a rear wing.
Thumbs Up – Ben Bargwanna
Originally, Ben Bargwanna was supposed to share driving duties in the ARG eSports Cup with his dad, Jason, but on the back of his recent strong performances, Ben has been given the bulk of the seat time in the series. Phillip Island was his most impressive run so far, with top six finishes in both races elevating him to 14th in the series standings.
Watch all the action from the ARG eSports Cup round below:
ARG eSports Cup – points after Round 6 of 10
- Harley Haber – 337
- Nathan Herne – 318
- Jaden Ransley – 318
- Dylan O’Keeffe – 311
- Ash Sutton – 297
- Jordan Cox – 260
- Garth Tander – 232
- James Golding – 220
- Tim Brook – 215
- Nic Carroll – 214