The announcement of ESL R1 had been long awaited in the sim racing community, and official lineup confirmations of the teams were not far behind: Porsche’s works Esports team Coanda has announced their roster for the first season due to start at IEM Katowice on February 11th using the all-new RENNSPORT platform.
Heading into the spring season of the first sim racing competition in ESL history after having just won the 2023 Le Mans Virtual Series, the Porsche-Coanda roster consists of four drivers plus two support drivers – with very familiar names among its ranks.
One of them is Josh Rogers: The Australian has a long list of accolades, including winning the premiere of the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual in 2020, the 2019 VRS GT iRacing World Championship or the 2019 Porsche Simracing Trophy. His Australian roots are represented in his competition resumé as well, having taken part in the V8 Supercar Online Premier Series and the Repco Supercars Eseries in 2020 (placing second in the latter). He will take to the grid using car number 92.
Another Australian will be racing for the team in Dayne Warren: The 23-year-old is a three-time winner of the Repco Supercars Eseries, having taken the 2020, 2021 and 2022 championships. After his title hattrick, Warren is now set to try and prove himself among the fierce competition of ESL R1, having joined Porsche-Coanda at the beginning of 2023 after previously driving for Altus Esports. His car number will be 57.
Meanwhile, Mitchell deJong has racked up outstanding achievements since winning the iRacing 24h of Le Mans back in 2016 – all while displaying great versatility: The American has been running up front in road course racing (taking another iRacing Le Mans win in 2019, among others), oval racing (placing third in the eNASCAR iRacing Series in 2021) and even on dirt (winning the iRacing Rallycross World Championship Series in 2018). Together with Rogers and pro racing drivers Ayhancan Güven and Laurin Heinrich, deJong formed the title-winning team in the 2023 Le Mans Virtual Series. His car will bear the number 48.
The only European amongst the four main drivers is Mack Bakkum: The Dutchman’s sim racing career got started when he stumbled upon a few YouTube videos – to say things have been going well for him since would be an understatement: Bakkum’s victories include the 2021 iRacing Daytona 24h, the 2020 iRacing Spa 24h and the 2020 iRacing Sebring 12h. At 29 years of age, he is the oldest and most experienced member of the team, opting for number 16 on his car.
In addition to the quartet of main drivers, both Briton Charlie Collins and American Zac Campbell will serve as support drivers for Porsche’s works Esports team. Collins has been with Coanda since 2020, while Campbell joined the team in 2021.