Cody Burcher made a brilliant debut in the carsales ARG eSport Cup after claiming overall honours in the virtual series’ round at Phillip Island.
With the field driving in the Audi RS 3 and the Dallara F3 in two races, the teenager showed off his open-wheel prowess with a dominant win behind the wheel of the Dallara after picking up second in the round’s first race.
Burcher finished the race behind former British Touring Car champion Ash Sutton, who broke his recent winless run to put himself back in title contention, while New Zealander Jaden Ransley rounded out the podium.
The trio were locked in a fierce battle for much of the race, but it was Sutton who held off the fast charging Burcher to claim gold and the Briton was thrilled to win after qualifying in sixth.
“In qualifying we just didn’t quite get the lap we needed, so had to fight our way back through,” Sutton said.
“But after the melee at Turn 1 it was all good from there.”
In the second race, it was all Burcher as he claimed pole in qualifying and developed a strong lead in the early stages of the race. The New South Welsh driver led the field on every lap, comfortably crossing the line 12 seconds ahead of Trans-Am driver Nic Carroll.
Remarkably Burcher, a Formula Ford driver in the real world, was only included in the round after qualifying as a wildcard entry the previous night.
“That was good fun,” Burcher explained after his win.
“It’s a fun car, I love it. You’ve got to be on your game the whole time.
“I’m looking forward to getting back in the Formula Ford in real life, hopefully we can get racing again soon.”
The battle for second was much closer as Carroll edged out fellow Trans-Am competitor and title contender Nathan Herne for the runner-up finish, with just over two tenths separating the two.
After a tough first race where he received a black flag, series leader Harley Haber bounced back in the second race to secure fifth behind former Supercars driver James Golding.
At the end of the round, Haber still holds his position at the top of the standings with Herne and Ransley both occupying second place, 19 points behind the 21-year-old, while Sutton’s much needed point booster saw him secure fifth behind Dylan O’Keefe.
The next round of the carsales ARG eSport Cup will take place on 14 May at Oran Park in New South Wales.