Josh Rogers found a balance between patience and aggression in the 2021 Porsche TAG Heuer eSports Supercup and credits that newly-sharpened skillset for his success in the series this year. Rogers wrapped up his second championship title in the series last week at Le Mans with one round of the season still to run.
“My mentality from round one onwards was to be a lot more patient. I even ended up putting a sticker on my wheel with the word [patience] on there just to try and remind myself as much as I could,” Rogers told RACER.
Rogers’ championship in 2021 is arguably the result of lessons he learned in both the 2019 and 2020 seasons. In 2019, too much aggression left him in trouble, landing him a one-race qualifying ban. (He still went on to win the championship that year, though.) In 2020, he took a safer approach in the first half that required a more aggressive strategy in the second half of the season – leaving him to settle for second in the championship. Striking a balance in 2021 was Rogers’ main focus going into this season.
“[In 2019] I was definitely making mistakes, maybe going for risks that I shouldn’t have,” he said.
“Ultimately, I did get caught up in a couple of incidents, I did get the qualifying ban in 2019, just from a few too many incidents. That was definitely an aspect I was trying to work on for 2020. Ultimately, maybe I was bit too cautious in the beginning and then ended up having to be overly aggressive in trying to make up for losses, and that obviously didn’t work out. So this year we tried to do a combination of the two, and be a little more calculated with things.
“I was also trying to look at it from the standpoint of points as well. While it’s great to win as many races as you can, sometimes you might be better off finishing P2 or P3 and trying to maybe pick up the pieces and go from there. I think consistency this year has been the strongest attribute [of mine].”
That more calculated approach worked well, as Rogers has won nine races thus far and added another five podiums. He currently holds a 193-point lead over Coanda Simsport teammate Mitchell deJong.
With a maximum of 85 points available per race weekend, Rogers’ lead is insurmountable. Still, though, things can change quickly in such a competitive series with so many points up for grabs each race.
Having such a firm grasp on the championship lead is “a weird feeling that you try not to let get to you,” Rogers explained.
“I was trying to not look at the championship points at all until we got to Le Mans, until it was mathematically possible to seal it. I was just trying to take each round as it came. If you do the best job you can every single round, in the end its obviously going to add up. Trying not to let it get to your head was the main focus.”
As a part of Coanda Simsport, one of sim racing’s top teams, Rogers lives in Germany with his teammates in a house that includes a state-of-the-art sim racing room. He moved into the house in February of 2020, just before the pandemic began.
At a loss for words right now, 2 time #PESC Champion! Massive thank you to everyone involved, it’s been an insane season and it’s been a pleasure to share it with you all!
— Josh Rogers (@JKRogers_92) April 10, 2021
“When I told mom and dad about it, they were shocked and excited in the beginning. Then it kind of sunk in that I was going to move to the other side of the world,” Rogers said. “Obviously the pandemic isn’t making things as easy it could have been, unfortunately. But they were always really supportive of the idea.”
The 21-year-old from Australia is likely looking at a payday somewhere in the range of $55,000 once all is said and done. It’s money that Rogers tries not to think about, however. “Those kinds of numbers I’m not usually too worried about. We just do it for the competition and the money’s just a nice bonus on the side, but yeah, it’s been a good first few months of the year,” he said.
The final round of the Porsche TAG Heuer eSports Supercup is April 24 from Monza.