Randall Hayward of Forrest Park, Illinois, wins top prize for the second year in a row
Some of the most nail biting races at Rennsport Reunion 7 didn’t just happen on the track at the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. They also happened at the Bose Esports Arena packed with hundreds of fans.
On Saturday, September 30th, Randall Hayward, 22 of Forrest Park, Illinois, was crowned champion at the 2023 Porsche Esports Challenge USA. This is the second time in a row Hayward has taken home the top prize. It was only in the final minutes of the second race that Hayward moved to the top spot.
“It feels unreal,” said Hayward moments after winning. “It is still sinking in. It was very close and I knew it would be tough.”
“We are incredibly proud to crown Randall Hayward the champion of the 2023 Porsche Esports Challenge USA for the second year in a row,” said Ayesha Coker, Vice President of Marketing at Porsche Cars North America. “This competition not only showcases the extraordinary talent within the Esports community but also strengthens the growing connection between virtual and real world racing.”
Hayward won after scoring the most points across two tracks, Circuit of Spa-Francorchamps and Daytona International Speedway Road Course competing in a Porsche 911 RSR and Porsche 917 respectively.
Second place went to Robert Heck, 23, of California City, California. 22-year-old Donavan Parker of Fruit Cove, Florida rounded out the top three. Kazunori Yamauchi, creator of Gran Turismo, was on hand to congratulate the winners.
Throughout June and July, over 36,000 people across the United States competed in qualifying rounds held in-game in Gran Turismo™ 7, and offline at the Porsche Experience Center Los Angeles, Porsche Experience Center Atlanta, and four U.S. Porsche Centers.
Sixteen finalists from around the United States were flown to Laguna Seca for a chance to compete for prize money and other prizes in front of a live audience. Hayward won the top prize of $15,000, while second place winner Robert Heck won $10,000 while third place winner Parker, won $5,000. The top three winners also each received a TAG Heuer Connected Calibre E4 Porsche Edition Watch.