Sweden’s Timmy Hansen claimed the FIA World Rallycross Championship’s Esports Series title in the final round at Cape Town-South Africa at the weekend in a torrid battle that saw him punched into the wall while New Zealand’s Shane Van Gisbergen took the win from South Africa’s David Perel.
Van Gisbergen had missed the Holjes-Sweden round of the World RX Esports series, run on DiRT Rally 2.0 in partnership with Esports specialist Motorsport Games, and DiRT video game publisher Codemasters, due to real-life motor sport commitments last month, but proved his class by dominating the final in the last round to take his second win and finish third in the points.
The biggest prize though went to Hansen, who won the Esports crown to add to his 2019 FIA World Rallycross Driver’s Championship title. Driving the same Peugeot 208 WRX in DiRT Rally 2.0 as he raced in World RX last year, Hansen had an event-long fight for top honors with Great Britain’s Tom Blomqvist.
In the championship for sim racers, Killian Dall’Olmo topped the standings ahead of his brother, Quenton, second and Lukas Mateja third.
The action came thick and fast all through qualifying, as Blomqvist and Hansen both set a pair of fastest times, Blomqvist taking the TQ (top qualifier) position in the Intermediate Classification. Both drivers also won their semi-finals, then came together when battling for track position in the final. After being given a five second penalty for contact on lap four, Blomqvist was dropped from P2 to P3 at the finish, as P4 was enough for Hansen to take the title.
South Africa’s David Perel stunned the rallycross regulars on his debut with P2 in the final classification, and Holjes-Sweden winner Jonathan Pailler, from France, was also in the final and was classified P5.
“This feels great. It’s been kind of a long off season, and to be able to do Esports has been a fantastic way to stay alert and stay sharp. We had some great rallycross races in the Esports series, when I’ve been looking back at it, it’s properly exciting and this time again it fell my way. Shane was the star of the series by being so super-fast, but this feels amazing. Now I’m going to celebrate, and next up is the start of the real World RX in Sweden. We’re going to be busy preparing for that,” said Hansen.
Kevin Hansen also started the last race of the Esports season with a chance of the title, but a disconnect before Q1, then battles in every session and being pushed into a spin in his semi-final meant he did not make the final. Also just missing out on the last final of the series was Norway’s Sivert Svardal, P3 in semi-final one, and Norway’s Marius Bermingrud, who was P4 in semi-final two. Turkey’s Orhan Avcioglu returned to the World RX Esports series and made the semi-finals, along with another newcomer from South Africa, Jordan Pepper.
Russia’s Matvey Furahzkin (Peugeot 208) was the first of the drivers to miss out on a starting position in the semi-finals, in front of Lithuania’s Rokas Baciuska, who’s event representing the GC Kompetition team was hampered by a 20-second jump start penalty in qualifying. Norway’s Henrik Krogstad had a difficult event and was unable to make the semi-finals after finishing on the podium earlier in the series.
New Zealand’s Simon Evans and Great Britain’s Fail Race, Oliver Bennett, Max Coates and Tessa Whittock also took part in the final round.
Also crowned at the South African circuit was the Sim category champion, and by winning his third final from four events, it was France’s Killian Dall’olmo who won the title for the SET Esports team. It was a good day for the SET Promotion-run Esports team, as Finland’s Tommi Hallman and Jonne Ollikainen completed the podium.
France’s Quentin Dall’olmo, the winner from round one at Yas Marina Circuit, dropped out contention for the Sim title when he didn’t make the final following a five-second penalty in the semi-finals.
RESULTS – Pro Final
1. Shane Van Gisbergen (NZL)
2. David Perel (ZAF)
3. Tom Blomqvist (GBR)
4. Timmy Hansen (SWE)
5. Jonathan Pailler (FRA)
1. Timmy Hansen (SWE) 97
2. Tom Blomqvist (GBR) 93
3. Shane Van Gisbergen (NZL) 82
4. Kevin Hanssen (SWE) 72
5. Henrik Krogstad (NOR) 56
RESULTS – Sim Final
1. Killian Dall’olmo (FRA)
2. Tommi Hallman (FIN)
3. Jonne Ollikainen (FIN)
4. Jarod Pesch (AUS)
5. Johan Lundqvist (SWE)
1. Killian Dall’olmo (FRA) 50
2. Quentin Dall’olmo (FRA) 40
3. Lukas Mateja (CZE) 28
4. John Harris (GBR) 25
5. Tommi Hallman (FIN) 21