Sunday 21 June 2020

Blomqvist claims maiden World RX Esports Series win.

Blomqvist leads Van Gisbergen in World RX Esports Series final.
Tom Blomqvist takes surprise win in the second FIA World Rallycross Championship's Esports Series at Hell in Norway. 

The Brit missed out on a place in the final but was given a second chance after Kevin Hansen, Martin Enlund, and Sivert Svardal were all handed five-second time penalties for contact in their semi-final race.

The six-lap final looked set to be a duel between reigning World Rallycross Champion Timmy Hansen and Shane Van Gisbergen after the pair topped the Intermediate Classification in qualifying. 

Hansen won semi-final one to secure pole for the final. While Van Gisbergen won semi-final two, to join Hansen on the inside of the grid for the final with Blomqvist in third, Henrik Krogstad in fourth and Marius Bermingrud in fifth (outside line). 

Timmy Hansen lead from the start and had a comfortable three-second lead to Van Gisbergen and Bermingrud who had jokered on the opening lap.

The Swede took the joker on lap two to cover off Van Gisbergen and allowed Blomqvist into the lead. He emerged ahead but ran wide and the New Zealander took the inside line to sweep into second place. Timmy then fell into the clutches of Bermingrud who had jokered on lap one. 

Bermingrud momentarily passed Hansen at turn two, but following contact with Henrik Krogstad who had emerged from the joker lap, Timmy retook the position. 

With clean air ahead and a series of fastest laps (33.8s) Blomqvist was untouchable despite a late mistake in the joker on lap six. He was able to edge ahead of Van Gisbergen and Timmy Hansen to take his maiden World RX Esports Series win with Krogstad and Bermingrud rounding out the five-car final. 

"I am pretty happy with that," Blomqvist said. "I was struggling in the wet to be honest, and I knew I had good pace in the dry, so when I got a decent position at the start of the final and then Timmy went for the joker straight away, I knew if I got some clean air and I should be in with a shot. I knew Shane was going to be strong - the guy is a freak."  

"I did a few of the fastest laps I’ve done over the last day of practice so it all kinda of came together. I nearly messed up the joker lap, but other than that it worked out well."

Among those eliminated prior to the semi-finals was Australian Supercars star Scott Pye who missed out by a single point, GCK's Rokas Baciuksa,  New Zealand’s Hayden Paddon, Audi factory GT driver Kelvin van der Linde, and Titans RX driver Tamara Molinaro. 

There were also semi-finals and final for the Sim category at Hell, featuring 10 of the world’s best DiRT 2.0 Esports racers. Killian Dall’olmo claimed victory for the SET Esports team, in front of round one winner Quentin Dall’olmo and John Harris.

The penultimate round of the World RX Esports series will take place at Holjes, Sweden on Sunday 28 June.

Written By - Junaid Samodien

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