Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Timmy Hansen crowned Champion, while Van Gisbergen wins series finale.

PHOTO CREDIT: Hansen Motorsport.
Reigning World Rallycross Champion Timmy Hansen claimed the inaugural FIA World Rallycross Championship's Esports Series title in the final round at the Killarney International Raceway in South Africa, as Shane Van Gisbergen took his second series win.

Hansen entered the final round leading the championship by six points ahead of Tom Blomqvist, but it was Blomqvist who topped the intermediate rankings ahead of Timmy heading into the semi-finals. 

The World RX Esports title decider came down to the final, a very familiar affair for Hansen who battled Andreas Bakkerud in the final to win the 2019 World RX Championship. Both Hansen and Blomqvist won their respective semi-finals to claim the best starting positions on the grid for the final. 

Having missed the Holjes round of the World RX Esports series, due to real-life motorsport commitments last month, Van Gisbergen made the best start in the final to take the lead, while Timmy battled for position and shut the door on Blomqvist on the run to turn one. 

Van Gisbergen proved his class by dominating the final to take his second win and finish third in the Esports Series, while South African GT racer David Perel claimed second place ahead of Tom Blomqvist, Timmy Hansen, and round three winner Jonathan Pailler.

It wasn't all smooth sailing for Timmy Hansen who had quite a few moments in the dirt hairpin where he and Andreas Bakkerud came together in 2019, but he came out on top and clinched the World RX Esports Series title. 

“This feels great. The World RX Esports series has been a great way to have some racing in the off-season and the result at the end was fantastic for me. 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,” said Hansen.

I practised a lot and went into this championship in the same way as I would have done anything else. I never felt I was the quickest out there; I was always missing a couple of tenths, but I was often able to have good launches and put in the laps when I needed to. I think that was the key to becoming champion."

It's been a great seven months for Hansen, who claimed the 2019 FIA World Rallycross Championship in November last year, and the virtual Race of Champions title last month. 

Although we haven’t started racing properly yet in 2020 I already have two championships under my belt, this one, and Race of Champions Virtual," he said. "This year has already been good to me in terms of results, so I’m going into the season now with nothing to lose. I’m going to jump into it and do the best that I can, and enjoy being back on a real race track.”

Kevin Hansen also started the last race of the Esports season with a chance of the title, but a disconnect before Q1 then had battles in every session, and being pushed into a spin in his semi-final meant he did not make the final. 

"We had some bad luck in two of the races and maybe lacked a tenth of a second when it comes to pace," Kevin Hansen said. "Maybe I didn’t put enough practice hours in!"

Also just missing out on the last final was Sivert Svardal, P3 in semi-final one, and Marius Bermingrud, who was P4 in semi-final two. Orhan Avcioglu returned to the World RX Esports series and made the semi-finals, along with another newcomer from South African, Jordan Pepper.

The World RX Esports Series ran alongside a Sim category, and the title went to the 2020 DiRT World Series Rallycross Champion Killian Dall'olmo who won his third final in the four-round series. Tommi Hallman and Jonne Ollikainen completed the podium, whilst Quentin Dall'olmo, the winner of round one at Yas Marina circuit, dropped out of contention for the Sim title when he failed to make the final following a five-second time penalty in the semi-finals. 

Written By - Junaid Samodien

No comments:

Post a Comment