Third different winner from three World RX Esports Series events as Jonathan Pailler takes victory in Sweden
French rallycross driver Jonathan Pailler defeated a high-class field of real-world racing drivers and special guests in the third round of the World RX Esports Series, held virtually at Sweden’s Höljes circuit in DiRT Rally 2.0.
On Sunday (June 28) a 26-strong field real-world drivers, top DiRT Rally 2.0 players and special guests came together for a virtual race meeting, hosted by Codemasters, Motorsport Network, Gamebyte, Cooper Tyres and the FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy.
Following the success of two Invitational events in April and early May, a four event series was formed that sees competitors racing throughout May, June and July. Shane van Gisbergen won the series opener at Yas Marina and Tom Blomqvist won Round 2 at Hell.
The Höljes grid featured several drivers who competed in previews events, and joining them were even more real-world drivers such as the French rallycross bothers Jonathan and Fabien Pailler. Commentary was provided by World RX talent Andrew Coley and Neil Cole, who also feature as voiceover talent within DiRT Rally 2.0.
The format of the World RX Esports Series events mirrors that of a real-world FIA World Rallycross Championship event, with 4 Qualifying sessions and the top drivers progressing to Semi Finals, and an overall Final crowning the winner.
There is also a secondary set of races featuring 10 of the fastest sim racers in DiRT Rally 2.0, including the current esports World Series Champion Killian Dall’olmo, who tested a real-world RX2 car earlier this year.
Rallycross is known for being a short, high intensity form of motorsport, where powerful cars race on tight circuits featuring tarmac, gravel and jumps. The Höljes circuit has featured in multiple DiRT titles and has been faithfully recreated in DiRT Rally 2.0, providing an experience near indistinguishable from the real thing.
The Qualifiers passed by without major incident as the more experienced drivers broke away in their respective Heats, leaving behind the few drivers who had incidents.
At the end of Q4 10 drivers had progressed to the Semi Finals, including both Hansen brothers from World RX, YouTube personality FailRace, GT driver Tom Blomqvist and more. The top 5 from the Semi Finals would then meet in the Final.
The sim racers would have their own bracket to see who was strongest of those 10.
In the Pro Driver category a closely-fought Final saw Jonathan Pailler, after a calamitous Lap 5 saw several drivers get tangled up in incidents. Killian Dall’olmo was the victor once again in the Sim Racer category, beating his fellow esports stars with a performance worthy of his current World Champion status.
2019 FIA World Rallycross Champion Timmy Hansen leads the standings, with TOm Blomqvist in P2, kevin hansen in P3 and previous leader Shane van Gisbergen in 4th. van Gisbergen could not attend this race meeting due to resuming real-world racing in Australia the day before.
The final round will take place at South Africa’s virtual Killarney International Raceway in July.
Final Standings (Pro Drivers):
- 1st: Jonathan Pailler (France)
- 2nd: Timmy Hansen (Sweden)
- 3rd: Kevin Hansen (Sweden)
- 4th: Tom Blomqvist (UK)
- 5th: Sivert Svardal (Norway)
Final Standings (Sim Racers):
- 1st: Killian Dall’olmo (France)
- 2nd: Quentin Dall’olmo (France)
- 3rd: John Harris (UK)
- 4th: Daniel Johansson (Sweden)
- 5th: Lukas Mateja (Czech Republic)
World RX Esports Series Standings:
- 1st / 74 points / Timmy Hansen
- 2nd / 65 points / Tom Blomqvist
- 3rd / 62 points / Kevin Hansen
- 4th / 55 points / Shane van Gisbergen
- 5th / 52 points / Henrik Krogstad
DiRT Rally 2.0 is the official game of the FIA World Rallycross Championship, featuring the cars, tracks and drivers from the 2018 and 2019 seasons alongside historic content. The Game of the Year Edition is available now.