Shane van Gisbergen wins World RX Esports Series opener at Yas Marina
Supercars star Shane van Gisbergen came out on top against a high-class field of real-world racing drivers and special guests in the opening round of the World RX Esports Series, held virtually at the Yas Marina Circuit in DiRT Rally 2.0.
On Sunday (May 31) a 30-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.
The Yas Marina grid featured several drivers who competed at the Invitationals, and joining them were even more real-world drivers such as Ferrari Formula 1 driver Charles Leclerc, GT racer Tom Blomqvist and Monster Energy’s drift star Tessa Whittock. 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 Codemasters’ rally consultant Jon Armstrong and current esports World Series Champion Killian Dall’olmo.
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 Yas Marina circuit, which made its World RX debut in 2019, has been faithfully recreated in DiRT Rally 2.0, providing an experience near indistinguishable from the real thing.
The Qualifiers were full of action, with real-world drivers mixing it up with the esports stars, and special guests proving their talent. Charles Leclerc was the start attraction and was given a true introduction into the world of rallycross as his races featured many big moments. Leclerc was able to win his final Qualifying Heat but incidents in earlier races left him a few points shy of the Semi Finals.
At the end of Q4 10 drivers had progressed to the Semi Finals, including both Hansen brothers from World RX, Supercars driver Shane van Gisbergen, YouTube personality Alex Day (Failrace) 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 Shane van Gisbergen was the class of the field, winning every Qualifier, finishing second in his Semi Final and taking an easy Finals victory. Quentin Dall’olmo was the victor in the Sim Racer category, beating his fellow esports stars with a smooth performance.
Van Gisbergen leads the championship standings with a near perfect score (29 points out of a maximum 30). 2019 FIA World Rallycross CHampion Timmy Hansen is in second, and his brother follows in third.
The next round will take place at the virtual Hell circuit in Norway on June 21.
Final Standings (Pro Drivers):
- 1st: Shane van Gisbergen (New Zealand)
- 2nd: Timmy Hansen (Sweden)
- 3rd: Henrik Krogstad (Norway)
- 4th: Tom Blomqvist (UK)
- 5th: Kevin Hansen (Sweden)
Final Standings (Sim Racers):
- 1st: Quentin Dall’olmo (France)
- 2nd: Lukas Mateja (Czech Republic)
- 3rd: Killian Dall’olmo (France)
- 4th: Jon Armstrong (Ireland)
- 5th: John Harris (UK)
World RX Esports Series Standings:
- 1st / 29 points / Shane van Gisbergen
- 2nd / 23 points / Timmy Hansen
- 3rd / 23 points / Kevin hansen
- 4th / 20 points / Henrik Krogstad
- 5th / 17 points / Rokas Baciuska
- 6th / 17 points / Tom Blomqvist
- 7th / 15 points / Kelvin van der Linde
- 8th / 12 points / Alex Day (Failrace)
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.
- For more information on DiRT Rally 2.0 please visit dirtrally2.com
- To watch the full broadcast of the World RX Esports Invitational (Catalunya Edition) please head here.
- To watch highlights, races and driver viewpoints from the event please head to our YouTube playlist.