A dominant performance from the young Frenchman saw him claim the DiRT World Series Rallycross Championship at the Autosport show last Sunday.
72,000 entries were whittled down to just six, with three of the six drivers coming from the SDL Esports team. The qualifiers for this event started all the way back in September, with drivers trying to set the fastest time on a wide array of rallycross circuits. Thirty six drivers across the three platforms of PC, PS4, and Xbox One made it through to the quarter finals. Thirty six became twelve for the Semi-finals which left us with the six best drivers to fight it out for the title. ě
The six finalists were Killian Dall’olmo (SDL_Kinou), the younger brother of last year’s finalist Quentin Dall’ollmo (SDL_Quinto), Alexandre Hus (SDL_Shooteur), Dorian Baptiste (Dibby04), Daniel Johansson (TwoTwoOne), Dave Marshall ( D M Racing 66), and Lukáš Matěja (ERT_ CRsedmicky)
Free practice started bright and early on Sunday morning with the drivers getting a chance to run the circuits one last time before the grand final in the afternoon. Speaking with the drivers before hand, it was quite evident that some were struggling to adjust to the new setups, citing problems with steering position and input lag.
Nerves certainly played a factor too. The tracks for the finals were Cape Town, Hell, Abu Dhabi, and Lydden Hill. The drivers would not know the conditions until the race was starting so practicing in wet conditions was a high priority.
The format was 6 heats of 4 laps which would decide the grid for the final which would be a six lap race at Lydden Hill. Dall’ollmo dominated free practice, winning every single race.
We spoke to him briefly before the final through his brother Quentin: “I’m feeling quietly confident going into the finals. As long as i keep up the form from free practice, it should go well!“
Heat 1 kicked off in the Dry at Cape Town and it was Dall’ollmo who started ahead of his teammate Hus. Baptiste, Johansson, Marshall, and Matěja rounded out the grid. Off the line it was Johansson who got the best start and took the lead into turn one.
There was plenty of fighting through the field as Dall’ollmo had to settle behind Johansson for the first lap. He would take the joker on lap two, coming out in the lead. He would stay there and win heat race one ahead of Johansson. There was drama at the end as Hus hit the wall in the final chicane and Matěja spun just before the line. All recovered to finish however.
Heat race two was once again in Cape Town, but in wet conditions this time. The grid would be reversed based on the last heat so it was Matěja on pole with Marshall in second. Away from the line, Dall’ollmo got a monstrous start from last on the grid and surged through to take second as Marshall took the lead from Matěja .
Hus and Johansson opted for the early joker and Dall’ollmo followed soon after. The late joker from Marshall didn’t pay off as Dall’ollmo took the win from Hus and Johansson. It was two from two for the young Frenchman with four races to go.
Heat race three saw the drivers driving around Hell in Norway in another race with wet conditions. Baptiste started on pole for this one alongside Johansson. Hus opted for the early joker on lap one which would pay dividends for him at the end of the race.
An incredible battle ensued between Johansson and Dall’ollmo which ultimately cost them a lot of time. Dall’ollmo and Johansson took the joker on lap four but it was Alexandre Hus who appeared in front and took his first win in the final ahead of teammate Dall’ollmo.
Heat four was once again in Hell but with Heavy rain conditions, making it even tougher for the drivers. It was an all SDL affair on the front row with Hus and Dall’ollmo with Matěja and Marshall behind.
Dall’ollmo went straight for the joker on lap one leaving Hus to lead the race. Hus waited until the last lap to take his joker and came out just in front going into turn two. Dall’ollmo pulled off an incredible overtake around the outside of turn two to take the lead and the heat race win.
The provisional standings had Dall’ollmo leading by fifteen points over his teammate Hus heading into the final two heat races at Abu Dhabi.
The final heat races were held in dry conditions at the Yas Marina RX circuit. For race five, it was Marshall on pole next to Matěja. A great move from Matěja saw him take the lead into turn one ahead of Marshall. Huge drama ensued later on in the race as Dall’ollmo rolled the car over the kerb in turn one.
Somehow, he managed to get the car going again and push on to secure third in the race. Matěja held on to take a brilliant victory ahead of Hus. Speaking to me afterwards, he said; “It was so awesome to get a win in the finals. I was struggling a bit today so to get a win is just amazing“. Dall’ollmo’s third placed secured him the Top Qualifier spot and pole position for the final.
Heat race six saw Johansson and Baptiste starting on the front row with Dall’olmo right in the middle of the pack. Going into turn one, Dall’ollmo sent it around the outside to take the lead in stylish fashion. Marshall managed some good overtakes to take second as Dall’ollmo went on to win. Alexandre Hus managed third.
It was time for the final. Whoever took the win, became world champion. It was Lydden hill in the wet that was awaiting the drivers and the grid lined up as follows: Dall’ollmo on pole, Hus second, Matěja third, Johansson fourth, Marshall fifth, and Baptiste rounding out the grid in sixth. It all came down to this.
Away from the line and it was Hus who got the better start and opted to dive to the joker immediately. It all went wrong for him however as he made an error in the joker which dropped him a long way off the back of the pack. Dall’ollmo was untroubled out front and pulled a five second lead over second place.
Dave Marshall managed to slot ahead of Daniel Johansson for second, a great result for the Brit. In the end, Killian Dall’ollmo crossed the line to become the DiRT World Series Rallycross champion. Dave Marshall crossed the line to take second ahead of Daniel Johansson.
Killian said afterwards: “It hasn’t sunk in yet. The fact that i’m 16 years old and i’ve won the championship is surreal. I want to thank my team for the support they’ve given and especially to my brother (Quentin) who helped me so much. I can’t believe it!“
The next DiRT Esports is yet to be formally announced, but keep an eye out here for the news.