DiRT World Series semi-finalist Quentin Dall’olmo secured the win in the second round of the World RX Esports invitational which took place at Montalegre.
A star-studded field lined up for this second event. Former F1 driver Mika Salo made his esports debut as did multiple V8 Supercars champion, Shane Van Gisbergen. 2019 World RX champion Timmy Hansen and his brother Kevin Hansen also lined up on the grid.
Other familiar faces from World RX also joined the grid; Matvey Furazhkin, Oliver Bennett, Timo Scheider, Reinis Nitiss, and Rokas Baciuska. Formula E championship leader Antonio Felix da Costa was a welcome addition to the Portuguese round of the championship as too was WEC driver Nicki Thiim, Conner Martell, and Blake “Bilko” WIlliams.
DWS RX champion Killian Dall’olmo joined his brother Quentin on the grid with DWS Rally and RX finalist, Lukáš Mateja making up the Esports contingent. Finally, rally drivers Mattias Adielsson & Jon Armstrong, RX2 Driver Henrik Krogstad , and YouTuber, Fail Race, took up the last spots on the grid.
Four qualifying heats were held to decide the grids for the semi-finals. It was Quentin Dall’olmo who took the top qualifier spot ahead of his brother Killian with Lukáš Mateja taking third making it an esports one, two, and three.
Armstrong was fourth ahead of Timmy Hansen and Adielsson. Van Gisbergen put on an impressive performance to secure seventh in the heats. Krogstad, Baciuska, and Kevin Hansen were the last to make it through to the semis with the rest being eliminated.
Lining up for semi-final one were Quentin Dall’olmo, Lukáš Mateja, Timmy Hansen, Van Gisbergen, and Baciuska. Mateja and Dall’olmo got the best starts with Hansen in hot pursuit. Dall’olmo and Mateja fought side-by-side for half a lap before Dall’olmo managed to nip in front.
Contact with Hansen in the final sector put Mateja in the wall slightly and lost him time. Baciuska’s early joker paid off and it brought him out in front of Mateja and Hansen. Mateja tried to hard to pass Baciuska but made contact with the Lithuanian’s rear-end sending him into a spin and ending his chances of a final spot.
Dall’olmo was untroubled out front and secured the win. A penalty for Baciuska gifted Van Gisbergen second and Mateja recovered to third.
Semi-final two saw Killian Dall’olmo lining up with Armstrong, Adielsson, Krogstad, and Kevin Hansen. Dall’olmo got the jump into turn one ahead of Armstrong and Krogstad. Plenty of bollards flew as drivers pushed to try and secure their spots.
Armstrong waited until lap five to joker and just about managed to get out in front of Krogstad who had yet to take to the joker. Untroubled out front was Killian who secured the win ahead of Armstrong and Adielsson.
Adielsson secured his spot in the final by setting a faster time than Mateja in his semi-final. The grid was set and it was time for the final.
The Dall’olmo brothers lined up next to one another with Van Gisbergen in the middle and Armstrong and Adielsson on the outside. Killian appeared to have had an incredible start which was initially thought to have been caused by the green light bug but later turned out to be a jump start.
Killian received a twenty second penalty for the jump start and was already on the back foot as he dived into the joker. Van Gisbergen and Adielsson followed. Van Gisbergen hit the wall in turn three which spun him into Adielsson.
The pair got going again but a desperate move from Adielsson up the inside two corners later sent Van Gisbergen around and out of contention. Adielsson received a ten-second penalty for the contact.
Killian was the clear pace setter and managed to jump his brother at the joker merge on lap five.
Ultimately, it was no use as Quentin secured the win on penalties ahead of Armstrong and Van Gisbergen in third, awarded thanks to Adielsson’s penalty.
The World RX Esports invitational has been well received by fans of the sport but has also received criticism from long standing esports drivers who believe that the event doesn’t showcase the very best of the DiRT esports community.
Either way, round three is set to be announced shortly so stay tuned to The Checkered Flag for when that announcement comes.