Timmy Hansen survived a number of on-track incidents to claim the first World RX Esports series title at Killarney in South Africa as Shane van Gisbergen won the season finale.
Hansen was hit with a qualifying penalty and then was involved in a final clash with championship rival Tom Blomqvist, but was able to beat the Brit by four points in the standings.
Hansen, who claimed the title despite not winning a single round, won on the road in Q3 but was slapped with a five-second penalty for contact with van Gisbergen; the infraction dropped him from second to seventh.
It wasn’t enough to stymie his overall championship ambitions however, and Hansen still finished qualifying in second, behind Norway winner Blomqvist, and won his semi-final.
However in that final Blomqvist, who jokered early, chased down Hansen and put the real-world champion into the wall at the hairpin on the lap four of the six-lap final.
Despite the collision with Hansen, Blomqvist held on for second ahead of South African wildcard David Perel and behind event winner van Gisbergen.
The New Zealander, who missed the previous event at Höljes, dropping him out of championship contention, led from the start in the final, and was untroubled on his way to his second win of the season.
Hansen was able to recover to finish fourth in the five-car final, passing Höljes winner Jonathan Pailler as the pair raced to the line.
With his win, van Gisbergen became the only driver to win multiple events in the four-round series, and locked him into third overall in the final season points ahead of title contender Kevin Hansen, an impressive result for the full-time circuit racer and part-time drifter.
A first lap incident for Kevin Hansen in the first semi-final ended his hopes of a championship crown. After being collected in a multi-car incident, the World RX race winner spun in the dirt. The incident dropped him out of the transfer spot and out of the final.
Timmy Hansen’s triumph in the World RX Esports competition comes after his real-world World RX championship win last year, and his Race of Champions virtual win last month.
In the separate competition for Esports professionals, Killian Dall’olmo cruised to the championship, being awarded the title before the final had even been connected by virtue of his key rivals failing to qualify for the main event.
Dirt 2.0 rallycross world champion Lukáš Matěja spun after making contact with a barrier early on in his semi-final, while in the second Quentin Dall’olmo was penalized for making a huge corner cut at turn 1 after making contact with John Harris.
In the final, Killian Dall’olmo won for the second time this season, ahead of Tommi Hallman, and Jonne Ollikainen.