Tom Blomqvist kept it clean in the final to win the second World RX Esports event at Hell in Norway by over half a second from Shane van Gisbergen.
The six-lap final looked set to be a straight fight between real-world World Rallycross Champion Timmy Hansen and Shane van Gisbergen, winner of the first Esports event.
Both won in their qualifying and semi-final races, and while the Red Bull-backed drivers battled over position in the final, sportscar racer Blomqvist was able to capitalize on the clear air at the front of the field.
Hansen led at the start and had a comfortable gap at the front after the first lap, but sensing an attack from the fast van Gisbergen – who had jokered on the opening lap – he uncharacteristically went for the longer route on lap two.
The plan didn’t pay off, as he emerged behind van Gisbergen and the New Zealander began to pull away. Hansen meanwhile fell into the clutches of Marius Bermingrud, who had also jokered with van Gisbergen on lap one.
Bermingrud briefly got by Hansen at turn two on lap four, but contact from Henrik Krogstad as he emerged from the joker allowed Hansen to retake the position straight away.
Blomqvist ended up in clear air as the others battled and he began the final lap, having not jokered, with a 3.7s lead. Despite making a mistake on the longer route, he was able to maintain the gap to beat van Gisbergen and Hansen for the win. Krogstad and Bermingrud completed the five-car final field.
Blomqvist’s win very nearly didn’t happen after he finished his semi-final in fifth place – only the top two drivers from each race, plus the fastest third place driver made the cut.
However post-race penalties for Kevin Hansen, Martin Enlund, and Sivert Svardal reshuffled the finishing order, pushing the younger Hansen brother from second to third, with a time slower than Bermingrud who took third in the other semi-final race.
The victory for Blomqvist, who was the only driver to beat van Gisbergen on track in the first Esports Abu Dhabi-based event three weeks ago, moves him up to third in the points behind the round one winner and Hansen. Van Gisbergen so far has taken 55 points from a possible 60, and holds a six-point lead over 2019 World RX champion and 2018 Nitro Rallycross winner Hansen.
In the Esports professionals final, Killian Dall’olmo headed home brother Quentin, both making a late joker work to keep ahead of the rest of the pack.
John Harris, who jokered early on, overhauled Lukáš Mateja and Tommi Hallman late on as the latter took the longer route on the final lap.
Mateja, who also jokered early with Harris, took fourth, with Hallman completing the field.