The DiRT Rally 2.0 World Series Season 2 kicked off in September with the first of 3 live-streamed Qualifying Finals. This is the first opportunity for the rally competitors to earn their place in the Semi-finals, having already proven the quickest in the preceding online qualifying events.
The rally competition began the action with a run through of 3 epic New Zealand stages, each with their own distinctive characteristics but unquestionably roads from down under.
On Xbox, there was one competitor in a class of their own, Jarod Pesch. Jarod, who took part in the World RX Esports Invitationals over summer, won all 3 stages convincingly and ended up a massive 12.7 seconds by the finish. The race for second was much closer, with 2nd – 5th separated by less than 1 second on 2 stages, but it was Karl Reinoja who pipped Robin Sieren by 0.5 seconds to secure the second spot in the Semi-Finals.
|Xbox||Jarod SP7||Jarod Pesch||Australian||1|
|Xbox||ASR Christo1||Christopher Fortunato||French||6|
PlayStation competitors were the next to tackle the challenging stages. Tiana Rakotonaivo took an early lead winning the first two stages, but the battle for second was where the action was with 2nd, 3rd and 4th separated by a mere 0.05 seconds after the first stage. The tight and technical sections in the final sectors of stage 3 spread the field out, leaving Robin Jonsson to secure the stage win, and guaranteed his place in the semi-final along with Tiana. An unlucky crash early in stage 1 unfortunately put Dorian Martin out of contention.
The final platform to run was Steam, and the heavyweight battle was between Joona Pankkonen and Lukáš Matěja. Joona, the Season 1 DRWS Champion, had a slow start to stage 1, but by the end of the 4.5 miles stage the advantage was just under 0.4 seconds. Stage 2 was just as close, with the top two separated by 0.2 seconds, this time Lukáš clinching the stage win. The wet conditions proved a challenge for Maxiem Wagenaar who had an off-track excursion down a slippery bank losing several seconds. Joona and Lukáš both go through the Semi-Finals after finishing 1-2 in stage 3, Lukáš showing his rear-wheel-drive control and a winning margin just over 1 second.
|Steam||Joona P||Joona Pankkonen||Finnish||2|
|Steam||DNC Skuzza||Ray Cobbing||British||3|