iRX: Jonne Ollikainen collects first victory in 2021 at Brands Hatch
The fourth round of the iRacing Rallycross World Championship Presented by Yokohama concluded on Wednesday night with a new winner on the season. This week, the series took to the Brands Hatch Rallycross circuit and it was Jonne Ollikainen collecting his first victory of 2021.
Ollikainen was able to defeat the Subaru Motorsports USA duo of Jon Robertson and Yohann Harth in the feature race. It’s his third career series victory, and it brings the gap to the points lead down to eight behind Robertson entering Barcelona next week.
QUALIFYING AND HEATS
Robertson was the fastest man in qualifying once again, collecting his third pole position of the season. Ollikainen put down the second fastest lap, and they were both followed by Kevin Ellis Jr, Tommi Hallman, Vicente Salas and Killian Dall’olmo. The Top 6 in qualifying, as always, collect points.
The first heat saw an impressive start by Robertson, clearing the field easily before the first corner. Behind, it was a mess. Salas was getting moved by fellow eNASCAR driver Garrett Manes while Alex Bergeron was able to pull away. Salas wound up in the barrier while Robertson and Bergeron advanced.
Heat two was solid at the front of the field. Wherever these drivers all started, they were able to finish in the same position. Ollikainen wound up winning and Dall’olmo took the second transfer spot.
There was chaos in the third heat. As Ellis Jr and Jarno Leskinen were able to get away cleanly, the other five drivers were in shambles. It wasn’t another Rahal Letterman Lanagan Esports heat sweep as Jake Robertson was badly torn up in the process. Ellis Jr and Leskinen advanced.
Finally, the last heat had Hallman on point, but it was Harth who was able to squeak by into the first corner. Harth and Hallman pulled away largely from the rest of the pack and easily advanced. The rest all went into the LCQ races.
C-MAIN AND B-MAIN LCQ’S
As these LCQ’s have been, it was full body contact into the first corner in the C-Main. Not a single car escaped at least two incident points on the first lap alone. Beau Albert managed to get ahead out of the mayhem, but his Logitech G Altus Esports machine was destroyed.
He held on as long as he could, but Rasmus Tuominen was able to take the Joker at the right time to win his place into the feature.
The second LCQ, the B-Main, wasn’t as gnarly, as Luis Núñez scooted away from the chaos and out to a large lead. The rest couldn’t seem to keep running into each other, and Núñez took the final transfer spot.
Usually, when we’ve gotten to the main event, the aggression isn’t as high as it needs to be for the desperation seen in the LCQ’s.
That was thrown out the window, as not only did the two Subaru Motorsports USA drivers go at it, costing themselves the lead to Ollikainen, but the rest of the field piled in to the fracas early on.
Bergeron managed to get up on two tires as Leskinen found his car underneath the No. 15 before Turn 2. Ellis Jr ate a tire barrier while Hallman played the safe route, avoiding the majority of the incident.
With the Joker lap taking a longer time to complete at Brands Hatch, there would be no last lap crazy moves for the win. It didn’t matter, because Ollikainen was untouchable, leading all 10 laps en route to victory.
BRANDS HATCH MAIN EVENT RESULTS
- 44 Jonne Ollikainen – SET Esports – 10 LAPS
- 90 Yohann Harth – Subaru Motorsports USA +0:02.417 sec
- 86 Jon Robertson – Subaru Motorsports USA +0:02.486 sec
- 87 Tommi Hallman – SET Esports +0:05.449 sec
- 14 Luis Núñez – Logitech G Altus Esports +0:06.830 sec
- 22 Rasmus Tuominen – SET Esports Team GRX +0:09.920 sec
- 18 Killian Dallolmo – SET Esports Team GRX +0:15.416 sec
- 15 Alex Bergeron – Jim Beaver Esports +0:21.748 sec
- 30 Kevin Ellis Jr – Rahal Letterman Lanagan Esports +1 LAP
- 52 Jarno Leskinen – Hansen Williams Esports +3 LAPS
After four races, Robertson leads by only eight points over Ollikainen. Hallman is 35 points behind the leader after Brands Hatch. The defending champion Harth moves up to fourth, 39 points out of the lead. The ten drivers that were in the Top 10 last week continue through for another week above relegation.
POINTS FOLLOWING RACE #4 – BRANDS HATCH
- Jon Robertson – 102 points | 2 wins
- Jonne Ollikainen – 94 points | 1 win
- Tommi Hallman – 67 points | 1 win
- Yohann Harth – 63 points
- Kevin Ellis Jr – 58 points
- Vicente Salas – 50 points
- Killian Dallolmo – 41 points
- Jarno Leskinen – 37 points
- Jake Robertson – 34 points
- Rasmus Tuominen – 32 points
The iRacing Rallycross World Championship Presented by Yokohama heads to Barcelona next week. As always, the iRacing Rallycross All-Stars will take the field first. The All-Stars at Brand Hatch was a smaller field than normal, won by Craig Williams. Traxion Team Streamer Aero was able to take a runner-up finish. Some other Traxion guy finished ninth in the main event.
The Barcelona broadcast next week will be available with multiple options for different languages. The main feed in English will go off on the iRacing Facebook, Twitch, and YouTube pages. The Finnish feed can be viewed on Finnish Sim Racing Association (FISRA). A French version will be on BenjxMotors while a Norwegian cast can be found on the Norwegian SimRacing Channel.
Tune in at 4:00 pm ET, 9:00 pm BST to catch the action!