The first round of the iRacing Rallycross World Championship Presented by Yokohama came down to the final corner of the final lap on Wednesday. In the main event, Tommi Hallman utilized his one and only Joker lap to pass his SET Esports teammate Jonne Ollikainen at the line to win on the Daytona Int’l Speedway Long Rallycross course.
The duo outran both of the new Subaru Motorsports USA drivers this season, Jon Robertson and the defending series champion Yohann Harth, who finished third and fourth respectively. Vicente Salas, Rasmus Tuominen, Josh Fox, Alex Bergeron, Otto Taskinen and Jarno Leskinen rounded out the rest of the main event.
QUALIFYING AND HEATS
This season, like last, the points will be spread out across qualifying, heat races and the main event. There are tons of opportunities to walk away with something even if you don’t make the feature race.
Ollikainen took the pole position and immediately banked six points. Hallman in second got five points. Salas scored four points, Robertson three, Killian Dallolmo two and Kevin Ellis Jr walked away with a point. Four heats of seven drivers each then took the main stage.
The way the points break down, everyone earns some points in their heat. The heat winner earns eight, second place earns seven, and both earn a place in the main event.
In the first heat, Ollikainen was slow out of the gate, but he did have the preferred line on then bottom coming to the line. Tons of contact amongst the seven-car field sent some spinning in different directions. Ollikainen held on for the heat win and Fox finished second. Both moved on to the main event while the rest headed to the C or B main last chance races.
The second heat saw some of the best going head to head up front. While Ellis Jr and Harth battled for the lead, Hallman used a perfect Joker lap to get around them both and into the lead. Perhaps a foreshadowing of the race for the overall win later, Hallman held on as Harth took second to advance onwards.
Heat three was another bloodbath from the start. Salas was able to escape the calamity behind as others such as Luis Núñez and Jake Robertson were collected in the fracas. Salas went on to take the heat with Taskinen following through into the main after finishing second.
The final heat saw a more calm start with some desperation towards the end. Robertson took control and the win while the youngster Leskinen made his way through to finish runner up. With eight spots of ten filled, the final two would come from the winners of the C-Main and the B-Main last chance races.
C-MAIN AND B-MAIN LCQ’S
In both races, only the winner would advance on to the main event. No points would be earned during these races, so it was truly a checkers or wreckers environment. The desperation moves were turned up high as the five-lap final chances went green.
In the C-Main, Tuominen was able to escape the carnage out of the jump on the first lap. While Jake Robertson kept him honest through the entirety of the race, Tuominen held strong and earned his spot in the main event.
For the final shot, the B-Main was a purge-like event from the drop of the rag. At one point, two of the drivers went for a wild ride as they raced for third, one competitor asking what everyone was thinking in that moment. Bergeron got through cleanly and into the lead. Beau Albert chased until the final lap, but Bergeron was able to hold on to take the final starting spot.
Ten cars, ten laps. The field for the main event at Daytona was set for the final race of the day. The race took off fairly clean but after the jump, Leskinen found himself in big trouble. The young driver landed awkwardly and flipped end over end after backing into the tires. He kept it going, and the race for the win was on.
Up front, the two SET Esports teammates of Ollikainen and Hallman held Subaru’s Jon Robertson at bay. Robertson opted for an early Joker lap to take control from the teammates. While Robertson’s hopes were to pull away, Ollikainen answered back with his own Joker lap the next lap to take back the lead. Hallman held on to his, and was able to get by Robertson on the same lap.
Hallman had the pace of his teammate and closed in at the white flag. The Joker can increase times by more than a second at Daytona, so Hallman had to be in striking distance. Going into the final corner, Hallman went right to take the Joker while Ollikainen stayed on the normal path. As they exited the corner, Hallman took the lead and held on for the win.
Leaving Daytona, Hallman has a two point advantage over his teammate Ollikainen. While Robertson holds third like he finished, Salas has fourth instead of Harth due to his qualifying points and heat victory. Seven of the 28 drivers head to Atlanta in the double digits.
- Tommi Hallman – 28 points
- Jonne Ollikainen – 26 points
- Jon Robertson – 21 points
- Vicente Salas – 18 points
- Yohann Harth – 15 points
- Rasmus Tuominen – 11 points
- Josh Fox – 11 points
- Otto Taskinen – 9 points
- Alex Bergeron – 8 points
- Jarno Leskinen – 8 points
The iRacing Rallycross World Championship Presented by Yokohama heads to the Atlanta Motor Speedway Long Rallycross course at the same time next week. Once again, the iRacing Rallycross All-Stars will take the field to open the show before the professionals get a crack shortly after. By the way, Parker Retzlaff took home the Daytona All-Star victory for the first week of the series.
The broadcast 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!