The results from the first round of WRC Esports 2022 came as quite a shock to the virtual rallying community. Sami-Joe Abi Nakhle has been the standout performer in WRC Esports over the past 12 months, winning 12 out of 13 qualifying rounds in the 2021 edition.
Although he fell short to rival Nexl in the 2021 Esports WRC Grand Final, Sami-Joe was still seen as the driver to beat in 2022 but had to settle for third position behind TNG_Zeniou and eR Kazunokota in first.
Normal service has been resumed however, as the second round in Sweden saw the Lebanese teenager take a narrow win over Lohan Blanc – known in-game as Nexl – with Monte-Carlo winner Kazuho Iwata – aka eR Kazunokota – rounding out the podium.
The gap separating the top two was only 1.2s, with third a further 0.4s behind, demonstrating the competitiveness of the field over 26km of snowy stages.
Sami-Joe took the lead on the first stage at Karlstad, crossing the line with a slender 0.04s advantage over Nexl. The second stage saw Nexl snatch the lead over the 8.77km of Vargåsen. Sami-Joe struck back on the final stage in convincing fashion, taking the stage victory – and rally win – by over a second.
The championship standings after Round Two are as tight as can be, with Sami-Joe and eR Kazunokota tied on 40 points at the top. Nexl is in third, ten points behind the leading duo.
In the Teams Final Standings, Nexl’s Race Clutch team has a five-point advantage over eRally Drivers, thanks to team-mate Izamusing’s consistent results.
The WRC Esports 2022 competition is open to anyone with a copy of WRC10 on PlayStation, Xbox or PC, with qualification for the next round now open. Running from 4th-7th March, Rally Spain switches from Snow to Tarmac, and the drivers will face the fearsome cuts of Catalunya.
WRC ESPORTS 2022, ROUND 2, RESULTS
- RC LDLC OL Nexl
- eR Kazunokota
- RC Izamusing
- VBR Hujda
- ER Kanweex
- ER Marc33
- Wil Botti Jr