It’s becoming a familiar sight in WRC Esports this season. Sami-Joe Abi Nakhle again stood atop the podium of another round of the 2022 WRC Esports championship and now holds a commanding 38-point lead in the title race after his biggest rival – Kazuho Iwata (Kazunokota) – failed to start.
Three gravel stages totalling 22km faced the competitors during Rally Portugal, and John Bebnowicz-Harris (Izamusing) would prove to be Sami-Joe’s closest competitor for victory, the Englishman falling short by just 2.6s to take his best result of the season so far.
With no Fafe jump on the Rally Portugal route, it was left to the Lousada spectator stage to provide the thrills, with the route completed by a run through Arganil Reverse and Felgueiras.
In third position, and taking his third podium of the campaign in the process, was NoGrip Rally Team’s Zeniou Panagioti (TNG_Zeniou). The Cypriot driver now finds himself only nine points off third place in the championship thanks to his consistent perforrmances.
The battle for third place in the Drivers’ Standings looks to be the closest fight remaining in 2022, with Bebnowicz-Harris, Panagioti and 2021 WRC Esports Grand Final winner Lohan Blanc (Nexl) all gunning for the rostrum.
Thanks to Race Clutch’s dominant performance on Rally Portugal, they now have a 59-point lead in the Teams’ Standings, with Iwata’s eRally Drivers team dropping back largely thanks to his non-score. Blanc and Bebnowicz-Harris have yet to win this season, but their consistent top-five finishes will surely guarantee Race Clutch Teams’ honours.
With five rounds remaining, it looks like both WRC Esports Championships are done and dusted unless Iwata can regroup and find his early Rallye Monte-Carlo and Rally de España-winning form.
The tough gravel roads of Rally Italia Sardegna are up next for the WRC Esports drivers, between the 27th and 30th of May. The competition is open to anyone with a copy of WRC10 on Xbox, PlayStation or PC.
WRC ESPORTS 2022, ROUND 8 RESULTS
- RC Izamusing
- RC LDLC OL Nexl
- VBR Siiwu
- Wil Botti Jr
- VBR Hujda
- RC Krim
- Triton Katana