World RX Esports series heads to Norway as Paddon joins field
Former Supercars champion Shane Van Gisbergen leads the World Rallycross Championship’s Esports series order into the second round at the Hell circuit in Norway this weekend, having dominated the series opener held on the Yas Marina Circuit.
Only beaten once on track in round one, Van Gisbergen holds a nine-point advantage over 2019 World RX title-contender brothers Timmy and Kevin Hansen, tied in second.
The leading trio continue to race Peugeot 208s in Norway, but campaigning an Audi S1 will be a driver new to World RX’s Esports field for the Hell event, former World Rally Championship round winner Hayden Paddon, the New Zealander having already experienced real-world rallycross in the Titans RX Europe series, and in testing the Projekt E electric rallycross car in Austria last year.
The undulating Lankebanen circuit in Hell, Norway is located near the town of Trondheim, and has been part of the World Rallycross schedule since the series’ inception in 2014. The 1019-meter layout includes a first-corner joker lap and an asphalt / gravel split of 63% / 37%.
Scott Pye joins Van Gisbergen in representing the Australian Supercars, having set a best time of ninth in qualifying in round one, but it was endurance racer Tom Blomqvist of the debutant circuit racing drivers to make the final in the Abu Dhabi event, and eventually finish fourth, just behind Norwegian Henrik Krogstad in the battle for the final podium spot.
Other World RX regulars in the field include GC Kompetition driver Rokas Baciuska and 2019 ES Motorsport driver Matvey Furazhin, but Munnich Motorsport driver and two-time DTM Champion Timo Scheider will miss the event, the German team instead represented by an Esports rallycross debut for one of the squad’s other WTCR drivers Nestor Girolami, following an appearance for fellow Argentine Esteban Guerrieri in round one.
Dane Kelvin Van Der Linde is another returnee, having made the semi-finals in round one.
One-time British Touring Car Championship driver and Clio Cup UK title-contender Max Coates, who made his rallycross debut in the RX150 buggy division of the British series last year will make his first rallycross Esports start.
Italian rally driver Tamara Molinaro and fellow European Rally Championship regular Orhan Avcioglu are also among the rallycross Esports debutants this weekend as part of the 20-driver line-up.
In the Sim category, round one podium finishers Quentin D'allOlmo, Lukas Mateja and DiRT 2.0 Rallycross World Champion Killian D'allOlmo will start among the favourites, with a pair of Swedes joining the field in the shape of Daniel Johansson and Johan Lundqvist, capable of upsetting the order in Hell.
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