If Tuesday’s iRacing Rallycross All-Star Invitational presented by Yokohama finale at Charlotte Motor Speedway is any indication, the future of real-world rallycross is in good hands. Hansen Williams Esports driver Henrik Krogstad, last year’s RX2 champion, took a hard-fought victory in the celebrity race, while SET Esports’ Jonne Ollikainen prepared for his RallyX Nordic Lites debut later this week with a win over teammate—and that series’ points leader—Tommi Hallman in a race for the world’s top sim racers.
With 17 entries lined up in the celebrity race, including new additions like ARCA driver Parker Retzlaff, off-road up-and-comers Luke Knupp and Connor Barry, and Vermont SportsCar CMO Chris Yandell, who would prevail in the first race was anyone’s guess. First-corner contact in the final shuffled the already-inverted grid and knocked Conor Daly, fresh off of leading the most laps in the Indianapolis 500, out of the top spot, with Yandell taking the lead over Krogstad, Retzlaff, and former RX2 front-runner Tanner Whitten. Krogstad would fight his way into the lead on Lap 4, forcing Yandell to take the Joker Lap, and never looked back. Whitten would eventually prevail over Retzlaff in the fight for the final podium spot, with Subaru Motorsports USA’s Brandon Semenuk completing the top five.
In the sim racer event, much of the field swapped into the venerable Volkswagen Beetle for the finale, but Kevin Ellis Jr. prevented a Beetle sweep of the preliminary rounds in his Subaru WRX STI by joining defending iRX World Champion Yohann Harth, Ollikainen, and Killian Dall’olmo as a heat winner. The final, meanwhile, saw an epic battle among the front-runners where four different drivers were scored as lap leaders. When all was said and done, though, it was Ollikainen who would lead just one lap—the most important one—to squeeze out a victory over Hallman by .665 seconds. Harth would complete the podium ahead of Jakob Rafoss and Jake Robertson, two of iRX’s most promising young guns.
When all was said and done, well over 60 drivers participated in the four-event iRX All-Star season this spring, ranging from real-world rallycross drivers to crossover racers, action sports athletes to the world’s fastest and most popular sim racers.
Results from the iRX All-Star Invitational presented by Yokohama celebrity final at Charlotte Motor Speedway were as follows:
|7||2||99||Jonas X Fors||Volkswagen||10||-31.343||0||43.198|
|10||1||20||Conor Daly||Subaru||9||-1 L||0||44.573|
Results from the iRX All-Star Invitational presented by Yokohama sim racer final at Charlotte Motor Speedway were as follows:
|10||2||98||Kevin Ellis Jr||Subaru||8||-2 L||0||41.649|
The attention now shifts to the upcoming iRX Pro Qualifying Series, which will serve as a standalone series for the first time when it launches later this summer. Further details will be announced in the coming weeks. For more information on iRacing and for special offers, visit www.iracing.com.
Images via Hansen Williams Esports (1); Jonne Ollikainen/SET Esports (2)