Two members of two-time Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso’s eSports team, FA Racing G2 Logitech, made it into the final 18 of the inaugural DiRT eSports World Championships.
After 20,000 entries across three platforms during six weeks of qualifiers were narrowed down, 36 drivers contested the live-streamed quarter-finals on Codemasters’s latest rallying title ‘DiRT 4’.
Drivers, separated by their platform (Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC) tackled two stages of Spain’s asphalt roads and rallycross races at Loheac and Hell, using the official World Rallycross Championship ‘Supercars’.
The PC section of the quarter-finals provided the highest level of competition, with the opening rally stage featuring two members of the Oscaro eSports team separated by just 0.101 seconds at the stage end.
All three members of the Oscaro PC team qualified, with its team manager admitting he “couldn’t have dreamed of making a better start to the championship.”
Spaniard ‘G2 Nestor’, a member of Alonso’s team, recovered from a roll just moments into the first rally stage. He believed his championship was “already over” after the incident, but he bounced back to win the rallycross final at Hell from pole position and earn his place in the semi-finals alongside his team-mate ‘G2 Topa’.
However, the top qualifier on the PC was a member of the Veloce eSports team – British driver John Harris, who is a master’s student in France.
“I’m delighted to have made it through to the semi-finals. It was a shock even to me, the competition is extremely tough, but I really enjoyed testing myself against some of the best drivers in the world,” Harris said.
The PlayStation 4 section saw the greatest disparity in the performance of its drivers across the two disciplines.
For example, Swede ‘xVZombieSlayaaVx”dominated the rally stages, over 15 seconds ahead of his nearest rivals, but finished last of all the runners in the rallycross event after jumping the start and spinning out of frustration.
Frenchman ‘Oscaro Quinto’ topped the overall PS4 standings, with his team-mate and fellow countryman ‘Oscaro Shooteur’ making it five Oscaro drivers out of five qualifying for the semi-finals.
South African racer ‘SixtiethYard333’ dominated the Xbox side, which kicked off the quarter-finals, winning both the rally and rallycross disciplines ahead of Briton ‘Day V M’ and Germany’s ‘KickedinYOOO’.
The semi-finals will take place on Saturday, April 22, with the top six joining the showpiece finale at the Speedmachine festival’s British round of the World Rallycross Championship at Silverstone.
By Josh Suttill Courtesy Autosport