Tuesday | 08 Feb 2022

Kazunokota sets pace at eSports WRC Championship opener

Kazunokota made a dream start to the 2022 eSports WRC Championship campaign by taking victory at Rallye Monte-Carlo on Monday.

The championship opener comprised two classic Rallye Monte-Carlo stages within the WRC 10 game. Up first was the Agnières-en-Devoluy blast, followed by a nighttime jaunt through La Bollène-Vésubie reverse.

The Japanese star shone on their eRally Drivers team debut to set the pace on both treacherous speed tests. Kazunokota eventually claimed victory by 3.369sec in a Toyota Yaris machine. 

NoGrip Rally Team driver Zeniou was Kazunokota’s closest challenger, whilst 2021 runner-up Sami-Joe completed the podium a mere 1.817sec behind.

Zeniou was later hit with a one-round suspended disqualification for failing to upload time and replay data for SS2. However, on the basis of information available on the server as well as other evidence provided, the organisers confirmed Zeniou’s Rallye Monte-Carlo result.

Reigning champion Nexl was on a charge, but the Frenchman was unable to trouble the leading trio. He ended 2.508sec down on old foe Sami-Joe, with Yaris regular Botti Jr rounding off the top five for the Williams Esports squad. 

Former eSports WRC event winner Izamusing placed sixth followed by solo pilot CrsedMickey, who ended with just 1.148sec in hand over Izamusing’s Race Clutch teammate RC Kriim.

Machinelv claimed their maiden top-ten eSports WRC result with ninth, whilst Twisted-riders driver Raphi rounded out the leaderboard 15.013sec back from the leaders.

The eRally Drivers squad edged Race Clutch by two points to steal an early lead in the teams’ championship, largely thanks to Kazunokota’s winning performance. Championship newcomers Tent Factory Simracers were joint third after tying with Virtual Best Racing on 24 points.

The eSports WRC season continues from 18 - 21 February when the second round is held in Sweden.

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