Tommi Hallman made his iRacing Rallycross World Championship debut as the series got underway at Atlanta Motor Speedway (October 5), the 2019 RX Academy runner-up piloted his Subaru WRX STI rallycross Supercar to a podium finish on his first attempt.
Hallman qualified tenth on the grid for the final, but avoided a chaotic first lap incident after the Atlanta circuit’s jump to climb the order. Taking an early joker to remove himself from traffic, Hallman pushed hard to score a third-place finish.
2018 iRX vice-champion Joni Heikkinen, who made his real-world rallycross debut in RX Academy this season, finished seventh in the final after getting caught up in the first lap melee, but took solid points from the season opener.
The second round taking place next weekend at Daytona International Speedway (12 October).
“It’s amazing to be straight on the podium in my first race,” commented Hallman. “It was actually lucky to be 10th on the grid because after the jump there was some crazy mayhem and I had some time to avoid it. I started iRacing in April, I have some experience in rally and rallycross but I’m still new at this. Joni and Sami-Matti have given me a lot of great advice, especially helping with the setup, so big thanks to them for their help in getting me here, and to SET Esports for the opportunity.”
“I have mixed feelings right now,” reflected Heikkinen. “One week ago I wasn’t sure that I had found the top pace fast enough because Subaru is a new car for me, but now I know that pace is there. My qualifying lap was pretty bad, so to have been fifth and under 0.1 seconds away from pole is pretty positive. There was a lot of small crashes and incidents in every heat and especially in final, so seventh is still okay points. I have to put this behind me and fully focus on the next race. I’m very happy that Sami-Matti and Tommi had their results, it makes it much easier to forget my disappointment when they succeed.”