November 22nd, 2019 by Chris Leone
All eyes are on SET Esports’ Sami-Matti Trogen as the Thrustmaster iRacing Rallycross World Championship rolls into its penultimate round of 2019 at Daytona International Speedway. The Finnish driver and real-world RX2 standout for SET Promotion enters Saturday’s event with a chance to lock up the second annual iRX title on the longer rallycross layout at the World Center of Racing.
Trogen kicked off the season with a victory in Atlanta, but it was defending iRX champion Mitchell deJong who scored the victory on the shorter Daytona course in the second round of the season. Despite missing two races afterward, the Coanda Simsport driver climbed back up to second in points thanks to podium finishes in all but one race that he’s run so far this year. But with an 87-point deficit to Trogen, he’ll need to ensure at the very least that he finishes ahead of the Finn to stay in the title hunt in next week’s season finale from Atlanta.
But while Trogen continues to control his championship destiny, it’s his teammate and last year’s runner-up, Joni Heikkinen, who enters this weekend as the series’ most recent winner. Heikkinen survived the early chaos of his heat race and led Trogen from start to finish at Sonoma Raceway, picking up his third career win at one of iRacing’s most exciting rallycross courses. Behind the pair of SET drivers, Bobby Zalenski scored his second straight podium with a third place for Coanda Simsport.
The win enabled Heikkinen to leapfrog to third in the standings, 12 points behind deJong for second. Zalenski is up to fourth, while 2019 race winners Yohann Harth and Otto Taskinen are separated by a single point in fifth and sixth. Williams Esports’ Josh Fox is the last remaining driver to hang on to championship eligibility in seventh, but an unlucky weekend from Sonoma dropped him out of the immediate hunt.
Thrustmaster iRacing Rallycross World Championship action from Sonoma Raceway will kick off on Saturday at 1PM ET/10AM PT on the iRacing eSports Network on Facebook, Twitch, and YouTube. Following this weekend’s race, the season will conclude on November 30 with another visit to Atlanta Motor Speedway.