Shane Van Gisbergen has claimed his second virtual World Rallycross Championship round win in an enthralling season finale which had defending WRX champion Timmy Hansen edge out Tom Blomqvist for the overall crown.
The trio all cruised through the qualification stages to line up on the front row of the six-lap finale around the Killarney International Circuit in South Africa with Van Gisbergen making a terrific launch to steal the lead in the opening lap.
Hansen slotted in behind the Supercars regular while title rival Blomqvist made a lacklustre getaway and fell to last before Jonathan Pailler made his mandatory joker lap a handful of corners later.
A fast-starting David Perel, making his series debut, went on the attack for second, stealing the position away from Hansen on lap four as the champion elect then made contact with the wall and fell behind Blomqvist in last.
A late charge by Blomqvist saw the GT ace overtake Pailler on the penultimate lap for third which quickly became second as Perel completed his joker lap.
The storied New Zealand karting champion would follow Van Gisbergen all the way to the line as the Red Bull HRT pilot held the lead for all of the six laps in a commanding victory.
Despite finishing last, Hansen had enough of a points margin over Blomqvist to clinch the inaugural series title while Van Gisbergen claimed third having missed the third round due to racing at Sydney Motorsport Park.
Van Gisbergen wasn’t the only Kiwi competing in the virtual field with Jaguar I-Pace racer and ex-SuperTourer champion Simon Evans contesting his debut round, missing out on semi-final spot to finish 14th overall.
The delayed start to the FIA World Rallycross Championship is set to kick off on August 20-23 in Sweden in the first of nine rounds in a quick-fire 2020 season campaign.