Fraser McConnell will become the latest star from the RX2 International Series presented by Cooper Tires to join the virtual World Championship grid this weekend, when he takes to the track for the next round of the World RX Esports Series at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit.
McConnell was one of the standout performers in RX2 last year – his maiden campaign in the official World RX feeder series. Reaching the podium first time out with second place in Barcelona – after pulling off a memorable, crowd-pleasing round-the-outside overtake on Olsbergs MSE team-mate Jesse Kallio – the Jamaican was a leading contender throughout and replicated his Catalan result in the Cape Town finale to secure fourth spot in the overall standings.
An RX2 returnee in 2020, due to the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic and consequent calendar reshuffles, McConnell has not competed in anger since that South African showdown last November. On Sunday (31 May), however, he is set to return to action – virtually, at least – in the third instalment of the hugely popular World RX Esports Series.
A joint initiative between World Rallycross Championship promoter IMG, racing game developer Codemasters and esports specialist Motorsport Games, the World RX ESports Series uses DiRT Rally 2.0 on PC via Steam
Following in the wheeltracks of fellow RX2 protagonist Henrik Krogstad – who very nearly made the final last time out at Montalegre – and two-time series champion Oliver Eriksson, McConnell is ready to test his mettle against an all-star field that includes rivals of the calibre of FIA World Touring Car Cup ace Esteban Guerrieri, former DTM and FIA European F3 race-winner Tom Blomqvist and Australian V8 Supercar front-runner Scott Pye.
“I’m feeling pretty pumped!” the 21-year-old enthused. “I’ve always been into racing games but I took a special liking to DiRT Rally 2.0, so this weekend will be a true testament to my hours invested into the game! I’m super excited about the way in which esports has grown in recent months; it’s a great way to keep competing during the lockdown period and retain your racer’s edge.
“I’ve been getting in some practice and comparing my times against those set in the real-world event last year, and I followed Oli and Henrik’s progress closely in the first two rounds of the season. The racing so far has been pretty intense with no quarter asked or given, but I’m more than up for a fight!
“It will be my first competitive environment since the end of last year, which makes it that much more special – and as much as I miss my RX2 family, I’ll finally be able to say that I’ve started a World RX event, so I’ll definitely be giving it my all!”
To see how Fraser gets on, make sure you tune into the RX2 Facebook page from 14h30 CET on Sunday (31 May).