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Preview: Round 4 of the World RX Esports at Cape Town

Reigning World Rallycross champion Timmy Hansen will bid to claim the series' first Esports title this weekend, at the venue where he claimed his maiden real-world crown last season

The final round of World RX's four-event Esports series takes place on Sunday 12 July, run in conjunction with Motorsport Games, on the Killarney International Raceway circuit on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa, using DiRT Rally 2.0.

Last November Hansen battled Norwegian Andreas Bakkerud for the World RX drivers' crown in a fight that went all the way down the very last race of the year. The pair clashed on the opening lap of the final, and ended the season tied on points. Hansen claimed the title on wins countback.

The Swede recently won the Race of Champions Virtual and returned to real-world competition in the Crosscar category of RallyX Nordic's season opener last weekend, where he was team-mate to WRC driver Thierry Neuville.

He enters the Esports series' finale six points ahead of his closest challenger Tom Blomqvist. While Hansen is yet to win an event in the series, Blomqvist claimed victory in round two at Hell in Norway, while newcomer Jonathan Pailler, a French and European Rallycross Championship regular, scored victory on his debut in round three at Holjes in Sweden.

Three drivers from the 20 entered for the series finale can mathematically take the first World RX Esports crown. Just like in the real-world series last season, Kevin Hansen is third ahead of the final round of the campaign and has an outside shot.

But a fly in the ointment of the top three contenders is likely to be Supercars ace Shane Van Shane van Gisbergen. The New Zealander dominated the series opener in Abu Dhabi, then finished second to Blomqvist in round two, but was forced to miss the third event, just like fellow Supercars come World RX Esports driver Scott Pye, and is now out of title contention.

Other drivers that will be in the fight for the podium include a trio of Norwegians. Yellow Squad RX2 International Series driver Henrik Krogstad has already visited the World RX Esports series podium this year, while Euro RX driver Sivert Svardal and Super1600 round winner Marius Bermingrud displayed strong pace in round three.

2016 Rally Argentina winner Hayden Paddon will make his third start in the series, while former Ferrari Formula 1 driver Mika Salo returns for the finale. Two South African endurance racers in the shape of David Perel and Jordan Pepper also join the line up.

In the Sim category, DiRT Rally 2.0 Rallycross World Series Champion Killian Dall'olmo, racing for the SET Esports team, leads the standings by a single point ahead of brother Quentin Dall'olmo. Czech driver Lukas Mateja is third, 12 points off the lead in the 10-driver field.

Full coverage of the event will begin at 1.30pm BST on Sunday on Motorsport.tv.

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