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With the shut down of sport motor racing has been at the forefront of making the leap to the virtual asphalt.
Formula 1 has been running virtually races for the past month or so, and now one of the iconic events of the motor-racing calendar has moved online with the announcement of the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual will take place next month, using the rFactor2 race game as the sim of choice.
James Allen, President of the Motorsport Network said: “The current pandemic has impacted all of our lives to various degrees, but it has also given sim racing and esports its moment to shine and this event will be the ultimate expression of that. I love the scope of it: The world’s greatest race brought to life on its original scheduled weekend as the world’s greatest esports race. We’ve become the esports provider of choice to many of racing’s largest rights holders and we are proud to work with the ACO and WEC to support this, not just with our world-class Motorsport Games esports operation, but with our entire global media ecosystem.”
The event is earmarked to take place on June 13th and will last the full 24 hours with teams being made up of esports and real-life drivers.
Each team of four will have a minimum of two real race drivers so it will certainly be interesting to see how they fare in comparison to the sim driving experts. Each driver will have to drive for a minimum of four hours and you will, of course, be able to watch the whole thing online.
The actual track gas has been recreated in rFactor2 and you can see the video comparison below.
Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest said: “This first edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual opens a new chapter for our discipline. Current circumstances meant that the 88th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will take place on 19/20th September 2020. However, on 13/14th June, the initial date of our event, there will be a unique event augmenting endurance racing and its values: the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual, with professional drivers and specialists esports gamers racing together. For us, the organizers, for our competitors, our partner, and our fans, we are now impatiently waiting for the start of this unique race on 13th June at 3:00 pm.”
Gérard Neveu, CEO FIA WEC commented: “Since the Le Mans Esports Series was launched two years ago, it’s been very satisfying to see it double in size and visibility year on year. That highlighted to us the huge appetite among the esports community for endurance racing and access to the jewel in the crown of the discipline, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. This 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual event is unique in very many ways, not least that it is not part of LMES, but a stand-alone event. As in real life, it will bring together the crème de la crème of automotive manufacturers, racing teams and drivers plus the world’s best sim racers competing alongside these global names. Truly something for everyone!”