While the real prototypes and GTEs will take to the track on 19/20th September for the 88th edition of the world’s greatest endurance race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, professional racing drivers and esports specialists will settle into their simulator seats on 13/14th June to compete in the biggest esports endurance race ever seen, the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual, organised by the ACO, FIA WEC and Motorsport Games, will open a new era in sim racing. For the first time, teams made up of a combination of professional racing drivers and esports champions will challenge each other on the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans circuit, for 24 hours. It will be the most extreme test seen in the virtual world and it will be broadcast live on TV across the globe.
The principle is simple:
- Team composition: Teams will be composed of 4 drivers: each line up must consist of at least two professional drivers and a maximum of 2 sim racers
- The gaming platform to be used is rFactor 2
- The grid will consist of a maximum of 50 cars
- The cars to be used: LMP2 and GTE. The teams involved are free to create their own car livery.
- Racing conditions: variable weather conditions; dynamic day and night racing; damaged cars can be repaired in the pits; teams will work to create their own set ups to optimise performance. Refuelling and tyre changes are essential criteria. Strategy will be at the heart of the race. A Race Director will ensure sporting behaviour throughout the event.
- Driver changes are compulsory. The minimum driving time over the entire event is 4 hours for each driver. The maximum driving time over the entire race is 7 hours for each driver.
- The graphics, production and imagery will be very high quality. Race commentators and pit reporters will be live from a TV studio in Paris and VIP guests will visit them during the race. This unique race, which will bring together the best drivers in the world and sim racing’s elite gamers will be broadcast widely on multiple audio-visual platforms around the world.
The start of the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual will be given on 13th June at 3 pm (French time).
It’s anything but a game…it’s a real race!
In the coming weeks the entry list will be revealed, as well as numerous other exciting elements which will bring this extraordinary virtual event to life.
Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest: “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 organisers, 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: “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!”
Dmitry Kozko, CEO, Motorsport Games: “Motorsport Games is delighted to be extending its relationship with the ACO and WEC to deliver the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual. It is further proof of the trust that motorsports rights holders have in Motorsport Games to deliver world class, genre defining esports. It promises to be a spectacular event bringing together the worlds of real and virtual racing like never before.”
James Allen, President Motorsport Network: “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.”