200 drivers, distributed among 50 cars, started on Saturday afternoon at 15:00 for the virtual 24h of Le Mans in rFactor 2. Numerous professionals from Formula 1, FIA WEC, and various GT racing classes took part. In the end, the Rebellion Williams Esport secured the overall victory, while the newly founded Porsche Esports team dominated the GTE class.
It was a sim-racing megaevent of the top class. Last Saturday from 3 p.m. onwards, the engines roared upon the legendary 24-hour circuit in Le Mans, France. Drivers such as Max Verstappen, Lando Norris, and Fernando Alonso started the unique virtual 24h of Le Mans. In the end, the Rebellion Williams Esport team was declared the winner.
Rebellion Williams Esport wins virtual 24h Le Mans race
200 drivers from 37 countries in 50 cars: Yep, the field of participants in the virtual 24h of Le Mans race was absolutely impressive. A mega-event that was also very well received by the audience. About 13 million viewers watched the race, which was broadcast in a 24-hour live stream on TV stations in 57 countries. Again and again, the race was overshadowed by minor technical problems. In the end, the car with the starting number 1 of Rebellion Williams Esport was able to rejoice in the victory in the LMP class.
Professional racers Louis Deletraz and Raffaele Marciello together with sim racers Nikodem Wisniewski and Kuba Brzezinski drove their LMP-2 bolide type Oreca 07 the fastest over the 13.6 km long track and thus secured the overall victory. A total of 371 laps were driven.
The second place went to the ByKolles team, which started the race from grid position 1. A technical defect threw the race car of drivers Tom Dillmann, Esteban Guerrieri and sim racers Jernej Simoncic and Jesper Pedersen far behind. Still, in the second half of the race, the team fought its way back to second place.
The Frenchman Pierre Gasly, who competes for Alpha Tauri in Formula 1, secured the 5th place with his teammates Jean-Eric Vergne, Jarno Opmeer, and Isaac Gillissen and thus the best position among all F1 drivers who were followed by bad luck in the virtual 24h of Le Mans.
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Top 5 for this first edition of the virtual 24hours of Le Mans. Never thought I would get that excited during a virtual racevery cool experience. It really makes me want to participate in reality one day! But for now, time to sleep... pic.twitter.com/SQEvFPmvR9— PIERRE GASLY FR (@PierreGASLY) June 14, 2020
Porsche dominates GTE class
In the GTE class, in which a total of 20 cars from Aston Martin, Chevrolet, Ferrari, and Porsche competed, the newly founded Porsche Esports Team dominated the racing action.
The #93 Porsche, which started the race from pole position, secured an almost unchallenged start-finish victory and crossed the finish line first with a one-lap lead. Behind the wheel were Nick Tandy, Ayhancan Güven, Tommy Östgaard, and Joshua Rogers.
#LeMans24Virtual Winners!! 5 years ago today we celebrated on the top step at LM. Today I can't join my awesome team mates @TommyOstgaard @JKRogers_92 @AyhancanGuven and all the amazing Porsche team so we're having our own podium at home pic.twitter.com/8txR6Y30uz— Nick Tandy (@NickTandyR) June 14, 2020
For most of the race, the Corvette of Romain Grosjean's R8G team based around Daniel Juncadella and Mathias Beche was the biggest competitor until a collision with an LMP race car through no fault of their own destroyed their chances for victory.
Nicki Thiim, Richard Westbrook, Lasse Sörensen, and sim racer Manuel Biancolilla secured second place for the Aston Martin with start number 95.
Last weekend, the virtual 24h of Le Mans race was the replacement for the real-life motorsport event, which was postponed to September 19-20 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
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