As reported by Motorsport.com, the successful 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual will return after its debut in 2020, and it will also expand into an esports championship, with a new game arriving in 2023.
Last year, the inaugural 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual was held during the time the real-world brethren was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. A roaring success, the award-winning event was watched by over 14.2 million people and shown in 57 different countries.
With the 24 Hours of Le Mans set to run 21st-22nd August as planned, the virtual event will return, but at a different date, as Motorsport Games’ Motorsports Advisor and former WEC CEO Gerard Neveu highlighted:
“I can tell you that the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual, racing at the Circuit de la Sarthe, will be run again this coming winter. We will follow the same route as before, with very famous drivers taking part and a great broadcast for the fans to follow, and we plan to develop the quality of this event to another level.”
2020’s event drew in well-known real-world drivers such as Max Verstappen, Simona de Silvestro, Fernando Alonso, Nelson Piquet Jr, Olivier Panis, Tony Kanaan, Lando Norris, Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello to name a few. It also witnessed Simon Pagenaud take part in a live sim swap.
But a repeat of the 24-hour race event is not all that’s on the cards.
“We shall also develop the Le Mans Virtual into a series of races, a regular esports championship similar to the WEC format. We will use the same model: combining the best esports and pro race drivers, with events at four tracks – with LMP2 and GTE cars as before. Alongside this, there will be races open to the public, so everyone can enjoy,” explained Gerard.
Run in popular racing simulator rFactor 2, we’re interested to see how a series of races will work and what the qualification process and race format will be.
Not content with running an esports series and the headline endurance event, Motorsport Games is also working on a dedicated Le Mans game, in partnership with the Automobile Club de l’Ouest and is currently slated for 2023 – the same year as an INDYCAR release.
If you’re a fan of the French epic, things are about to get a lot more in-depth later this year. Stay tuned for more as soon as we hear it.