Le Mans Virtual Series: Prodrive FYRA SimSports success runs in Sørensen family
Prodrive FYRA SimSport’s big win at Le Mans Virtual Series all sprouted from Lasse and Marco Sørensen’s shared love for motorsport.
Two brothers. One shared passion for racing.
Little brother Lasse Sørensen, about five years younger than Marco, watched his sibling go through the motions of karting. And when he turned three, he inherited something more than just the typical hand-me-down clothing.
“I got his go-kart from he was three years old,” Sørensen smiled. “And that started the whole thing.”
He won national and international championships in that kart. From there, the Dane moved up to Formula, GT and NASCAR cars. In fact, one of his biggest accomplishments to this day was being crowned the NASCAR Euro Series champion.
“That was a really hard season. It was with a new team that really didn’t have a lot of success before I came. It was like building the whole thing up together. That was one of the most memorable parts.”
It wasn’t until 2021 Sørensen decided to somewhat put down the racing gloves and hop into the wide world of sim racing by creating his own esports company.
Thus, FYRA SimSport was born.
“Obviously, I have my own simulator in the background,” he pointed to his set-up during our Zoom call.
“So, I’m doing a lot of sim between the races in real life, as well. It’s definitely something I spend a lot of time on and I enjoy doing it. And now we have good results with the team. It’s really going in the right direction.”
If you check out its website, the motto is clear: Let’s FYRA it up together. Like a curious cat, I couldn’t help but ask about the inspiration behind the name.
“When you say it in Danish, it doesn’t really make sense,” Sørensen smiled. With a flame logo, it’s almost unmistakable, actually. “It needs to be pronounced as fire, you know. Like a flame. And the reason behind it…a flame is quite aggressive.”
That aggression was felt at The Temple of Speed during the second round of the Le Mans Virtual Series. FYRA’s founder drove the first and final stint at 4 Hours of Monza, finishing second overall and only 0.956 seconds behind R8G Esports’ Risto Kappet. The Prodrive FYRA SimSports car #95 capitalized off of a strategy after a full course yellow.
“We stayed out on rain tyres for a couple of laps more where we lost a lot of time, but then we didn’t have to fuel save for the whole stint. So, when I came out of the pit, there was just a full attack trying to catch the leading car.
“They already saved all the fuel they had and I couldn’t do anything more. It was intense and it was so much fun. And it also just shows how entertaining esports can be.”
Sørensen credits his incredible team behind him and says being able to focus on driving during this past LMVS was critical to alleviating some of the pressure that often comes along with being the team owner, too. Now, he sees himself as a driver whenever he competes.
“Second place in Le Mans Virtual…I think it’s one of the biggest achievements we have done so far. It’s such a high competition and you have so many great teams competing in the championship. Showing that we can be part of that was really enjoyable for me.”
Being a smaller esports team out of Denmark has its perks, though. Sure, there are plenty of monster sim racing squads in the mix these days, which is proof of just how rapidly the industry is growing. However, it’s not about being the big flashy team anymore.
Sim sports are for everyone. And if you have the heart to win, that’s sometimes all it takes…even when your vehicle may not be as fast as your opponents’. On paper, at least.
“It’s so fun to be able to compete against [bigger teams] and also be able to beat them. I mean, obviously they are bigger than us. They have a lot more drivers and probably have a bigger budget than we have. But I think showing that you don’t need many drivers to able to be some of the best in the world, it’s definitely a great achievement for esports as whole,” Sørensen reflected on FYRA’s podium at Monza.
“Showing that you don’t need a lot of money, you don’t need a huge team; you can do it just by having the right amount of drivers and the right people on the team.”
The team boss hopes to keep the winning ways rolling ahead of 6 Hours of Spa on 5th November and has even bigger dreams of an eventual championship at LMVS. A feat that is seemingly more attainable than ever, thanks to the backing of Prodrive.
Which, not surprisingly, is a connection he yet again shares with big bro Marco, who happens to drive for Aston Martin—organized by none other than Prodrive.
The partnership has been a fantastic move, especially since they are very involved behind the scenes and support their journey in the Le Mans Virtual Series wholeheartedly.
Almost a full circle moment for the Sørensen brothers, who continue to share their passion for racing in a unique way both on and off the real-life tracks.
“If you have a dream, just go for it. I didn’t ever expect this esports team would be able to compete with the best in the world. Now we’re here competing against them and also beating them.
“I think if you have an idea or have something that motivates you, just go for it.”
Be sure to cheer on the Prodrive FYRA SimSport team at 6 Hours of Spa by following all of the 2022/23 Le Mans Virtual Series action over on the Traxion.GG YouTube channel on 5th November!