Following the announcement of the new official 24 Hours of Le Mans and World Endurance Championship game, Le Mans Ultimate, the Le Mans Virtual Series esports competition will have a new platform.
A joint venture between the Automobile Club de l’Ouest and Motorsport Games, the first 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual happened in 2020 in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This was then expanded in 2021, with the first Le Mans Virtual series which incorporated the 2022 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual, and then repeated in 2022/23.
However, the most-recent 24-hour esports event was beset by technical challenges on the decade-old rFactor 2 platform. The championship, and day-long race, will now return at an unknown date using the upcoming Le Mans Ultimate game, developed by Studio 397, instead.
“We will be bringing the Le Mans Virtual Series, the biggest racing esports series to the Le Mans Ultimate platform in the near future,” reads the game’s website.
Interestingly, it seems like the new platforms’ online multiplayer, entitled RaceControl, will be used, in some form, to allow access to the events.
“Through the official content and new multiplayer features we will further expand the reach, accessibility and participation – creating a ladder of opportunity for players of all abilities and those with limited time to take part in official events and series,” continues the FAQ.
Clearly, what format this will take and the dates of the events are yet to be determined, and the title only has an expected launch date of December 2023. Meanwhile, the venerable rFactor 2 is looking for alpha applicants to test new online features.
“This year the 24 Hours of Le Mans celebrates its centenary and the prestige of the race is unparalleled. It is only natural, in this new golden age of endurance, for fans to want to experience racing first-hand, or almost. Today’s video games give them just that opportunity,” said the President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, Pierre Fillon.
“In the wake of the undisputed success of the Le Mans Virtual Series and the Virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans, Le Mans Ultimate is the… ultimate game when it comes to simulating the sensations racing drivers feel at the wheel.”
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