R8G fastest, but Porsche Coanda takes Le Mans Virtual Series pole at Sebring

Justin Melillo
A grid penalty for R8G Esports hands the overall pole position for the 500 Miles of Sebring over to the #23 Porsche Coanda LMP2 following Le Mans Virtual Series qualifying on Friday 2nd December.
R8G fastest, R8G fastest, but Porsche Coanda takes Le Mans Virtual Series pole at Sebringbut Porsche Coanda takes Le Mans Virtual Series pole at Sebring

A truly bizarre ending to the fourth qualifying session of the 2022-23 Le Mans Virtual Series saw the #8 R8G Esports LMP2 team put down the fastest lap of the day, however, they won’t be leading the virtual field to the green flag on Saturday (3rd December) at Sebring.

Due to a penalty stemming from an incident at Spa-Francorchamps last month, the #23 Porsche Coanda factory team will instead lead the field in the 500 Miles of Sebring. Per the broadcast, Article 17 of the Code of Conduct was breached and therefore all R8G Esports teams would have consequences.

With that, all three of the R8G Esports cars in the field will be slapped with 10-place grid penalties for Saturday’s event, including the #8 and #18 LMP2s as well as the #888 Ferrari in the GTE category.

Moving up from the second spot, Josh Rogers laid down the second fastest lap and will be starting from the pole instead with his #23 Porsche Coanda team.

The #8 R8G Esports LMP2, qualified by Marcell Csincsik, will instead start in 11th position following the penalty. Their LMP2 teammates in the #18, qualified on Friday by Ulas Ozyildirim, will drop from fifth down to 15th.

Meanwhile in the GTE class, while the Ferrari’s were all strong, including the #888 R8G Esports Ferrari, it was the #26 SIM Maranello Ferrari, qualified by Christian Malghera, who managed to put it on top of the boards after 20 minutes.

The #888 will fall from second on the grid to 12th out of 16 cars in the GTE category. While the R8G trio all showed immense speed in qualifying, they’ll all be digging out of the holes created from the penalty over 500 miles of racing on Saturday at the Sebring International Raceway.


It truly was a bizarre outing as multiple cars received drive-thru penalties to begin the LMP session, including the points leaders in the #1 Team Redline LMP2. Jeffrey Rietveld sat down outside the Top 10 for nearly the first half of the session due to having to serve the penalty.

Up front, it seemed that the Porsche Coanda teammates, both the #23 and #20, were poised to fight for the pole position. The #8 R8G Esports LMP2 was fast and Csincsik was putting down heaters throughout the session, but that team would be fighting for 11th place at best.

In the final moments, the #23 and the #1 were both able to get a final attempt. The #20, driven by Mitchell deJong, was unable to get to the line in time and could not improve on their time. The #1 wound up bailing on their lap in the final sector, which gave the top time behind R8G to the #23 of Rogers.


18R8G ESPORTS*Marcell Csincsik1:43.511
223Porsche CoandaJoshua Rogers1:43.534
31Team RedlineJeffrey Rietveld1:43.570
420Porsche CoandaMitchell deJong1:43.760
518R8G ESPORTS*Ulas Ozyildirim1:43.912
663AMG Team Petronas EsportsBono Huis1:43.932
753AMG Team Williams EsportsNikodem Wisniewski1:43.994
82Team RedlineLuke Bennett1:44.004
965Panis Racing TeamFlorian Lebigre1:44.044
104Floyd Vanwall-BurstJernej Simončič1:44.103
* = 10 Place Grid Penalty for both #8 R8G Esports and #18 R8G Esports.


With lap times close to two full minutes, the GTE would have even fewer attempts to put laps down than their LMP2 counterparts. The sessions separated as usual, the GTE category kicked things off with a blistering set of times from a handful of Ferrari machines, including both R8G and SIM Maranello.

The factory Ferrari in the #51, driven by Kasper Stoltze, just wasn’t able to match the pace from their Ferrari counterparts in the #26 of Malghera and the #888 of Risto Kappet. Although it looked like Ferrari had the upper hand, the #71 BMW Team Redline BMW driven by Kevin Siggy was still a factor as well.

That #26 was unstoppable, and although the #888 got close, the real threat came from the #71 of Siggy, who just missed out by 0.045 seconds. Both the #26 and #71 will lead the GTE field to the green on Saturday while the #888 falls to 12th following the penalty.


126SIM MaranelloFerrari 488Christian Malghera1:56.381
2888R8G ESPORTS*Ferrari 488Risto Kappet1:56.401
371BMW Team RedlineBMW M8Kevin Siggy1:56.426
451SF Velas Esports TeamFerrari 488Kasper Stoltze1:56.649
577Proton Coanda EsportsPorsche 911 RSRCharlie Collins1:56.654
689BMW Team BS+COMPETITIONBMW M8Ferris Stanley1:56.841
766SIMMSA EsportsFerrari 488Patrick Schindler1:56.942
8777D’station RacingAston Martin VantageToshiya Nojima1:56.984
988Proton Coanda EsportsPorsche 911 RSRKevin van Dooren1:57.015
10111P1 EsportPorsche 911 RSRTurkka Häkkinen1:57.065
* = 10 Place Grid Penalty for #888 R8G Esports Ferrari. Positions 3-12 all move up one spot.


The Le Mans Virtual Series 500 Miles of Sebring will start on Saturday 3rd December at 13:00 BST / 14:00 CEST / 05:00 PT / 08:00 ET. Big names such as two-time Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen, IndyCar star Romain Grosjean and W Series standout Beitske Visser will be joining the grid.

There will be multiple ways to watch, but we hope you watch it with us here on the Traxion.GG YouTube, Facebook and Twitch channels. The 500 Miles of Sebring should last for about four hours of racing.

The 24 Heuers du Mans, FIA WEC and European Le Mans Series YouTube channels, plus the Facebook pages for the FIA WEC and the titular Le Mans Virtual will also carry the event live.

Full disclosure – Traxion.GG is part of Motorsport Games and the Motorsport Games family of brands. All Traxion.GG content is editorially removed from Motorsport Games video game development and created by a dedicated team. Traxion.GG is one of the official media partners of the Le Mans Virtual Series.

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