Qualifying for the opening round of the 2022-23 Le Mans Virtual Series concluded on Friday afternoon. With the fastest laps in both the GTE and LMP fields, Team Redline will have the best chance in both classes to win on Saturday in the 8 Hours of Bahrain.
Both Jeffrey Rietveld in the No. 1 Team Redline LMP entry and Kevin Siggy in the No. 71 BMW Team Redline BMW M8 GTE return as defending champions of the Le Mans Virtual Series. Both in the cars for qualifying on Friday, they secured the top spots for their respective rides to begin their title defense.
In the LMP ranks, Jernej Simončič was able to put his No. 4 Floyd Vanwall-Burst LMP into the outside pole position out of 24 qualifiers in the class. As for the GTE class, Dayne Warren will start alongside the front row after placing his No. 77 Proton Coanda Esports Porsche 911 RSR GTE in second out of 16.
LMP: RIETVELD SECURES DOUBLE POLE FOR TEAM REDLINE
Each class of cars were given 20 minutes to set their fastest laps, and each team of three drivers designated a single driver to take control and put it as high up the qualifying order as possible.
GTE class was on first, but the LMP cars, the quicker of the two classes, will start at the front of the field. After the BMW Team Redline entry took pole, the No. 1 Team Redline entry was able to do the same 20 minutes later with a stunning lap around Bahrain International Circuit by Rietveld.
The other Team Redline LMP was qualified by the most recent Porsche TAG Heuer Supercup champion over on the iRacing platform, Diogo Pinto. Pinto was able to score a fourth starting spot behind their teammates, the Simončič-driven Floyd Vanwall-Burst No. 4, and the No. 8 R8G Esports entry which was qualified by Marcell Csincsik.
BAHRAIN LMP QUALIFYING TOP 10
|1||1||Team Redline||Jeffrey Rietveld||1:41.160|
|2||4||Floyd Vanwall-Burst||Jernej Simončič||1:41.379|
|3||8||R8G ESPORTS||Marcell Csincsik||1:41.462|
|4||2||Team Redline||Diogo Pinto||1:41.483|
|5||28||YAS HEAT VELOCE||Marko Pejic||1:41.518|
|6||23||Porsche Coanda||Joshua Rogers||1:41.552|
|7||36||Alpine Esports||Tom Lartilleux||1:41.595|
|8||53||AMG Team Williams Esports||Nikodem Wisniewski||1:41.634|
|9||444||Nextview Vanwall-Burst||Dawid Mroczek||1:41.635|
|10||63||AMG Team Petronas Esports||Graham Carroll||1:41.641|
GTE: SIGGY GETS BMW TEAM REDLINE ON TOP OF GTE FIELD
As mentioned, the GTE class went up first with 16 teams vying for the top spot. As it was last season, the No. 71 BMW Team Redline entry would wind up on top by a tenth over the Porsche of the No. 77 Proton Coanda Esports team.
Moritz Löhner took his No. 11 Project 1 by Dörr Esports Porsche to the final step of the qualifying podium with a late lap in the session, taking that away from the R8G Esports GTE entry, the No. 888 Ferrari 488 which was qualified by the team’s pro driver Alexander Smolyar.
The other manufacturer in the GTE ranks, the Aston Martin Vantage, didn’t quite have the same pace as the other three. Their highest qualified team will be the No. 95 Prodrive FYRA Esport entry which was qualified on Friday by Lasse Sørensen.
BAHRAIN GTE QUALIFYING TOP 10
|POS||CAR #||TEAM||CAR (GTE)||DRIVER||TIME|
|1||71||BMW Team Redline||BMW M8||Kevin Siggy||1:53.216|
|2||77||Proton Coanda Esports||Porsche 911 RSR||Dayne Warren||1:53.317|
|3||11||Project 1 by Dörr Esports||Porsche 911 RSR||Moritz Löhner||1:53.376|
|4||888||R8G ESPORTS||Ferrari 488||Alexander Smolyar||1:53.445|
|5||26||SIM Maranello||Ferrari 488||Christian Malghera||1:53.451|
|6||99||Oracle Red Bull Racing||Porsche 911 RSR||Yuri Kasdorp||1:53.506|
|7||66||SIMMSA Esports||Ferrari 488||Patrick Schindler||1:53.583|
|8||89||BMW Team BS+COMPETITION||BMW M8||Ibraheem Khan||1:53.615|
|9||95||Prodrive FYRA Esport||Aston Martin Vantage||Lasse Sørensen||1:53.663|
|10||111||P1 Esport||Porsche 911 RSR||Rasmus Busk||1:53.773|
The Le Mans Virtual Series 8 Hours of Bahrain will start on Saturday 17th September at 13:00 BST / 14:00 CEST / 05:00 PT / 08:00 ET.
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 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.