Schedule, livestream, drivers and rules: here is everything you need to know about the 24h Le Mans Virtual endurance race in rFactor 2.
Photo credit: Studio 397
The prestigious 24h Le Mans Virtual are about to kick off this weekend. The line-up is stacked with top talents, among them Max Verstappen, Beitske Visser, Romain Grosjean and James Baldwin. We tell you everything you need to know about the endurance race held in rFactor 2 at Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans.
What is the 24 Hours Le Mans Virtual?
The 24h Le Mans Virtual is the esports counterpart of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a prestigious endurance race that was first held in 1923. The 24h Le Mans Virtual was first held in 2020 as a replacement event for the real endurance race during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This upcoming event is the fifth and final race of the Le Mans Virtual Series, a competition that includes a prize pool of $125,000. An additional $125,000 will be distributed solely on the results of the final 24-hour race at Le Mans.
24h Le Mans Virtual Schedule, Qualifying and Race Start
The 24h Le Mans Virtual 2023 consists of two main sessions, qualifying and the race. These are the starting times for both sessions:
- Qualifying broadcast start: Friday, January 13, 7 PM CET.
- Qualifying start: Friday, January 13, 7:10 PM CET.
- Formation lap: Saturday, January 14, 1:45 PM CET.
- Race start: Saturday, January 14, 2PM CET.
- Race end: Sunday, January 15, 2 PM CET.
Where to Watch the 24h Le Mans Virtual?
The event is being broadcasted live on various channels across the internet. You can watch the official English broadcast on YouTube and Facebook or on the official website of the 24h Le Mans Virtual.
Who is Driving in the 24h Le Mans Virtual 2023?
A grand total of 45 teams are taking part in the 24h Le Mans Virtual. Sim Racing powerhouses like Team Redline, Williams Esports, Oracle Red Bull Racing and Coanda Esports are sending their best drivers. They will be racing alongside factory teams of prestigious manufacturers such as Ferrari, Mercedes AMG, Alpine, BMW and Porsche.
The teams are split up, with 28 teams racing in the faster LMP2 class and 17 teams racing in GTE class. Each team is required to feature two “pro drivers” from real-world racing and two sim racing drivers.
The line-up is stacked with big driver names from both esports and real-world racing. Max Verstappen, Romain Grosjean, Beitske Visser, Jimmy Broadbent and James Baldwin are among the 180 drivers taking part in the competition. You can find a full overview of the grid in our dedicated article.
How does Qualifying Work?
Qualifying consists of two sessions. The first session, joint qualifying, will see all teams trying to set their fastest lap time possible in a 30 minute-session. After the chequered flag, positions 7 and below are locked.
The top six teams of LMP and GTE class advance to the second session called “Hyperpole qualifying”. In another 15-minute session, they will try to secure pole position.
Both LMP2 cars and the slower GTE class will be on track at the same time during both qualifying sessions.
What are the Rules of the Race?
The rules of the race are quite simple. Whatever team is in front after 24 hours of racing, wins its class. Since each team consists of four drivers, there are some rules the teams have to follow.
Each driver is obliged to drive for a minimum time of 4 hours and is only allowed to drive for a total of 7 hours at maximum. Also, drivers are not allowed to race more than three hours during a five-hour period.
Is there Damage and Vehicle Failure in 24h Le Mans Virtual?
There will be and active day-night cycle and weather changes are also possible, forcing teams to be adaptive in their strategy for the entire 24 hours. Vehicle damage will be set to 100 percent, meaning damage can affect cars both visually and physically.
However, minor damage can be fixed during a pitstop. Major damage can force a car to retire from the race, like it happened to Max Verstappen at the 2022 event.
Mechanical failures are also turned on, meaning drivers should not force their cars beyond their limits.
Who are you rooting for in the 24h Le Mans Virtual 2023? Let us know by sending tweet @OverTake_gg or leave a comment down below!
Photo credit: Studio 397