Le Mans Ultimate: Monza & Customer Porsches in the Spotlight

Le Mans Ultimate Proton Porsche LMDH 963 Monza.jpg
With WEC's resurgence in popularity thanks to the new Hypercar rules and a number of manufacturers in the top-flight prototype category of the sport, endurance racing fans are curious for Le Mans Ultimate. The title is set to be released by the end of the year - and after Le Mans, Monza was the focus of the second batch of preview images.

Image credit: Le Mans Ultimate on Twitter

A full 2023 grid including all LMH and LMDH prototypes, the full WEC calendar and rFactor 2 as a base - the ingredients for Le Mans Ultimate are definitely there, but the title still has work to do until its release in Q4 of 2023, as @Angus Martin 's first hands-on experience at the 24 Hours of Le Mans showed. Luckily, there should be enough time to improve in time for LMU's launch.

To go along with round 5 at the 6 Hours of Monza, new previews were showcased, highlighting Italy's Temple of Speed. The track itself looks like you would expect Monza to look - the old timing towers on the main straight, the surrounding parklands and the green, white and red curbs are all there. Even the artwork honoring Michele Alboreto at the former Parabolica, which has officially been named after the 1985 F1 runner-up, is present.

Le Mans Ultimate Monza Parabolica Alboreto.jpg

Monza's Parabolica has been renamed to Curva Alboreto in 2021, honoring the 1985 Formula One vice champion who lost his life in a testing accident at the Lausitzring in 2001. Image credit: Le Mans Ultimate on Twitter

Additionally, more cars have been shown - or rather two more liveries, to be exact: The Porsche 963 was already part of the first batch of previews showcasing the designs of the works outfit. This time, the two customer teams are in the spotlight, as the golden machine of Hertz Team Jota and the simple but eye-catching decor of Proton Competition's vehicle are in the spotlight.

Le Mans Ultimate Jota Porsche LMDH 963 Monza 2.jpg

The golden 963 of Jota is one of the more striking cars on the WEC grid in 2023. Image credit: Le Mans Ultimate on Twitter

Unlucky Debut for #99​

The latter made its debut at the event, but did not have much luck doing so: An undetermined technical gremlin forced the #99 Porsche 963 out of the race after four hours, resulting in the car of Gianmaria Bruni, Harry Tincknell and Neel Jani being classified in 33rd position. Jota's fortunes were better, with the #38 of António Felix da Costa, Will Stevens and Ye Yifei crossing the line in ninth.

The next previews are hopefully not tied to the next WEC round: The race at Fuji Speedway is scheduled for September 10th - which would be quite a long wait for more, especially considering the targeted launch time frame of Q4 of 2023.

Le Mans Ultimate Monza Main Straight.jpg

The Italian Temple of Speed looks like you would expect it to look in Le Mans Ultimate. Image credit: Le Mans Ultimate on Twitter

Your Thoughts​

What do you think of the new previews to Le Mans Ultimate? What would you like to see next? Let us know in the comments below!
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Yannik Haustein
Lifelong motorsport enthusiast and sim racing aficionado, walking racing history encyclopedia.

Sim racing editor, streamer and one half of the SimRacing Buddies podcast (warning, German!).

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Comments

I'm yet to understand the timing for this new sim's release, since there are big changes in the competition format already announced for next year!...
Meaning, is it going to be launched with this year's rules & cars, or next year's ones?
I like the "mighty 38" pic, though :)
 
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Let’s have the popcorn ready for next virtual lemans and the bug parade.

No updates had been pushed in rf2 in the code / multiplayer department.

I sure hope it goes well but not holding my breath, NASCAR ignition was nasty and leaves a disastrous precedent.
 
I am allways amazed how people come to their conclusions with zero information. As it stands now, rF2 will recieve further updates throughout 2023 while focus might shift for 2024 for obvious reasons. There is a rather big AI update in the works and the new CS, wich will be running in rF2 aswell as LMU is in alpha testing currently. This has been discussed on the official forums but it makes no sense to kill rF2. Actually they need it for everything that isn't linked to ACO events.

It's also interesting how little faith people have in S397 after they turned rF2 from a barebones tech demo into a very decent simulator that holds up as good as anything else out there.
 
Hope it does well but I have no interest unless it had amazing SP experience. Even then doing long races isn't my jam and sprint races online will no doubt be frustrating. I can see it is "RF2 lite" and I already have RF2 so I don't think it offers anything different other than minimal visual improvements.
 
I am allways amazed how people come to their conclusions with zero information. As it stands now, rF2 will recieve further updates throughout 2023 while focus might shift for 2024 for obvious reasons. There is a rather big AI update in the works and the new CS, wich will be running in rF2 aswell as LMU is in alpha testing currently. This has been discussed on the official forums but it makes no sense to kill rF2. Actually they need it for everything that isn't linked to ACO events.

It's also interesting how little faith people have in S397 after they turned rF2 from a barebones tech demo into a very decent simulator that holds up as good as anything else out there.

There's very good reasons for having little faith in S397...

It took them years to figure out how to work on the tyres in rF2 despite having all the information from ISI... Plus there's been many scenarios where they broke something that ISI had working within the title and left it broken for years... Like the AI...

Having MSGS on top of that makes the whole deal a very easily questioned development project...

Especially after the NASCAR title being the only title that the MSGS licence deals has brought into reality and how terrible it is...

I too am not holding any hope that the Le Mans Ultimate game will exist... It's more likely to be like the BTCC game and just be content for rF2...
 
There's very good reasons for having little faith in S397...

It took them years to figure out how to work on the tyres in rF2 despite having all the information from ISI... Plus there's been many scenarios where they broke something that ISI had working within the title and left it broken for years... Like the AI...

Having MSGS on top of that makes the whole deal a very easily questioned development project...

Especially after the NASCAR title being the only title that the MSGS licence deals has brought into reality and how terrible it is...

I too am not holding any hope that the Le Mans Ultimate game will exist... It's more likely to be like the BTCC game and just be content for rF2...
I'm aware Nascar Ignition 21 is really bad, and to be honest, that's still a worrying sign for any new MSG / S397 game because of what they did. However, LMU isn't a yearly release. This is what they excelled at. (Studio 397 is a namesake honoring 397 laps in Le Mans)

Because most of these tracks are already available in RF2 for us, and the cars all drive really well, we know their capabilities to deliver content is professional.

My biggest worry is the online stability, progression, and what direction they're taking with LMU. I have a prediction the offline will make use of AI testing to make it just like GTR2's endurance races, with AI as your 2nd driver and the ability to save mid-race. As for online, well, all they need to do is optimize and minimize disconnects at all costs, and we got ourselves a worthy WEC game.

And then there's the untapped potential to evolve endurance racing as we know it by for example, allowing AI to take over disconnected drivers and trusting AI as a stand-in driver for going solo.
 
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