It’s race week for the Le Mans 24 Hours and fans are collecting at La Sarthe. But if spectating isn’t enough for you, here are the best game to race Le Mans in 2023.
With less than a week until the tricoleur drops, the motorsport community has come down with a case of Le Mans fever. With official practice sessions getting under way for the centenary edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours, everyone will be looking for a taste of the action.
The great thing about sim racing is that it allows mere mortals to enjoy the thrills of driving legendary machines around our favourite tracks, replicating the greatest races on Earth. But with so many opportunities and ways to recreate the iconic event, it can be difficult to know where to start. In this short list, find out the best games to race Le Mans in 2023.
Assetto Corsa at Le Mans
When it comes to recreating full grids of cars in 2023, it’s difficult to look past Assetto Corsa. It has an amazing modding community that, over the nine years of the game’s existence has made an immeasurable amount of cars, tracks, liveries and plugins. Think of a car and it’s probably in the game. Think of a track and one can surely drive it in AC. The game even allows one to recreate weather plans of certain dates.
When it comes to the most famous endurance race of all time, AC has to be one of the best games to race the 2023 Le Mans 24. A few weeks ago, we covered the brilliant work of United Racing Design, a modding group that, in the past has produced a whole host of FIA WEC models.
From this one team, one can purchase every GTE car from the last decade, the current LMP2 Oreca and the first pair of LM Hypercars. The Toyota GR010 and an officially licensed Glickenhaus SCG 007 are both available in-game. With some research, one can find liveries for each entry to the GTE and LMP2 classes of this year’s Le Mans.
Elsewhere, one can look deeper within the Assetto Corsa community to find other models present in the event. One team has created representations of the Porsche 963, Peugeot 9X8 and Ferrari 499P. This makes for a thorough top class grid. Other iterations of these cars are available throughout different websites if you are willing to spend the time.
As for the track, Assetto Corsa is the only game on this list to not feature a licensed La Sarthe circuit. However, mods are available on sites like RaceDepartment. But as is the case for many of the car mods, quality can vary greatly between third party creations. The immersion of seeing each car from the 2023 Le Mans grid may be there. But other games do the driving better.
Race Le Mans in iRacing
Speaking of greater quality across the board, iRacing is one game that prides itself on its content. Every track featuring in the game is laser scanned. Furthermore, each car present is made from real life data coming directly from the teams that run them.
But with such great attention to detail comes a lack of content diversity. In fact, whilst the GTE and LMP2 classes are old enough to be thoroughly complete, the Hypercar field is certainly lacking.
This year’s real race is marked by the largest top-class field in living memory. But as of this week, just two cars from the new era of prototype racing exist in iRacing. Only one however is correct for the 2023 Le Mans grid. Three example of the newly added Cadillac LMDh will race this weekend. But the already present BMW won’t run in Europe until next year.
This lack of range in the top class makes it difficult to run an immersive Le Mans 24 Hour race in 2023. However, great handling for every car and a brilliantly precise circuit mean hotlapping and online racing is surely unbeatable.
rFactor 2: An official Le Mans Game?
Under its Motorsport Games management, rFactor 2 is seemingly the official Le Mans game at the moment. In fact, the Le Mans Virtual series took place in the simulator for its first few editions. Furthermore, official content from Studio 397 featuring every GTE and LMP2 car means much of the grid is present as standard.
Furthermore, the Hypercar class may not be complete in rF2. But with a unique model part of the game as official content, it offers an experience no other title does. The Vanwall Vandervell 680 released to rFactor 2 in late 2022 providing fans with the privateer experience.
Elsewhere, the Toyota and Glickenhaus hypercars by United Racing Design were also made for the title. With other third party cars reproducing the top class of car, rFactor 2 sits on par with Assetto Corsa for its thorough car list. However, it certainly gains an extra point for its high-quality, officially licensed, laser scanned Le Mans circuit. Driving around rF2‘s take on the venue, one gets a sense of the time and effort that went in to creating it.
rF2 might be one of the best Le Mans games now, but a truly dedicated simulator is inbound for 2023. Expect Le Mans Ultimate to be the go-to game for all things World Endurance Championship.
What is your favourite game to race Le Mans in 2023? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!