The 24 Hours of Le Mans 2020 will be virtual and real

This is not one but two editions of the 24 Hours of Le Mans to be held this year. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, a virtual version will run on the rFactor 2 car racing simulation game on June 13 and 14, followed on September 19 and 20 by the real-life circuit test.

The Le Mans 24 Hours , postponed to September 19-20 due to the pandemic of coronavirus, will still take place as originally, 13-14 June, virtual version, were announced Friday the organizers. A maximum of fifty cars, prototypes and GTEs, will start these 24 Hours of Le Mans virtual on the rFactor 2 car racing simulation game on June 13 at 3 p.m. The crews of two professional pilots, not only from endurance, and two specialists in eSport races (or “sim racers”) will take turns on board.

Ferrari is one of the big manufacturers who will line up at the start of the virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans.  © The 24 Hours of Le Mans

“It will be a real race, as faithful as possible to the spirit of endurance, with the dramaturgy of the 24 Hours”, assured during a videoconference press Gérard Neveu, the boss of the World Championship WEC endurance, of which the Le Mans test is the pinnacle . The game allows the passage from day to night, weather changes, pit stops to change drivers, tires , refuel or even repair a car after an accident.

Aston Martin, Ferrari, Porsche and Toyota on the starting line

The manufacturers involved in the real championship, Toyota , Ferrari , Aston Martin and Porsche , will be on the starting grid, as well as private teams. “The manufacturers take this very seriously. For them, it’s more than a game, it’s a race and some are already dreaming of double the 24 Hours of Le Mans virtual in June and real in September, ”says Neveu. Drivers side, he promises “cream of the crop”, with names from Formula 1 or the Form E . To date, around forty files have been submitted to participate, specify the organizers.

The race, and possibly the qualifications, will be broadcast worldwide on television, as well as on digital platforms ( YouTubeFacebookTwitch). On the initiative of major championships (F1, MotoGP, Formula E, IndyCar) and eSport players, virtual races involving professional pilots, “sim racers” and personalities have experienced a real boom with the coronavirus pandemic, the containment measures and the cancellation of the actual races.