Le Mans 24 Hours Virtual - The Biggest (Disaster of a) Sim Racing Event
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Le Mans 24 Hours Virtual – The Biggest (Disaster of a) Sim Racing Event

Le Mans 24 Hours Virtual was an esports event that took place on January 15-16, 2023 and was billed as the biggest esports event in sim racing history. Featuring teams competing in rFactor 2, this realistic racing simulator game welcomed only the best drivers in the world, and it offered a $250,000 prize pool.

The tournament had a lot of promise, and in theory, it looked like a well-put-together event. But technical difficulties and poor management led to drama, frustration, and earning the event the tag of one of the worst esports tournaments in recent history.

A Disgrace For Sim Racing And Esports

The 24 Hours of Le Mans was an online sim racing competition organised by Automobile Club de l’Ouest and Motorsports Games, who came together to host a crossover event. The competition was divided into five rounds, and it featured the best drivers in sim racing and some of the biggest names in motorsports.

The Le Mans 24 Hours Virtual was set up well and even had solid coverage from media platforms covering the race on digital and traditional media. Still, it may be better had it not been covered as well since it turned into a complete fiesta.

For the third year running, the race had platform and server issues, including glitches, drivers randomly disconnecting, and DDoS attacks, making the race unwatchable and unplayable for the competitors.

There were two red flags in total, but plenty of disconnects throughout the race, and by the end of it all, Le Mans 24 Hours Virtual was a subject of drama and controversy rather than it being recognised for what it could’ve been – an event that would bring esports closer to sports.

The most notable incident of the race involved Max Verstappen, who was well on his way to winning the race but suffered a disconnect, which saw him drop from first to 17th place. And just as he was making up the lost time – reaching 13th place – he got disconnected again, leading him to withdraw from the race.

Team Redline and R86 Esports Get The Top Podium

The 24 Hour Le Mans Virtual had plenty of issues, but it was a decent event in the latter portions once the disconnects and glitches were no longer a problem. Although the race couldn’ve ended much differently had it not had any issues, the sim and pro drivers produced an exciting finale, which saw Team Redline and R86 claim the top podiums in their respective categories.

Redline’s no.2 entry, driven by Felipe Drugovich, Chris Lulham and Felix Rosenqvist, and Luke Bennett, won the LMP ahead of Porsche and Mercedes-AMG. While in the GTE category, R86 Esports Ferrari #888, driver by Alexander Smolyar, Erhan Jajovski, Timotej Andonovski, and Scott Andrews, won ahead of BMW.

2023 24 Hours Of Le Mans Virtual LMP Results

  1. Team Redline #2 Felipe Drugovich / Felix Rosenqvist / Luke Bennett / Chris Lulham – 356 laps
  2. Porsche Coanda #20 (Ayhancan Güven, Laurin Heinrich, Mitchell deJong, Joshua Rogers) +21.109
  3. AMG Team Williams Esports #53 (Sami-Matti Trogen, Agustin Canapino, Jakub Brzezinski, Nikodem Wisniewski) +1:50.695
  4. Alpine Esports Oreca #36 (Sacha Lehmann, Leo Boulay, Collin Spork, Tom Lartilleux) +1:59.367
  5. AMG Team Petronas Esports #63 (James Baldwin, Daniel Juncadella, Graham Carroll, Bono Huis) +2:11.445

2023 24 Hours Of Le Mans Virtual GTE Results

  1. R8G ESPORTS Ferrari 488 #888 (Alexander Smolyar, Scott Andrews, Timotej Andonovski, Erhan Jajovski) – 323 laps
  2. BMW Team Redline BMW M8 #71 (Rudy van Buren, Lorenzo Colombo, Kevin Siggy, Enzo Bonito) +1 lap
  3. BMW Team BS+Comeptition BMW M8 GTE #89 (Bruno Spengler, Phillippe Denes, Alen Terzic, Ibraheem Khan) +1 lap
  4. Project 1 by Dörr Esports Porsche 911 RSR #11 (Marc Gassner, Norbert Kiss, Moritz Löhner, Leonard Krippner) +1 lap
  5. Proton Coanda Esports Porsche 911 RSR #88 (Raoul Hyman. Alexander Tauscher, Bryn Collins, Kevin van Dooren) +1 lap

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