$250,000 up for grabs at the Virtual Le Mans 24 Hours

The final round of this season’s Le Mans Virtual Series will conclude with the most famous race of them all — the Le Mans 24 Hours. Taking place across the weekend of 14-15 January 2023, the round-the-clock endurance classic will pitch the world’s best online racers against each other as an incredible $250,000 prize fund is up for grabs.

A huge line-up of teams and drivers will participate in the final round of this year’s elite sim racing series and with the championships in both LMP and GTE on the line, the exciting showdown is one race you won’t want to miss. Formula 1 and IndyCar stars such as Max Verstappen and Romain Grosjean have already competed in this year’s Le Mans Virtual Series and with teams required to field at least one FIA-graded pro driver — more legends are expected to get behind the wheel when the 24-hour marathon gets underway.

Running on the rFactor 2 platform, the Virtual Le Mans 24 Hours will replicate the major aspects of the real-world endurance race with unpredictable weather, day and night transition as well as fuel and tyre wear. And the showpiece finale will also feature its own Race Control function as this all-important event is broadcast on WEC, Le Mans 24 Hours and Traxion.GG online channels.

The Virtual Le Mans Series is a partnership between Motorsport Games and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), the organisers of the world-famous Le Mans 24 Hours and features LEGO® Technic™ as an official partner. The climax to the season at Le Mans follows a number of action-packed rounds that have taken place on challenging circuits including Bahrain, Monza and Spa.

Last time out at Sebring, it was the Porsche Coanda team that emerged victorious in the LMP class, but they are still a couple of positions off Team Redline who lead the category going into the final round. In the GTE class, it’s the sister Team Redline BMW outfit that head the points standings from Oracle Red Bull Racing.

All the teams and drivers will be familiar with the epic 38-turn Circuit de la Sarthe, which is the venue for one of the most prestigious races in global motorsport. The Le Mans 24 Hours is regarded as one of the toughest events on the calendar, as drivers battle through the day and night in a true test of endurance.

Run on public roads, the 13.6km (8.4-mile) circuit is famous for the long Mulsanne straight, split by two chicanes. As an example, drivers competing at the wheel of the AF Corse Ferrari 488 are expected to reach a maximum speed of 307km/h (191mph) with an average speed across the race of 196kmh (121mph). The long straights demand a low downforce, low drag setup as top speed is critical and drivers spend 85% of the lap on full throttle.

The low downforce set-up can have an impact in the high-speed corners, particularly the Porsche Curves, but the biggest problem — especially at night — is the visibility which can make lapping cars in different classes an issue thanks to the differential in speeds.

With long straights, racers will need to be mindful their brakes are up to temperature as they require immense stopping power for critical corners such as Arnage and the Dunlop Chicane. It can be easy for a competitor to miss their braking point, run deep into a corner and lose time or concede a position to a rival behind. With so much at stake, who will hold their nerve to win this year’s championship and the Le Mans 24 Hours showdown?

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