Bahrain 8 Hours to start the Le Mans Virtual Series 2022

Excitement is building as a new season of the Le Mans Virtual Series is about to get underway. The world’s best online endurance racers will line up on the grid in September to compete in the first event of this year’s five-round series, featuring some of the most iconic circuits on the planet.

The 2022 season starts at a brand-new location for the annual Le Mans Virtual Series. On September 17th, the racing will commence at the Bahrain International Circuit with an epic 8 Hour race beginning before sunset and finishing under the desert floodlights.

As a preview to the season-opening Bahrain 8 Hours, a special track guide has been created in conjunction with Virtual Le Mans series partner LEGO® Technic™ featuring the stunning new Ferrari Daytona SP3 alongside the Ferrari 488 GTE “AF Corse #51”.

Running on the rFactor 2 platform, two sportscar classes will again take to the virtual Bahrain track to compete for honours in the opening endurance round. Racing for eight hours, drivers will be expected to complete an estimated 233 laps around the 3.36-mile (5.41km) layout which is the equivalent to 783 miles (1,261km).

The Bahrain International Circuit is notoriously tough on tyres and brakes. The entry into Turn 1, Turn 4 and Turn 11 all require heavy braking from the three long straights, where cars such as the Ferrari 488 GTE, will reach speeds of 162.2mph (261km/h). These three braking areas also offer great overtaking opportunities.

In addition, Bahrain is known for its traction zones, where drivers need to manage their rear tyres to withstand the powerful acceleration from the slow corners. Being careful not to slide the car is critical to managing tyre wear and not giving a rival an opportunity to overtake.

As one of the most technical sequences on the lap, the online racers will be wary of the challenging Turn 9 and 10 left-handers. Positioning the car through this off-camber section is crucial to avoid locking-up a tyre and running wide — and to ensure a good exit onto the back straight.

In total there are 15 corners to master at the Sakhir circuit and with three long straights, full throttle across the lap is estimated at 72 per cent. From an engineering perspective, cars will feature a 50/50 balance of downforce and drag to achieve the best compromise for this tricky desert track.

This year’s Le Mans Virtual Series is bigger than ever with a $250,000 prize fund and a new rule change that requires each team to enter one professional driver in at least one regular round of the series. That’s in addition to running two pro real-world drivers in the flagship season finale, the Virtual Le Mans 24 Hours, on January 14-15th, 2023.

Last season’s spoils went to the Realteam Hydrogen Redline team headed by FIA Formula 2 ace Felipe Drugovich with Formula E driver Oliver Rowland accompanied by Jeffrey Rietveld and Michal Smidl.

In GTE, it was the BMW-backed Team Redline entry driven by former World’s Fastest Gamer Rudy van Buren in addition to Lorenzo Colombo, Enzo Bonito and 2022 DTM Esports champion Kevin Siggy that took the 24 Hours and overall titles.

The 2022 running of the Le Mans Virtual Series will once again be broadcast on the WEC, Le Mans 24 Hours and Traxion.GG online channels and is a partnership between Motorsport Games and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) the organisers of the world-famous Le Mans 24 Hours, featuring LEGO Technic as an official partner.

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