Le Mans Virtual Series heads to classic Spa-Francorchamps for Round 3

After a dramatic race at Monza, the next round of the 2022 Le Mans Virtual Series will take place at the famous Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium.

Fans are looking forward to a marathon six-hour encounter, when the world’s best sim racers will battle in both LMP and GTE sportscar classes on Saturday 5 November. As the championship nears the halfway stage of the season, the pressure is starting to mount as the drivers vie for the $250,000 prize fund on offer.

At the previous round in Monza, there was plenty of action as on-track incidents, wet-weather, pit strategy and caution periods caught many of the teams and drivers out. Coming through the 140 laps of drama on top was the Team Redline crew of Luke Bennett, Jeffrey Rietveld and Maximilian Benecke.

Their win puts them just two points behind the #4 Floyd Vanwall-Burst outfit in the LMP standings. In the GTE class, despite an opening-lap clash at Monza, the #99 Oracle Red Bull Racing Porsche GTE still leads, 5.5 points ahead of the #71 BMW Team Redline.

If you thought Monza was exciting, then you can expect even more action at one of the most challenging circuits in the world. It’s the perfect layout to test any racing car, including the Ferrari 488 GTE “AF Corse #51” or the Ferrari Daytona SP3 — both current LEGO® Technic™ models.

Situated in the Belgian Hautes-Fagnes (High Fens) region, nestled in the Ardennes forest, the epic Spa-Francorchamps track features some of the most famous corners in the world. From the tight first-corner of La Source, there follows a flat-out descent into Eau Rouge, then a crest through Raidillon and along the Kemmel Straight into the technical sweeps of Les Combes. The combination of slow-speed corners and long straights means teams will be constantly trying to find the right balance between downforce and drag.

The 19 bends — that include the epic left-handers Pouhon and Blanchimont — would suggest drivers are constantly braking, but the reality is the corners are so quick, that the sim racers are on full throttle for 74% of the 7km (4.3-mile) lap. Spa is famous for its high-speeds with a Ferrari 488 GTE machine expected to top 272.9km/h (169.6mph) on the exit after Blanchimont or along the Kemmel Straight.

The challenging sequence of corners means it’s easy to pressure a rival into a mistake and with two heavy braking zones on the lap — into La Source or the Bus Stop chicane — overtaking is not an issue at this forest road course. Run over six hours, the third round of the 2022 Le Mans Virtual Series, is expected to include 153 laps of action, totalling more than 1,070km (665 miles).

The one final aspect to consider at Spa is the weather. There was rain last time out at Monza, but the fickle Ardennes climate is notorious for sunshine one lap followed by a torrential downpour the next. Racing on the right tyre for the conditions is critical to success.

Remember that on the 5 November, you can follow all the action for the third instalment of the virtual sim racing series on the rFactor 2 platform by following the WEC, Le Mans 24 Hours and Traxion.GG online channels. The Le Mans Virtual Series is a partnership between Motorsport Games and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) the organisers of the famous Le Mans 24 Hours and features LEGO Technic as an official partner.

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