Porsche Coanda and R8G take 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual pole positions

Porsche Coanda locked out the top two spots on the grid for the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual, with R8G Esports heading the GTE category.

Porsche Coanda and R8G take 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual pole positions

The grid has been set for the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual, with manufacturer-backed Porsche Coanda and Romain Grosjean’s eponymous R8G Esports squad sharing the LMP and GTE qualifying laurels respectively.

There was a brand new qualifying format, with a 30-minute joint session to kick off proceedings, before the top six from each class progressed to a Hyperpole shootout to set the top positions.

 

Porsche Coanda driver Joshua Rogers shocked the field with a lap 0.7s quicker than the rest of the LMP entries within the opening session.

He was followed by Luke Bennett in the #2 Redline and team-mate Mack Bakkum in third. Marcell Csincsik for R8G Esports was fourth, ahead of reigning champion Jeffrey Rietveld in the #1 car shared with Max Verstappen and 2020 winner Nikodem Wisniewski  – the final LMP to make it through for AMG Team Williams Esports.

It meant that Autosport Esports Driver of the Year James Baldwin missed out on the second part of qualifying by just 0.172s, with the #8 R8G Esports driven Ulas Ozyildirim 0.183s further back in eighth.

 

In GTE, there were four different car models in the top four positions, showcasing a close Balance of Performance.

Erhan Jajovski put in a lap right at the end of the opening half an hour to be the quickest in class. The North Macedonian in the R8G Ferrari just pipped Charlie Collins from making it a Coanda entry heading both categories by a scant 0.003s.

Prodrive FYRA Esport’s Lasse Sorensen made it through in third, ahead of Ibraheem Khan for BMW Team BS+Competition. Kevin Siggy was fifth in BMW Team Redline M8, the team currently leading the GTE standings, and the driver who has scored five pole positions across the two Le Mans Virtual Series seasons.

Kevin van Dooren scraped into sixth, making it all four Coanda cars across the two classes into the Hyperpole shootout. Muhammed Patel was the first not the make it through in seventh with the MAHLE BMW shared with Michele D’Alessandro, Jimmy Broadbent and Beitske Visser.

 

With both classes on track at the same time, there were several incidents as drivers tried to find clear laps.

Le Mans Virtual Cup champion Shaun Arnold made contact with Khan’s BMW around the Porsche Curves, but both vehicles were unscathed, despite a wild spin for Arnold. Perhaps more significantly, GR Esports’ Adam Maguire crashed into Pescarolo’s Darius Andrei who sat on the apex at Virage Ford – the latter receiving a two-place grid drop.

After a content-creator All Stars race in Porsche 911 GT3 Cups for light entertainment, the final 15-minute session began. The limited time meant just two flying laps for the LMP runners and one in GTE.

Both Redline cars set the early pace but were quickly usurped by the flying Porsches, two-time Porsche Esports Supercup champion Rogers backing up his scintillating early pace with the quickest time in Hyperpole, 0.2s ahead of team-mate Bakkum.

Then came the Redlines, Bennett ahead of Rietveld, followed by Csincsik and Wisniewski.

Erhan Jajovski for R8G Esports, on the GTE pole position for the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual

Erhan Jajovski for R8G Esports, on the GTE pole position for the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual

In GTE, regular top qualifier Siggy couldn't grab the pole position, with Jajovski 0.2s quicker. Coanda wasn’t quite as dominant in this category, lining up third and fifth thanks to Collins and van Dooren respectively. In between sat the Aston Martin of Sorensen.

Khan, meanwhile, didn’t complete his lap. Third quickest through sector two, a slow third section meant an aborted lap.

With the grid set, the race starts on Saturday 14 January at 1pm GMT/2pm CET/5am PT/8am ET. Live coverage can be viewed on Traxion.GG and Motorsport.tv.

24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual LMP qualifying results

  1. #20 Joshua Rogers – Porsche Coanda – 3m21.392s
  2. #23 Mack Bakkum – Porsche Coanda +0.200s
  3. #2 Luke Bennett – Team Redline +0.283s
  4. #1 Jeffrey Rietveld – Team Redline +0.396s
  5. #8 Marcell Csincsik – R8G Esports +0.556s
  6. #53 Nikodem Wisniewski – AMG Team Williams Esports +0.562s

24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual GTE qualifying results

  1. #888 Erhan Jajovski – R8G Esports – 3m46.394s
  2. #71 Kevin Siggy – BMW Team Redline +0.204s
  3. #77 Charlie Collins – Proton Coanda Esports +0.237s
  4. #95 Lasse Sørensen – Prodrive FYRA Esport +0.443s
  5. #88 Kevin van Dooren – Proton Coanda Esports +1.005s
  6. #89 Ibraheem Khan – BMW Team BS+Competition – DNQ
shares
comments
Watch Qualifying Now – 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual
Previous article

Watch Qualifying Now – 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual

Next article

Peugeot undertook six months to prepare for 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual debut

Peugeot undertook six months to prepare for 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual debut
Analysis: How an unlikely tie-up won sim racing's biggest race Plus

Analysis: How an unlikely tie-up won sim racing's biggest race

An unlikely partnership between LMP1 privateer Rebellion Racing and Williams Formula 1's successful sim racing team yielded victory in the inaugural 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual. Here's how it triumphed in the biggest sim race ever staged

Esports
Jun 15, 2020
How poor driving standards ruined IndyCar's golden opportunity Plus

How poor driving standards ruined IndyCar's golden opportunity

The chaotic end to the virtual Indy 175 might be dismissed as "just a game," but the insulting actions of two IndyCar stars may have serious real-life consequences

Esports
May 3, 2020
Why Leclerc's Virtual GP annihilation deserves great credit Plus

Why Leclerc's Virtual GP annihilation deserves great credit

The introduction of Charles Leclerc, Alex Albon, George Russell and Antonio Giovinazzi to Formula 1's Virtual GP last weekend meant it was a step above the franchise's debut two weeks ago. But a dominant performance from Esports newcomer Leclerc stole the show

Esports
Apr 6, 2020
How the hidden side of being fast has been exposed Plus

How the hidden side of being fast has been exposed

'Natural talent' is one of the biggest misnomers going in motorsport, and that is being proven by the way real life racers aren't immediately getting on the pace with the sim racing experts in virtual contests. To change that, they are having to apply the same tools required to be quick in real life

Esports
Apr 2, 2020
Why F1’s pantomime Virtual GP is fun but unsustainable Plus

Why F1’s pantomime Virtual GP is fun but unsustainable

F1 Esports' inaugural Virtual Grand Prix last weekend provided brilliant entertainment to those tuning in to watch a mix of F1 drivers and celebrities battle on track, but was a missed opportunity for marketing its own Esports stars. A change of approach is needed if it is to successfully fill the void until the resumption of proper racing

Esports
Mar 24, 2020
The latest Red Bull exile to return in Esports Plus

The latest Red Bull exile to return in Esports

Since he was ejected from the programme at the end of 2006, the latest Red Bull junior driver brought back into the fold to race in Formula 1 - in a virtual sense for the inaugural Virtual GP - has had quite the career journey. From ADAC GT Masters and Porsche Supercup to Le Mans and the DTM, here's how a works pro got to relive a long-forgotten dream

Esports
Mar 24, 2020
Mercedes can be toppled in F1's other title race Plus

Mercedes can be toppled in F1's other title race

Mercedes has not only set new standards in Formula 1, but it's also created a benchmark in Esports. Now its rivals have scrambled to catch up, there's a chance the Brendon Leigh-fronted Mercedes can be stopped

Esports
Sep 10, 2019
Why World's Fastest Gamer is returning to real-world racing Plus

Why World's Fastest Gamer is returning to real-world racing

World's Fastest Gamer is a spiritual successor to the famous GT Academy. After a successful first year, it's returning to the Nissan programme's roots by targeting the real world of racing

Esports
Jul 31, 2019