Virtual Le Mans 24 Hours event raises €21,500 for COVID vaccine research

The 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual and the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation raised €21,500 towards COVID-19 vaccine research efforts

Virtual Le Mans 24 Hours event raises €21,500 for COVID vaccine research

The money raised during virtual endurance race - run in partnership with the World Endurance Championship, the ACO and Motorsport Games - will be donated to GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, an international organisation that aims to give equal access to vaccines for all.

The rFactor 2 race took place on 13-14 June, the original weekend of the real-life 24 Hours of Le Mans prior to its postponement to September as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

ACO President Pierre Fillon believed the "spirit" of the real-world Le Mans was present within its sim racing counterpart.

"The spirit of Le Mans is present in the attitude and behaviour of everyone involved in the race," Fillon said.

"It is passed on from one generation to the next. It represents the past, present and future of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

"Teamwork, pulling together, is part and parcel of this discipline.

"Le Mans and Monaco share a passion for motorsport and it was only natural for the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual to relay the appeal initiated by HSH Charlene, Princess of Monaco.

"I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to all those who have pledged donations. It is essential to show our support for medical research and for frontline medical staff and carers at this challenging time.

"Thank you, all of you. Alone we sometimes go faster, together we definitely go further."

The event was won by professional racers Raffaele Marciello and Louis Deletraz as well as Polish sim racers Nikodem Wisniewski and Kuba Brzezinski in the #1 Rebellion Williams Esports entry.

Princess of Monaco, HSH Charlene supported the #54 Strong Together Ferrari 488 GTE car, which finished eighth in its class with F1 race winners Felipe Massa and Giancarlo Fisichella partnering sim racers Tony Mella and Francesco Castellacci in the entry.

"The 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual has proved to be a successful combination of sport, passion and generosity," HSH Charlene added.

"My foundation and the StrongTogether entry is committed to supporting medical research, in particular concerning Covid-19.

"Thanks to a great race, the first 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual, we were able to rally the world of endurance to this cause too.

"Thank you all with a special mention of course for the crew of the StrongTogether car, which finished eighth."

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