The postponement of the 88th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans has paved the way for the first-ever running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual. For those who simply can’t wait for the world’s most prestigious sports car endurance race in September and need their fix in the traditional mid-June window, the ACO, FIA WEC and Motorsport Games have delivered.
The creation of the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual was announced in May as a means to fill the sports car racing void left by the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which was rescheduled for Sept. 19-20.
“Since the Le Mans Esports Series was launched two years ago, it’s been very satisfying to see it double in size and visibility year on year,” said Gérard Neveu, the CEO of FIA WEC. “That highlighted to us the huge appetite among the esports community for endurance racing and access to the jewel in the crown of the discipline, the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
“This 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual event is unique in very many ways, not least that it is not part of LMES, but a stand-alone event.”
The virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans will play out on the rFactor 2 platform, an online racing simulation that allows for driver changes, dynamic weather, dynamic day/night transitions and multi-class racing — all of the elements that make the actual 24 Hours of Le Mans such a unique race. And yes, many of the drivers who will compete in the real 24 Hours of Le Mans in September will race in the virtual event.
Below is all you need to know about the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual, including the TV schedule, live stream info and the list of drivers and teams scheduled to compete remotely from around the world.
Virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans TV channel, schedule
- TV channel (U.S.): ESPN2
- TV channels (Canada): Velocity | REV TV Canada
ESPN2 will broadcast the 24 Hours of Le Mans virtual in the United States, but the network will not show the entire race. It instead will show 12 of the 24 hours, cutting in and out of coverage. (The entire race will be available to stream on ESPN’s platforms.)
ESPN2’s coverage will begin Saturday, June 13 at 8:30 a.m. ET with pre-race coverage before the green flag at 9 a.m. ET. That coverage will run through noon ET before a three-hour break and another window of coverage from 3-5 p.m. ET. Sunday’s coverage on ESPN2 will begin at 3 a.m. ET and run through the end of the race at 9 a.m. ET.
Below is the complete TV schedule for the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual on ESPN2:
|Sat., June 13||8:30 a.m. ET – noon ET||ESPN2|
|Sat., June 13||3-5 p.m. ET||ESPN2|
|Sun., June 14||3-9:15 a.m. ET||ESPN2|
In Canada, both Velocity and REV TV Canada will broadcast all 24 hours of the race.
Virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans live stream
In addition to the YouTube live stream above, there are multiple live stream options available for the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual, including a global presentation on Motorsport.TV.
Anybody who has a cable or satellite subscription can stream the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual live via the ESPN app or Watch ESPN on mobile devices. This should be the preferred route for a viewer who has such a subscription but isn’t able to get in front of his or her TV.
For those who don’t have a cable or satellite subscription, there are five major OTT TV streaming options that carry ESPN2 — Sling, Hulu, YouTubeTV, fuboTV and AT&T Now. Of the five, Hulu, YouTubeTV and fuboTV offer free trial options.
Below are links to each.
Virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans entry list: Drivers & teams
The entry list for the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual features 50 cars. The selection of the drivers was not linked to the selection for the real 24 Hours of Le Mans. The virtual race instead brings together the best of real racing teams and esports squads.
Each team line up consists of four drivers, and each must contain at least two professional drivers with an international FIA license or equivalent. The other two drivers can be either sim racers or professional drivers.
There are only two classes of cars (LMP and GTE) in the virtual race as opposed to the customary four in the real race. There is one LMP model (based on the ORECA 07 LMP2) and four GTE models (Aston Martin Vantage, Corvette C.7R, Ferrari 488 GTE and Porsche 911 RSR).
Below is the full entry list for the 24 Hours of Le Mans virtual, complete with lists of all four drivers who will compete for each team.
Virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans rules, format
Below is a general overview of the rules and format for the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual as set by the ACO, FIA WEC and Motorsport Games.
- The event will be run on the rFactor 2 platform which offers driver changes, dynamic weather, dynamic day/night transitions and multi-class racing (LMP and GTE)
- Damage will affect a car but can be repaired in a pit stop; car will be driveable but may not perform as well as at the start
- Full simulation includes the use of fuel and tires
- Teams will work to create their own setups to optimize performance
- Each team must contain at least two professional drivers with an international FIA license or equivalent
- Minimum race time per driver will be 4 hours
- Maximum race time per driver will be 7 hours
- Teams are be selected by a committee from the organizers
- Drivers may not drive more than 3 hours within a 5-hour period
- Drivers may not compete in more than one car
Available on the 24 Hours of Le Mans site is a complete breakdown of the rules and format for the virtual race, including details on entries, qualifying, communication and competition.