Virtual Le Mans 24h: Veloce battles Verstappen after Hour 8

Veloce Esports led the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual ahead of Max Verstappen’s Team Redline entry after eight hours of the virtual endurance race.

Virtual Le Mans 24h: Veloce battles Verstappen after Hour 8

Mercedes Formula E driver Stoffel Vandoorne vaulted Veloce’s #16 car into the lead of the rFactor 2 race, which was organised by the World Endurance Championship, Automobile Club de l'Ouest and Motorsport Games.

Vandoorne started the race with a quadruple stint in the virtual LMP2 car, which he shares with WEC regular Norman Nato and sim racers Eamonn Murphy and Tomek Poradzisz.

The car was able to join the lead battle following a red flag period for a technical issue, and Vandoorne jumped the polesitting ByKolles car in the pitstops.

That ByKolles car, in the hands of sim racer Jesper Pedersen had recovered from early-race dramas which had seen ex-Formula E driver Tom Dillmann pick up a drive-through penalty for jumping the race start.

However, Pedersen's simulator failed temporarily and the ByKolles team was forced to overcome further lost time.

Redline’s five-time iRacing champion Greger Huttu enjoyed spells at the front of the field and was at one point engaged in a thrilling three-way battle for the lead with Vandoorne and Pedersen.

Huttu handed the Redline car over to Verstappen, while Vandoorne allowed Murphy his first stint at the wheel of the #16 Veloce as the virtual night fell.

Verstappen was able to eat into Murphy’s sizeable race lead that Vandoorne had built up, but lost time in a bizarre pit lane incident.

The #51 Ferrari GTE misjudged the entry into its pit box and ended up obscuring Verstappen’s exit from the pits, who eventually exited but collided with the #21 Axle Motorsport entry – which features ex-F1 driver Alex Yoong.

Verstappen recovered and ran within two seconds of the race leader but may face an investigation for an unsafe release.

The 2 Seas Motorsport car is in fourth place sandwiched between the #13 and the #01 Rebellion Williams Esports entries.

Team Penske’s sole entry lost a significant amount of time when Simon Pagenaud’s simulator steering wheel broke, he made a quick replacement but ran 22nd at the end of eight hours.

Following the red flag period, Fernando Alonso and Rubens Barrichello’s car was allowed to re-start the race after Alonso originally ran out of fuel in the first hour and retired. It sat in 27th place and six laps down.

Porsche dominates GTE class as Leclerc spins

Porsche Esports Supercup Joshua Rogers set a series of fastest laps to give the #93 Porsche a dominant lead in the GTE class.

Rogers shares that car with Le Mans winner Nick Tandy, real-world 2019 Porsche Supercup runner-up Ayhancan Guven and fellow sim racer Tommy Ostgaard.

Charles Leclerc spun his Ferrari from second to third place just moments after he had emerged from the stepping into the virtual car for the first time since the opening stint.

The #91 Porsche further demoted Leclerc to fourth place and ensured a one-two-three for the German manufacturer.

Romain Grosjean’s Esports team was fighting for a podium place prior to a collision with the LMP2 of Katherine Legge, who was recovering following a spin at the second chicane on the Mulsanne Straight.

She received a one-second stop-go penalty for an un-safe re-join and the all-female #50 Richard Mille Racing entry ran 23rd at the end of the eighth hour.

You can follow all of the action live on Motorsport.com and Motorsport.TV.

shares
comments
Leclerc "definitely" wants to race in real-world Le Mans
Previous article

Leclerc "definitely" wants to race in real-world Le Mans

Next article

Verstappen out of Le Mans Virtual, Leclerc also hits trouble

Verstappen out of Le Mans Virtual, Leclerc also hits trouble
Load comments
How an unlikely tie-up won sim racing's biggest prize Prime

How an unlikely tie-up won sim racing's biggest prize

An unlikely partnership between World Endurance Championship LMP1 privateers Rebellion Racing and Williams Formula 1's highly-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 seriously should Esports be taken? Prime

How seriously should Esports be taken?

As interest in Esports has increased during the coronavirus lockdown, the lines have become blurred between what's real and what's virtual - especially when some high-profile participants seem to be playing for laughs, says Luke Smith

Esports
Jun 10, 2020
Why Abt's deception left Audi with no choice Prime

Why Abt's deception left Audi with no choice

Daniel Abt's suspension by the Audi Formula E team - and possible loss of his drive - for fielding a ringer in an Esports event could be considered an overreaction. But in a wider context, his employers had little other alternative

Esports
May 26, 2020
How Leclerc is embracing his new mission Prime

How Leclerc is embracing his new mission

The emergence of Ferrari F1 driver Charles Leclerc as a Twitch streaming star has been one of the pleasant surprises of lockdown so far. He says it is giving fans a greater insight into his nature, but that's not his primary purpose

Formula 1
Apr 23, 2020
Leclerc's Virtual GP annihilation deserves great credit Prime

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 Prime

How the hidden side of being fast has been exposed

The lack of real track action so far this year hasn't stop drivers from keeping their racing brains 'fresh', as former F1 star Stoffel Vandoorne suggested last weekend.

Esports
Apr 2, 2020
Why entertainment isn't Esports greatest virtue right now Prime

Why entertainment isn't Esports greatest virtue right now

MotoGP's virtual #StayAtHomeGP was a sad reminder of some of the storylines that could be unfolding had the real-life season not been delayed indefinitely by the coronavirus pandemic. While we can bemoan Esports as being a poor relation of the real thing, it has an even more important function to perform

MotoGP
Mar 30, 2020
F1’s pantomime Virtual GP is fun but unsustainable Prime

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