Verstappen out of Le Mans Virtual, Leclerc also hits trouble

Team Redline’s Max Verstappen crashed out of the lead of the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual as a result of suspected technical issues just under 10 hours into the race.

Verstappen, along with his Redline team-mates Lando Norris, Greger Huttu and Atze Kerkhof were consistently in the lead battle for the rFactor 2 endurance race, which was organised by the World Endurance Championship, Automobile Club de l'Ouest and Motorsport Games.

At the eight-hour mark, Formula 1 star Verstappen picked up damage to his virtual LMP2 car in a bizarre pitlane incident, when he exited into the path of the #21 Axle Motorsport entry. 

Verstappen’s exit from his pit box was obscured by the #51 Ferrari GTE car which entered the pits sideways. 

Verstappen was able to re-join the race in second place and took the lead when the #16 Veloce car, which has Mercedes Formula E driver Stoffel Vandoorne among its driver line-up, made an unscheduled pitstop. 

Rebellion Williams Esports’ #13 entry, with Mercedes factory GT ace Raffaele Marciello at the wheel was able to rapidly close on the wounded Verstappen.

Ex-Ferrari junior Marciello was able to close to within a second of Verstappen before the Dutchman suffered a series of technical issues which resulted in his car crashing into the barriers through the Porsche Curves. 

Verstappen pitted for repairs and then handed over the Redline entry to Kerkhof, who began his attempted charge to return to the top 10. 

Marciello held the race lead over Formula E’s Oliver Rowland in the 2 Seas Motorsport entry, with another Rebellion Williams car – featuring Williams F1 junior Jack Aitken -  completing the top three in the LMP class. 

The GTE class was been dominated by the #93 Porsche, with Norwegian sim racer Tommy Ostgard driving the latest stint. 

The sister #92 and #91 factory-backed Porsche cars maintained the manufacturer’s 1-2-3 at the 10-hour mark. 

Charles Leclerc suffered a nightmare second stint in his Ferrari 488 GTE, as he spun out of second place shortly after exiting the pitlane.

He was then hit with a multitude of technical issues that left his car – now in the hands of fellow F1 star Antonio Giovinazzi – ran last at the close of the 10th hour. 

You can follow all of the action live on Autosport, Motorsport.com and Motorsport.tv.

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