The opening round of the 2022-23 Le Mans Virtual Series, a joint venture between Motorsport Games Inc. and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (“ACO”), is almost upon us
Kicking off this week on Friday, September 16, 2022, leading up to the 8 Hours of Bahrain on Saturday, September 17, 2022.
Fans are invited to follow the action provided by the star names, the elite of real and virtual racing, in the biggest endurance esports grid outside the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual.
The five-round season, which includes the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual as its grand finale, will see names such as Max Verstappen, Romain Grosjean, Daniel Juncadella and Rudy van Buren – the sim-racer-turned-pro-racer just signed as a simulator driver to Red Bull Racing F1 – competing with the many factory-supported esports superstars that have become household names.
Within the regulations, it should be noted that the pro drivers do not have to take part in every round (see below).
Fans are invited to follow the action online on YouTube:
A link to the TV preview show giving all the details for the season ahead can be found HERE and the entry list for the first round, the 8 Hours of Bahrain, can be found HERE.
The Le Mans Virtual Series will once again benefit from the knowledge and talents of top-flight broadcasters who will cover the whole series, plus Le Mans Cup LIVE.
Using their expertise, in-depth understanding and analytical skills, they will bring insights into what’s happening on track during the events – plus explanation of rules, behind-the-scenes news and interviews – to fans, competitors and gamers across the world.
The broadcast team will be led by Martin Haven (Rounds 2 and 3) and Ben Constanduros (Rounds 1 and 4), the former one of motorsport’s best-known commentators and lead voice for the FIA World Endurance Championship and the latter the face and voice of the World Rally Championship and many top esports series.
As in previous years, they will be accompanied by Chris McCarthy – who has been making his mark in international commentaries for IndyCar and FIA F3 – and Lewis McGlade, who has an encyclopaedic knowledge of sim racing and racers through his commentaries on series such as Formula Pro and Formula E Accelerate, as well as real life GB3 and GB4 championships.
The competition among the 40-strong entries is likely to be as hotly contested as always in both the LMP and GTE categories, racing together via the rFactor 2 platform on the same track and time. No fewer than 120 drivers will be battling it out for the first time on the colourful and iconic virtual Bahrain International Circuit, a welcome addition to the Le Mans Virtual Series.
Changes in the regulations regarding the composition of drivers now include:
The requirement for the FIA International license holder (i.e., the pro driver) within the nominated roster of four to be a minimum of Bronze-rated and they only have to compete in a minimum of one of the regular LMVS events;
Teams must field no fewer than three drivers in each of the first four rounds, increasing to four for the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual to be held in January 2023;
All drivers on a team’s nominated roster of drivers must compete in at least one LMVS round or the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual; and
Changes made to the driver line-up after the official entry list for that round has been announced will result in a time penalty to be taken during the race. Special dispensation may be given on a case-by-case basis.
And here’s when you can follow the races, live and uninterrupted:
Friday, Sept. 16: (all times British Summer Time / CEST = +1 hour / EST = -5 hours)
18:10 – 18:55 Le Mans Virtual Cup Round 1 – RACE
19:00 Qualifying show live
19:10 – 19:30 Qualifying GTE
19:40 – 20:00 Qualifying LMP
Saturday, Sept. 17:
09:00 – 11:00 Warm up
12:30Le Mans Virtual Series show live
13:008 Hours of Bahrain – RACE
About Le Mans Virtual Series
Le Mans Virtual Series is a global, elite esports series made up of five rounds which bring together endurance and sim racing’s top teams to compete on some of the world’s most famous racetracks.
International FIA-licensed real-world drivers are teamed up with elite esports squads to take on endurance classics for a total prize fund of US$250,000, culminating in the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual.
Le Mans Virtual Series is a joint venture between Motorsport Games, a leading racing game developer, publisher and esports ecosystem provider of official motorsport racing series throughout the world, and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) – the creator and organizer of the world-famous 24 Hours of Le Mans and promoter of the FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC).
Round 1 8 Hours of Bahrain, BahrainSeptember 17, 2022
Round 2 4 Hours of Monza, ItalyOctober 8, 2022
Round 3 6 Hours of Spa, BelgiumNovember 5, 2022
Round 4 500 Miles of Sebring, USA December 3, 2022
Round 5 24 Hours of Le Mans VirtualJanuary 14/15, 2023