ByKolles and Porsche on pole for 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual

FIA World Endurance Championship LMP1 outfit ByKolles will start the Virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans from pole position after its sim racer Jernej Simoncic set the fastest time in qualifying.

ByKolles and Porsche on pole for 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual

Organised by WEC, Automobile Club de l'Ouest and Motorsport Games, this virtual endurance race will take place on the original weekend of the real-life 24 Hours of Le Mans prior to its postponement to September.

Slovenian rFactor 2 specialist Simoncic lapped the virtual Le Mans circuit in 3m23.380s to top the 20-minute session.

Simoncic is sharing ByKolles’ sole entry with fellow Burst Esport sim racer Jesper Pedersen, 2019 World Touring Car Cup runner-up Esteban Guerrieri and ex-Formula E driver Tom Dillmann, who has driven for ByKolles in the previous two real-world editions of Le Mans.

Starting the race in second place is a WRT-backed entry featuring GT drivers Dries Vanthoor and Kelvin van der Linde and rounding the top three on the grid is the 2 Seas Motorsport entry headed by Formula E ace Oliver Rowland.

In fourth place is the first of a quartet of virtual cars from LMP1 privateer outfit Rebellion Racing, whose entries are supported by Williams Esports.

Its #03 entry comprises two recently-dropped Renault juniors in Ye Yifei and Arthur Rougier, as well as Williams sim racers Isaac Price and Jack Keithley.

Team Redline director Atze Kerkhof’s fastest lap means Redline’s car, which is headlined by Formula 1 stars Max Verstappen and Lando Norris, completes the top five.

Formula E Race at Home Challenge champion Stoffel Vandoorne was one of few real-world drivers competing in the session, and qualified an impressive sixth for Veloce Esports against a field mainly comprising sim racers.

The two Redline-backed JOTA entries placed seventh and ninth on the grid with the second of the Rebellion/Williams cars – featuring Haas F1 reserve Louis Deletraz and Mercedes factory GT star Raffaele Marciello – sandwiched between them in eighth place.

The top 10 is completed by another Veloce entry, this one featuring reigning Le Mans Esports Series champion James Baldwin alongside SUPER GT and Super Formula driver Sacha Fenestraz.

The Fernando Alonso-Rubens Barrichello car will start from 13th while defending two-time real-life Le Mans winner Toyota struggled with its cars qualifying 17th, 18th and 22nd.

Team Penske all real-world driver line-up set the 27th fastest time out of the 30 entries, with two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya and 2016 IndyCar Series champion Simon Pagenaud among its four drivers.

Porsche dominated the GTE class with three of its cars in the first four positions.

Porsche Esports Supercup champion Joshua Rogers topped the GTE-qualifying session, meaning he’ll start on GTE pole ahead of the sister Porsche, whose line-up features Le Mans winners Andre Lotterer and Neel Jani.

Motorsport.tv and Motorsport.com will stream the entire event, with coverage starting from 1:30pm BST on Saturday. There will also be full coverage of all the action and updates across the Motorsport Network's websites and social media accounts.

shares
comments
Why real-life drivers could surprise at virtual Le Mans

Previous article

Why real-life drivers could surprise at virtual Le Mans

Next article

Who are SAFEIS and why are they racing into the spotlight?

Who are SAFEIS and why are they racing into the spotlight?
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