Michelin, Porsche, Tandy add virtual Le Mans wins to real world ones

June 15, 2020

Michelin, Porsche, Tandy add virtual Le Mans wins to real world ones

June 15, 2020

One IMSA regular now has a unique Le Mans double win on his resume as Michelin supported all 50 cars in the inaugural 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual race this weekend.

Porsche factory ace Nick Tandy shared the GTE class winning No. 93 Porsche 911 RSR, as part of the four-car Porsche Esports Team (above photo courtesy: Porsche).

Porsche controlled the race in that class, which also saw entries from Aston Martin, Chevrolet Corvette and Ferrari.

The No. 93 Porsche qualified fastest, then led 292 of 339 laps in class, including the last 261 straight.

Tandy shared the car with Porsche Junior Ayhancan Guven and sim racers Josh Rogers and Tommy Östgaard.

Two class winning cars from Rebellion Williams ESport and Porsche Esports Team. Photo: Michelin

Overall and in LMP, Rebellion Williams ESport (Louis Deletraz, Raffaele Marciello, Nikodem Wisniewski and Kuba Brzezinski) took the win after a closely fought battle with ByKolles-Burst ESport. All LMP cars ran the Oreca 07 LMP2 chassis.

MICHELIN RECAP

For Michelin, the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual was a showcase event in the virtual world. Teams were not bound by any tire limitations.

As such, teams could run full tilt for 24 hours knowing a change was possible at every stop to maximize performance.

New MICHELIN Pilot Sport branded tire. Photo: Michelin

The rFactor 2 platform allowed drivers to express their feel and feedback for each of Michelin’s three dry weather compounds, the Pilot Sport Soft, Medium and Hard, respectively.

In the real race, teams try to optimize tire longevity for generally three or four stints to limit the number of full-service pit stops.

Michelin Motorsport’s full post-race release is linked here.

TANDY, PORSCHE, MICHELIN MILESTONES

For both Tandy and Porsche, this win on June 14 laddered up to some career milestones.

On June 14, 1970, Porsche won its first of its 19 overall victories at Le Mans, with Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood sharing the 917 KH.

Additionally, Tandy won his first overall Le Mans with Porsche’s 919 Hybrid on that day in 2015. Tandy, Earl Bamber and Nico Hulkenberg shared the No. 19 car then.

That 2015 win was Porsche’s first overall at Le Mans since 1998 with the GT1-98.

The 1998 race kicked off Michelin’s run of 22 consecutive overall victories, which continues to this day ahead of this year’s race rescheduled for September 19-20, 2020.

REFLECTION ON THE RARE DOUBLE

“There were so many people working behind the scenes,” Tandy said.

“It’s a fun thing for me because the sim racing is not my forte; it’s not my normal thing. But the competition aspect and the way we go racing is exactly the same.

“That’s two Le Mans wins for me, which makes me really, really happy.”

OTHER IMSA PERFORMANCES
50 cars, including 30 LMP and 20 GTE cars, started the race. Photo: Michelin

Tandy wasn’t the only IMSA regular driver or team racing in 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual.

Corvette Racing fielded a pair of GTE entries, and finished reasonably well in fourth and sixth, respectively. Current IMSA drivers Jordan Taylor, Tommy Milner and Nicky Catsburg were split between the two cars, with multiple-time Corvette IMSA champion Jan Magnussen also back for another drive. Taylor’s race was marred by contact from several LMP cars and force feedback issues on his steering wheel.

Team Penske flew the flag for IMSA teams in the LMP class, although had an adventurous race. Without any sim racers in its lineup, the quartet of its real-world champions Dane Cameron, Juan Pablo Montoya, Ricky Taylor and Simon Pagenaud sought to learn and showcase the Penske brand in the game. Pagenaud had an unintended starring moment when his steering wheel seized up and he performed an in-game rig change on the fly!

The three other full-time IMSA drivers in the race finished in these positions:

  • Harry Tincknell (No. 97 Aston Martin, 14th GTE)
  • Katherine Legge (No. 50 Richard Mille Oreca, 19th LMP)
  • Seb Priaulx (No. 15 Multimatic Zansho Oreca, 23rd LMP)

Latest Tweets

Latest Photos

Latest Video

IMSA ‘Ask the Paddock’ with Ménard, Holley

Thursday May 21, 2020