Michelin set to supply Le Mans 24H Virtual race

June 12, 2020

Michelin set to supply Le Mans 24H Virtual race

June 12, 2020

Nearly 100 years on from winning the inaugural 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1923, Michelin heads into a new frontier this weekend. The official 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual race takes place Saturday and Sunday, and Michelin will supply all 50 cars entered.

Here is what to look for from Michelin and North American/IMSA specific standpoints this weekend.

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HOW TO WATCH

ESPN2 will carry double digit hours of coverage on U.S. TV. According to the official release, those times are:

  • Saturday, June 13, 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. ET and 3 to 5 p.m. ET
  • Sunday, June 14, 3 to 9:15 a.m. ET

The FIA WEC / 24 Hours of Le Mans social channels and official App will stream the whole race online, per the 24 Hours of Le Mans website.

TIRE INFO
New virtual sidewall for MICHELIN Pilot Sport competition tire.

Tire strategies will be an integral part of the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual, as they would be in the real race. Teams will have three dry weather compounds available and a single wet weather compound. The virtual weather may be as unpredictable as the real world!

  • Soft: MICHELIN Pilot Sport Soft (qualifying and single stinting)
  • Medium: MICHELIN Pilot Sport Medium (approximately two stints)
  • Hard: MICHELIN Pilot Sport Hard (approximately three stints)
  • Rain: MICHELIN Pilot Sport Rain (wet conditions)

Unlike in the real world, there is no limit to the number of tires. Additionally, the new MICHELIN Pilot Sport sidewall logo debuts.

Further, detailed Michelin tire information from the global team is linked here:

RACE INFO

Similar to the real 24 Hours of Le Mans, there are rules and regulations. They’re summarized here. The race runs on the rFactor 2 platform, rather than iRacing, which IMSA used for its official Pro Series.

The full virtual website with all info is linked here. There’s 50 cars, split into 30 LMP cars (all ORECA 07 LMP2 cars) and 20 GTE cars (mix of Ferrari, Porsche, Corvette and Aston Martin).

Each car can run a maximum of two sim racers among its four drivers. However, some teams are only running one sim racer and two teams (Team Penske and United Autosports) are not using any sim racers.

DRIVERS, TEAMS WITH U.S. CONNECTIONS OF NOTE

IMSA has officially declared two teams and nine full-time drivers competing in this race. Team Penske (No. 6 LMP) and Corvette Racing (Nos. 63 and 64 GTE) fly the flag as IMSA teams.

The IMSA drivers outlined are:

  • Juan Pablo Montoya, Dane Cameron, Ricky Taylor (No. 6 Team Penske Oreca)
  • Katherine Legge (No. 50 Richard Mille Oreca)
  • Seb Priaulx (No. 15 Multimatic Zansho Oreca)
  • Jordan Taylor (No. 63 Corvette)
  • Tommy Milner (No. 64 Corvette)
  • Nick Tandy (No. 93 Porsche)
  • Harry Tincknell (No. 97 Aston Martin)

While those are full-time, there are many others with significant IMSA experience either in recent years or in part-time 2020 roles.

MANY OTHER BIG NAMES

Internationally renowned stars such as F1 world champions Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button, current Formula 1 drivers Charles Leclerc, Max Verstappen, Pierre Gasly, Lando Norris and Antonio Giovinazzi, IndyCar and Indianapolis 500 champions Simon Pagenaud and Tony Kanaan, and reigning Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne are but a handful of the big names in the field.

Many sim racing stars will compete as well. Arguably the deepest lineup in the field that blends real world and sim world stars is Jota Team Redline’s No. 38 car, which features Antonio Felix da Costa, Felix Rosenqvist, Rudy van Buren and Kevin Siggy.

Toyota Gazoo Racing, twice defending Le Mans champion, has its usual drivers split between the Nos. 7 and 8 cars.

Porsche’s four-car lineup features a bevy of factory aces. Aston Martin, Ferrari and Corvette all counter with their own stars in fellow GTE cars.

Legge is part of Richard Mille’s all-female entry, alongside her planned European Le Mans Series teammates Tati Calderon and Sophia Floersch, joined by sim racer Emily Jones.

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