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Victory for Rebellion Williams Esport and Porsche at 24h Le Mans Virtual

Photo: FIA WEC

The scene was set for the biggest event in simracing history and it was an action packed race which shows what simracing is capable of. Friday we had the qualifying session where Jernej Simončič in the ByKolles Burst Esport car took pole position in the LMP class closely followed by E-Team WRT and 2 Seas Motorsport. In the GTE class, it’s was a Porsche 1-2-3 with the two factory entries locking out the front row and Dempsey-Proton Racing in third. Tom Dillmann lead the 50 car field when the green flag was shown but later he got a drive through penalty for a jump start. Kelvin Van der Linde in the E-Team WRT car took over the lead, with the pole sitter dropping down the field due to the penalty. That, however, wouldn’t be the last we saw of them. Team Redline arrived with a very high profile line-up in Formula One driver Max Verstappen and Lando Norris who shared the car with huge name from simracing in Atze Kerkhof and Greger Huttu. They showed lighting pace right from the start and looked as a contender to win the race for a long time, but due to technical issues, they had to retire the car during the night. It was a close fight all race in the GTE class between the Porsche’s who swapped position multiple times. R8G Esport was interrupting the German manufacturer dominance in their Corvette C7R. Also, Aston Martin Racing with Nicki Thiim as usual in the no. 95 car setting his mark that he was up for the task of giving the British car brand a victory at Circuit de la Sarthe. All race through, the battle for the lead in the LMP class was ever close. After 6 hours and 20 minutes of racing, the ByKolles Burst Esport car, who had served a drive through at the start of the race retook the lead with Jesper Pedersen behind the wheel. But just one lap later he suffered a wheel failure, which forced them to make an early pitstop and get Tom Dillmann back in the car. Devin Braune, who recently won the LMP2 championship in the Virtual Endurance Championship and Rory MacDuff was showing great pace too in the #33 2 Seas Motorsport car which always was present at the top. With 4 hours to go, the gap between top 3 in the LMP class was down to just 25 seconds. The no. 1 and 13 Rebellion Williams Esport and the no. 4 ByKolles Burst Esport car. A very intense fight for the win unfolded and with a brave move around the outside on the entry to the Porsche curves, Jernej Simončič took second place and were on the charge to catch Nikodem Wisniewski who had a 20 second lead with just 20 minutes to go. Simončič wasn’t able to catch the Wisniewski and therefore, the no. 1 Rebellion Williams Esport car of Louis Deletraz, Raffaele Marciello, Kuba Brzezinski and Wisniewski himself, crossed the finish line as winners of the 24 hours of Le Mans Virtual. ByKolles Burst Esport finished in 2nd place with the other Rebellion Williams Esport in 3rd. In the GTE class, the 93 Porsche with Nick Tandy, Ayhancan Güven, Joshua Rogers and Tommy Østgaard took the win after starting from pole position followed by the 95 Aston Martin Racing taking second place in the closing stages and R8G Esport on the last step on the podium. The Automobile Club de l'Ouest, FIA WEC and Motorsport Games produced a milestone in simracing history. A truly incredible event which could be the start of a big future for simracing.

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