The Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) and Microsoft are delighted to announce the 24 Hours of Le Mans esports event, with the Forza Racing Championship (Forza RC) Season 3: The Porsche Cup Elite finals to be held on 17 and 18 June alongside the iconic endurance race. To mark this unique partnership, bringing together real-world motorsport and esports, ACO has created an Official Endurance esports Category. The winners of the Forza RC finals will be handed their trophy on the same 24 Hours of Le Mans podium as the victors of the French twice-round-the-clock classic. This partnership signals ACO’s firm intention to use the realm of video gaming to promote motorsports and endurance on the international stage and reach out to new audiences keen on virtual racing and real-life competition.
Innovation is a key concept at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the worlds of motor racing and video games have always been closely linked. For several years now, ACO has been exploring the latest virtual reality technologies and esports to attract a growing number of connected fans and digital natives to motorsport. One highly visible element of this strategy was the Virtual Room in the 2016 Le Mans Race Village – a unique experience offering the very best of virtual reality and gaming.
This year, ACO is going one step further as it introduces the 24 Hours of Le Mans esports with Forza Motorsport 6’’ and the Elite final of ForzaRC Season 3: The Porsche Cup (an international online championship featuring Microsoft’s flagship racing franchise). Over a hundred gamers will be present in the Race Village at Le Mans to take part in this unprecedented event.
ForzaRC is the benchmark online esports championship played all over the world. The gamers hone their racing skills as they go through the various stages. The championship’s very best players will drive some of the most iconic cars to have raced in the 24 Hours of Le Mans around the various circuits of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), with the final on the legendary Circuit de la Sarthe.
For Pierre Fillon, President of Automobile Club de l’Ouest, “There are close ties between the realms of motorsport and video gaming. The Forza franchise games are incredibly realistic and give players a chance to see what it’s like to drive a top-flight racing car, but they are also used by professional drivers as a means of getting to know the circuits! Automobile Club de l’Ouest is very excited about hosting the final of the third season of Forza Racing Championship Season 3: The Porsche Cup. It is an extraordinary opportunity to bring together the world’s best gamers and drivers to share their passion for motor racing.”
ACO, organiser of the world’s most prestigious endurance race, the Forza franchise, home to the world’s largest gaming community with over four million active users per month, and Porsche, the most successful marque in the history of the 24 Hours with 18 Le Mans wins, all share one thing: a passion for high-level competition. Together they have created a brand new racing event set to make history this June.