The Automobile Club de l’Ouest dared two Le Mans 24 Hours drivers to pit their wits against professional gamer Alexandre Arnou on the racing simulators at Le Mans Karting International. Who do you think won?
Alexandre Arnou has been a professional Foza Motorsport gamer for five years now. As part of the special LMP2 podium ceremony held on the same day as the premier of the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans film, the young Parisian played against André Négrão (Signatech Alpine Matmut) and Julien Andlauer (Dempsey-Proton Racing).
The simulator match took place at Le Mans Karting International and was followed by a virtual race at the Bugatti track. André Négrão, Julien Andlauer, Alexandre Arnou were joined by three Le Mans 24 Hours fans, delighted to be able to join in the fun. André Négrão came first, with Alexandre Arnou second and Julien Andlauer third. Alexandre Arnou: “This was my first time on the Ellip6 simulator. It threw me at first. I had a lot of ground to make up because I was involved in a crash on the first corner. But I caught up with Julien and André. I was 2 seconds a lap faster than them. I got past Julien towards the end of the race. It was great to play against real drivers."
Some Le Mans 24 Hours drivers have extensive experience with simulator games. Tommy Milner of Corvette Racing helped develop the game Need for Speed Shift, for example. Nicki Thiim (Aston Martin Racing) and José Maria Lopez (Toyota Gazoo Racing) are also keen gamers.
Sébastien Buemi spends a lot of time on the Toyota Gazoo Racing and Red Bull Racing (Formula One) simulators. “At Toyota we do a lot of work on the simulator in between races. It helps us develop the car and work on settings. These days, there’s a high correlation between the simulator and real racing. At home, I don’t play much. It’s hard to fit it in with races and family life,” explains the man who, teamed with Kazuki Nakajima and Fernando Alonso, won this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans in the #8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid.
Did you know?
With the Le Mans Esports Series, you can experience Le Mans 24 Hours for (almost) real! Take up the challenge and maybe you’ll qualify for the grand finale to be held during the 2019 Le Mans 24 Hours. Start practising now!