The grid for the Virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans, which will get underway at 15:00 CET this Saturday 13 June, includes six drivers who have already triumphed at the real-world Le Mans 24 Hours. There are two winners on the Toyota Gazoo Racing crew: Sébastien Buemi, 2018 and 2019 winner with the Japanese manufacturer, and Brendon Hartley, 2017 winner in the Porsche 919 Hybrid for Porsche LMP Team. Fernando Alonso, 2018 and 2019 winner with Toyota, will be competing with the FR/RB Allinsports team. The Spanish driver is teamed with Rubens Barrichello, holder of the record for most races in Formula One (323), and simracers Olli Pahkala and Jarl Teien.
Porsche Esports Team, which is fielding four cars in the GTE class, counts three former winners. André Lotterer, three-time winner (2011, 2012 and 2014) with Audi, is competing alongside Neel Jani in the #91 Porsche 911 RSR. Jani took the win with the German marque at the French endurance classic in 2016. Their team also includes simracers Mitchell DeJong and Martti Pietilä. Nick Tandy, 2015 winner with Porsche, will also be on the grid with teammates Ayhancan Güven, Joshua Rogers and Tommy Østgaard.
In addition to these outright victors, there will also be a few class winners. For example, Gustavo Menezes (1st in LMP2 in 2016 with Signatech Alpine) competing with Rebellion Williams Esport, Dries Vanthoor (1st in LMGTE Am in 2017 with JMW Motorsport) competing with E-Team WRT, Will Stevens (1st in LMGTE Am in 2017 with JMW Motorsport) competing with Jota Team Redline, and Thomas Laurent (1st in LMP2 in 2017 with Jackie Chan DC Racing) and André Negrao (1st in LMP2 in 2018 and 2019 with Signatech Alpine), both competing with Signatech Alpine Elf. Then there is Nicolas Lapierre (1st in LMP2 in 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019), driving for Cool Racing. Meanwhile, Jordan Taylor, Tommy Milner (1st in LMGTE Pro in 2015 with Corvette Racing) and Jan Magnussen (1st in LM GTS in 2004, 1st in LM GT1 in 2005, 2006 and 2019) will all be competing for Corvette Racing. And we mustn’t forget Darren Turner (1st in LMGT1 in 2007 and 2008 and 1st in LMGTE Pro in 2017 with Aston Martin Racing), Nicki Thiim (1st in LMGTE Am in 2014 with Aston Martin Racing), Harry Tincknell (1st in LMP2 in 2014 with Jota Sport) and Jonathan Adam (1st in LMGTE Pro in 2017 with Aston Martin Racing), are all lining up for Aston Martin Racing. On the #54 Strong Together crew sporting the colours of the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation, we have Giancarlo Fisichella (LMGTE Pro class winner in 2012 and 2014 with AF Corse), and teammates Francesco Castellacci, Felipe Massa and simracer Tony Mella.
With all of these previous Le Mans 24 Hours winners, competing alongside some of the best esports drivers, the Virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans certainly has an auspicious line-up.
Don’t forget: the Virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans will take place on 13–14 June 2020, the date originally scheduled for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, now postponed to 19–20 September 2020 due to the international health crisis.
See the full entry list for the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual.
PHOTO: André Lotterer and Neel Jani, two former 24 Hours of Le Mans winners, will be teammates on the Porsche Esports Team at the Virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans.
BREAKING NEWS: THE 2020 24 HOURS OF LE MANS TO BE RACED BEHIND CLOSED DOORS