The Le Mans Esports Series allows esports stars and those at home to take part in the action and compete for victories on virtual race tracks in iconic Le Mans race cars.
The Le Mans Esports Series (LMES) runs in partnership between the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) and Motorsport Network.
Now in Season 2, it provides stranded WEC fans a chance to witness and even get involved with some virtual on-track action, following the postponement of the 1000 Miles of Sebring and 6 Hours of Spa races.
The competition itself is run on the Forza Motorsport 7 racing game, as the series cooperates closely with Microsoft (played on Xbox or PC platforms only).
There are two types of races: sprint (lasting 20 minutes) and a feature/endurance (lasting 60 minutes).
They utilise elements and the mechanics of the Forza Motorsport 7 game such as its online platform and Rivals to stage the events.
Despite lacking the hardcore authenticity of a game like iRacing, the game illustrates detailed cars and tracks in a remarkable fashion as participants still use driving technique (on wheel/controller) to compete.
This enables wheel-to-wheel action integrated with strategic challenges to be viewed by many as it is broadcasted on Motorsport.TV and other social media like Youtube.
In typical endurance fashion, there are a mix of professional and amateur (of team and individual entrants) that race alongside two different calendars, meaning that anyone is at equal chance to participate through the pre-season qualifying.
The pro qualifying prize funds go as follows:
- Pro Team Qualification Series – $50,000
- Pro Team Super Final – $100,000
- Pro-Am Super Final – $50,000
The racers fall into either of the following categories: Pro Teams, Pro Rivals (done through FM 7 Rivals – time trial-based competition), and Amateurs.
The participants are not only competing for outright victories, but also for the ultimate $200,000 prize money awarded at the end of the Super Final at Le Mans where the two categories merge to race multi-class.
Driving the #8 Toyota GAZOO Racing LMP1 car during the WEC SuperSeason (winning the drivers’ championship too), Fernando Alonso stated: “The Le Mans Esports Series will be very attractive.
“The platforms that you have out there are impressive,” the now two-time Le Mans winner said at the launch of LMES at the 6 Hours of Silverstone (Season 7).
“I’m happy to be an owner of the (FA Racing Logitech G Esports) team, I’m very proud of what the guys are doing, and I think that you will have a huge success with this new adventure, a lot of people are behind it,” he told Motorsport.com.
“The possibilities that Esports has are unlimited. We have probably not reached the limit yet, we will keep discovering more that can offer that platform.
“We will enjoy it together.”
The 2020 Super-Final will take place right at the Circuit de la Sarthe, prior to the 24 Hours of Le Mans race.
Only six teams in the Pro Teams Standings (led by Red Bull Racing Esports at 186 points) have qualified for the Super Final, but their efforts at the top can still be challenged at Round 5.
Other Pro teams include Ford’s official esports team ‘Fordzilla,’ who sit P9 out of 16 teams in the standings.
The participants at Circuit de la Sarthe will be treated to the race and the various activities that Le Mans offers, and will also have the opportunity to earn their place on the esteemed Le Mans podium.
At last year’s Super Final, Veloce Esports had made up for a 15-second deficit to win in the final race of the 24 Hour Super Final; the first day was a marathon of nine two-hour races, with more on the following day.
Veloce entered the series as a wildcard entry alongside SMP Racing, joining ten qualified teams to fight for title.
Due to the recent COVID-19 circumstances, the schedule has been adjusted so that the Super Final will still take place at Circuit de la Sarthe, but in September instead of the original June dates.
For more details about the LMES, visit www.lemansesports.com.
|Event Name||Start Date||End Date||Place||Car/Track|
|Rivals – Round 1||Nov 15 – 00:01 UTC||Nov 24 – 23:59 UTC||Rivals||Porsche #2 Porsche Team 919 Hybrid @ Le Mans|
|Pro Teams – Round 1||Nov 30 – 19:00 UTC||Nov 30 – 21:00 UTC||Online Multiplayer||Ferrari #51 AF Corse 458 Italia GTE @ Le Mans|
|Rivals – Round 2||Dec 13 – 00:01 UTC||Dec 22 – 23:59 UTC||Rivals||Ferrari #51 AF Corse 458 Italia GTE @ Road Atlanta Full|
|Autosport AM||Jan 09 – 09:00 UTC||Jan 12 – 18:00 UTC||Autosport International, Birmingham NEC||Onsite at the 2020 Autosport International Show, Mazda #55 Mazda 787B @ Silverstone GP|
|Rivals – Round 3||Jan 10 – 00:01 UTC||Jan 19 – 23:59 UTC||Rivals||Mazda #55 Mazda 787B @ Silverstone GP|
|Autosport Pro Teams Invitational||Jan 11 – 14:00 UTC||Jan 11 – 16:00 UTC||Autosport International, Birmingham NEC||1966 Ford #2 GT40 Mk II Le Mans @ Classic Circuit de la Sarthe|
|Rivals – Round 4||Jan 31 – 00:01 UTC||Feb 09 – 23:59 UTC||Rivals||Lancia #31 Lancia Corse Beta Montecarlo Turbo @ Nürburgring GP|
|Pro Teams – Round 2||Feb 01 – 19:00 UTC||Feb 01 – 21:00 UTC||Online Multiplayer||Mazda #55 Mazda 787B @ Silverstone GP|
|Pro Teams – Round 3||Feb 29 – 19:00 UTC||Feb 29 – 21:00 UTC||Online Multiplayer||Lancia #31 Lancia Corse Beta Montecarlo Turbo @ Circuit of the Americas|
|Rivals – Round 5||Mar 20 – 00:01 UTC||Mar 29 – 23:59 UTC||Rivals||Ford #66 Ford Racing GT Le Mans @ Sebring|
|Pro Teams – Round 4||Mar 28 – 19:00 UTC||Mar 28 – 21:00 UTC||Online Multiplayer||Ford #66 Ford Racing GT Le Mans @ Sebring|
|Rivals – Round 6||Apr 24 – 00:01 UTC||May 03 – 23:59 UTC||Rivals||Porsche #92 Porsche GT Team 911 RSR @ Spa-Francorchamps|
|Pro Teams – Round 5||Apr 25 – 19:00 UTC||Apr 25 – 21:00 UTC||Online Multiplayer||Porsche #92 Porsche GT Team 911 RSR @ Spa-Francorchamps|
|Super Final – All Teams||Sep 18 – 12:00 UTC||Sep 19 – 12:00 UTC||Le Mans, France||TBA|