Toyota approaching LM 24H Virtual with a “combination of modesty and excitement”

Toyota GAZOO Racing will be one of the big names running in the LMP2 category at the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual event on June 13-14.

Toyota GAZOO Racing (TGR) are the current reigning (overall/LMP) World Champions in the FIA World Endurance Championship, having claimed both Le Mans wins in the previous WEC season.

Organised by the ACO, WEC and Motorsport Games, the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual race will allow Le Mans fans to spectate a professionally-organised virtual endurance race whilst the real event is deferred to September.

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Hisatake Murata, Team President of TGR said: “E-motorsport is a new experience for us, so we approach the Virtual Le Mans 24 Hours with a combination of excitement and modesty.

“We want to give endurance fans something to be excited about, and to fill the gap on 13-14 June caused by the postponement of the Le Mans 24 Hours.

“It is a new experience for most of us but we are looking forward to competing again, and seeing what we can do in this very competitive field.”

Their driver crews for the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual are:

  • #7 – Mike Conway (GBR), Kamui Kobayashi (JPN), José Maria Lopez (ARG), Maxime Brient (FRA)
  • #8 – Sébastien Buemi (CHE), Brendon Hartley (NZL), Kenta Yamashita (JPN), Yuri Kasdorp (NLD)

Sébastien Buemi of the #8 TGR said: “By now I’m quite familiar with the software as I have been using this to participate in the Formula E e-motorsport championship,” which had just concluded its virtual season.

“I remember how quick Kenta is from last year’s Le Mans, when he set the fastest time on the drivers’ Gran Turismo game.

“We all tried to beat it, but he knew some tricks I think. So I’m excited to be racing with him and Yuri, as well as Brendon of course.

Maxime Brent said: “Of course, I know all about the achievements of Mike, Kamui and José in WEC, and I’ve raced together with José previously in e-motorsport, so I can’t wait for this.

“I have won e-motorsport races at Le Mans in the past, and it’s always special to compete on this track, particularly as I live in the city.”

#7 and #8 TS050 Hybrid liveries on LMP2 Oreca 07s – Image Credit: © Toyota GAZOO Racing

The sporting regulations require a lineup of four drivers per car, with TGR choosing two accomplished sim-racers who have the knowledge and experience on the rFactor 2 platform.

The crews will be supported by an engineering team at the TGR base (Cologne, Germany) to advise, analyse and develop car set-ups and strategy throughout the event.

TGR will participate amongst the 30-cars set to race in the LMP2 category.

As there are no LMP1 hybrid entrants for the event, they will drive an Oreca 07-Gibson with the respective TGR Hybrid liveries modelled.

The 50-car field (both LMP2 and GTE) features competition from iconic names like Team Penske, Team Redline (prominent in the sim-racing world), and other WEC competitors like Rebellion, Aston Martin Racing and Porsche.

One of the handful of three test races took place on Sunday, lasting three hours.

24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual – Schedule British Summer Time / GMT +1
Date Time (BST) Event
May 24 12:00 Test Race – 3 Hours
May 29 12:00 Test Race – 3 Hours
June 7 09:00 Test Race – 6 Hours
June 10 09:00 – 21:00 Free Practice 1
June 11 09:00 – 21:00 Free Practice 2
June 12 09:00 – 16:00 Free Practice 3
June 12 17:15 – 17:30 Qualifying for GTE
June 12 17:40 – 17:55 Qualifying for LMP2
June 13 14:00 Race Start
June 14 14:00 Race Finish