May 15 (Reuters) - Le Mans organisers are planning to put on the world’s biggest virtual endurance race in June after being forced to postpone this year’s 24 Hours to September because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The June 13-14 esports event will feature teams of professional racing drivers and gamers competing remotely on simulators.
“It will be the most extreme test seen in the virtual world and it will be broadcast live on TV across the globe,” the World Endurance Championship (WEC) and Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) said in a statement on Friday.
The teams will each feature four drivers, with at least two professional racers and a maximum of two esports specialists, competing on the rFactor 2 simulator platform.
The starting grid will be for a maximum 50 cars, all from the LMP2 and GTE categories.
Racers will have to handle conditions similar to the French endurance classic, with variable day and night weather conditions and damaged cars repairable in the pits. A race director will oversee proceedings.
No driver will be able to do more than seven hours at the wheel and each will have to do a minimum four hours.
“This first edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual opens a new chapter for our discipline,” said ACO president Pierre Fillon. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Christian Radnedge)