As the return to the racetrack draws ever closer for IMSA competitors, the season of virtual racing is set for one more flourish next week.
In addition to the season finale for the IMSA iRacing Pro Series – next Thursday’s Konica Minolta Presents IMSA iRacing at Watkins Glen International – a strong contingent of IMSA superstars and teams are set to participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual on June 13-14.
Nine full-time IMSA drivers and two iconic teams – Team Penske and Corvette Racing – have been entered as part of a 200-driver, 50-car field for the twice-around-the-clock event on the virtual Circuit de la Sarthe. The race is being held on the originally scheduled weekend for the real-life 24 Hours of Le Mans, which now is scheduled for Sept. 19-20.
The field will be comprised of 30 LMP prototype machines – all ORECA 07 LMP2s – and 20 GTE entries from one of four manufacturers: Corvette, Porsche, Ferrari and Aston Martin. As is traditionally the case with the real-life event, the race will start at 3 p.m. Le Mans time (9 a.m. ET) on Saturday, June 13 with the checkered flag falling 24 hours later.
Team Penske will have one LMP entry, the No. 6 ORECA, which will be shared by IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Champions Juan Pablo Montoya, Dane Cameron and Ricky Taylor, along with Simon Pagenaud, the 2019 Indianapolis 500 winner and 2016 IndyCar champion. Prior to his Indy 500 and IndyCar titles, Pagenaud was an IMSA champion, taking the LMP class title in 2010.
Contributing more IMSA horsepower to the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual field will be Katherine Legge – who is trading her regular ride in the No. 19 GEAR Racing powered by GRT Grasser Lamborghini Huracán GT3 in the WeatherTech Championship GT Daytona (GTD) class for the No. 50 Richard Mille Racing Team ORECA. She will again be part of an all-female driving lineup alongside Colombian driver Tati Calderon – with whom she co-drove in January’s Rolex 24 At Daytona – as well as Germany’s Sophia Floresch and Australia’s Emily Jones.
Also competing in the LMP field will be Seb Priaulx in the No. 15 Multimatic Sansho ORECA. In March, Priaulx was confirmed as a full-time driver of the No. 22 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang GT4 in the 2020 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge. Next weekend, he’ll share the virtual ride with his father, multi-time touring car champion Andy Priaulx, and accomplished sim racers Mike Epps and Olivier Fortin.
More WeatherTech Championship stars can be found in the GTE class, which includes a pair of Corvette C7.R entries from Corvette Racing. Jordan Taylor, the 2017 WeatherTech Championship Prototype champion, has been entered in the No. 63 Corvette alongside Nicky Catsburg – his 2020 IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup teammate and a top contender for the IMSA iRacing Pro Series title – as well as sim racers Alex Voss and Laurin Heinrich.
The No. 64 Corvette will include 2016 WeatherTech Championship GT Le Mans (GTLM) champion Tommy Milner and two-time GTLM titlist Jan Magnussen along with German driver Dennis Lind and Serbian sim racer Alen Terzic.
WeatherTech Championship star Nick Tandy – a Rolex 24 At Daytona, Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring and 24 Hours of Le Mans winner – also will be in the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual field in the No. 93 Porsche Esports Team 911 RSR with Ayhancan Given, Joshua Rogers and Tommy Ostgaard. Tandy also won the IMSA iRacing Pro Series round at Road America last month, while Turkey’s Guven has competed in three IMSA iRacing events.
Another WeatherTech Championship and IMSA iRacing Pro Series regular, Harry Tincknell, will take on the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual field in the No. 97 Aston Martin Racing Vantage GTE alongside 2017 Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring winner Alex Lynn, Charles Eastwood and Tiziano Brioni. Tincknell co-drives the No. 55 Mazda RT24-P DPi machine in the WeatherTech Championship on a full-time basis alongside Jonathan Bomarito.
Additional details on the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual – including tune-in information – is expected shortly.
Photo Credit: Porsche