The opening round of the 2022-23 Le Mans Virtual Series, a joint venture between Motorsport Games Inc. (NASDAQ: MSGM) (“Motorsport Games”) and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (“ACO”), is almost upon us, kicking off this week on Friday, September 16, 2022, leading up to the 8 Hours of Bahrain on Saturday, September 17, 2022. Fans are invited to follow the action provided by the star names, the elite of real and virtual racing, in the biggest endurance esports grid outside the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual.
The five-round season, which includes the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual as its grand finale, will see names such as Max Verstappen, Romain Grosjean, Daniel Juncadella and Rudy van Buren – the sim-racer-turned-pro-racer just signed as a simulator driver to Red Bull Racing F1 – competing with the many factory-supported esports superstars that have become household names. Within the regulations, it should be noted that the pro drivers do not have to take part in every round (see below).
A link to the TV preview show giving all the details for the season ahead can be found HERE, the entry list for the first round, the 8 Hours of Bahrain, can be found HERE, and the spotters guide for the first round can be found HERE.
The Le Mans Virtual Series will once again benefit from the knowledge and talents of top-flight broadcasters who will cover the whole series, plus Le Mans Cup LIVE. Using their expertise, in-depth understanding and analytical skills, they will bring insights into what’s happening on track during the events – plus explanation of rules, behind-the-scenes news and interviews – to fans, competitors and gamers across the world.
The broadcast team will be led by Martin Haven (Rounds 2 and 3) and Ben Constanduros (Rounds 1 and 4), the former one of motorsport’s best-known commentators and lead voice for the FIA World Endurance Championship and the latter the face and voice of the World Rally Championship and many top esports series. As in previous years, they will be accompanied by Chris McCarthy – who has been making his mark in international commentaries for IndyCar and FIA F3 – and Lewis McGlade, who has an encyclopaedic knowledge of sim racing and racers through his commentaries on series such as Formula Pro and Formula E Accelerate, as well as real life GB3 and GB4 championships.
The competition among the 40-strong entries is likely to be as hotly contested as always in both the LMP and GTE categories, racing together via the rFactor 2 platform on the same track and time. No fewer than 120 drivers will be battling it out for the first time on the colourful and iconic virtual Bahrain International Circuit, a welcome addition to the Le Mans Virtual Series.
Changes in the regulations regarding the composition of drivers now include:
- The requirement for the FIA International license holder (i.e., the pro driver) within the nominated roster of four to be a minimum of Bronze-rated and they only have to compete in a minimum of one of the regular LMVS events;
- Teams must field no fewer than three drivers in each of the first four rounds, increasing to four for the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual to be held in January 2023;
- All drivers on a team’s nominated roster of drivers must compete in at least one LMVS round or the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual; and
- Changes made to the driver line-up after the official entry list for that round has been announced will result in a time penalty to be taken during the race. Special dispensation may be given on a case-by-case basis.
And here’s when you can follow the races, live and uninterrupted:
Friday, Sept. 16: (all times British Summer Time / CEST = +1 hour / EST = -5 hours)
18:10 – 18:55 Le Mans Virtual Cup Round 1 – RACE
19:00 Qualifying show live
19:10 – 19:30 Qualifying GTE
19:40 – 20:00 Qualifying LMP
Saturday, Sept. 17:
09:00 – 11:00 Warm up
12:30 Le Mans Virtual Series show live
13:00 8 Hours of Bahrain – RACE
About Le Mans Virtual Series
Le Mans Virtual Series is a global, elite esports series made up of five rounds which bring together endurance and sim racing’s top teams to compete on some of the world’s most famous racetracks. International FIA-licensed real-world drivers are teamed up with elite esports squads to take on endurance classics for a total prize fund of US$250,000, culminating in the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual. Le Mans Virtual Series is a joint venture between Motorsport Games, a leading racing game developer, publisher and esports ecosystem provider of official motorsport racing series throughout the world, and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) – the creator and organizer of the world-famous 24 Hours of Le Mans and promoter of the FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC).
Round 1 8 Hours of Bahrain, Bahrain September 17, 2022
Round 2 4 Hours of Monza, Italy October 8, 2022
Round 3 6 Hours of Spa, Belgium November 5, 2022
Round 4 500 Miles of Sebring, USA December 3, 2022
Round 5 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual January 14/15, 2023
About Motorsport Games:
Motorsport Games, a Motorsport Network company, is a leading racing game developer, publisher and esports ecosystem provider of official motorsport racing series throughout the world. Combining innovative and engaging video games with exciting esports competitions and content for racing fans and gamers, Motorsport Games strives to make the joy of racing accessible to everyone. The Company is the officially licensed video game developer and publisher for iconic motorsport racing series across PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch and mobile, including NASCAR, INDYCAR, 24 Hours of Le Mans and the British Touring Car Championship (“BTCC”), as well as the industry leading rFactor 2 and KartKraft simulations. RFactor 2 also serves as the official sim racing platform of Formula E, while also powering Formula 1™ centers through a partnership with Kindred Concepts. Motorsport Games is an award-winning esports partner of choice for 24 Hours of Le Mans, Formula E, BTCC, the FIA World Rallycross Championship and the eNASCAR Heat Pro League, among others. Motorsport Games is building a virtual racing ecosystem where each product drives excitement, every esports event is an adventure and every story inspires.
Certain statements in this press release which are not historical facts are forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and are provided pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any statements in this press release that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed forward-looking statements. Words such as “continue,” “will,” “may,” “could,” “should,” “expect,” “expected,” “plans,” “intend,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “predict,” “potential,” and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements concerning the timing, participants and expected benefits of the 2022-23 Le Mans Virtual Series. All forward-looking statements involve significant risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements, many of which are generally outside the control of Motorsport Games and are difficult to predict. Examples of such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: difficulties, delays in or unanticipated events that may impact the timing and expected benefits of the Le Mans Virtual Series, such as due to unexpected changes in the event participants, as well as less than anticipated participation in or viewership of the Le Mans Virtual Series events. Factors other than those referred to above could also cause Motorsport Games’ results to differ materially from expected results. Additional factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements can be found in Motorsport Games’ filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021, its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q filed with the SEC during 2022, as well as in its subsequent filings with the SEC. Motorsport Games anticipates that subsequent events and developments may cause its plans, intentions and expectations to change. Motorsport Games assumes no obligation, and it specifically disclaims any intention or obligation, to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as expressly required by law. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made and should not be relied upon as representing Motorsport Games’ plans and expectations as of any subsequent date. Additionally, the business and financial materials and any other statement or disclosure on, or made available through, Motorsport Games’ website or other websites referenced or linked to this press release shall not be incorporated by reference into this press release.
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