The 8 Hours of Bahrain race opened this year’s Le Mans Virtual Series, which came to a pulse-racing conclusion as Jesper Pedersen, Jernej Simončič and Damian Skowron from FLOYD VANWALL-BURST topped the podium on the stunning new-to-rFactor2 virtual track – the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir. In second and third places were R8G Esports and Team Redline.
Cooper Webster, Yuri Kasdorp and Dennis Jordan from Oracle Red Bull Racing took first place in the GTE category over the 5.41km/3.36-mile long track. An exciting contest throughout on an incredible track, the day-to-night (finishing under floodlights) event featured:
- A strong performance from FLOYD VANWALL-BURST crowning them the winners of the first race of the Le Mans Virtual 2022-23 season
- An intense battle for 2nd between R8G Esports and Team Redline in the final few laps with R8G Esports coming out on top
- Collin Spork from Alpine Esports and Jordy Zwiers from SF Velas Esports Team secured the fastest laps in the two categories
We’re sharing the highlights of the race for news interest–you can see the full post-race report below. You can also watch the official highlights video here.
Le Mans Virtual Series, 8 Hours of Bahrain – As it happened
- 8 Hours of Bahrain, the first of five rounds of the Le Mans Virtual Series, kicked off Saturday 17th September with 120 drivers across the LMP and GTE classes competing for victory. Star drivers such as 2021 Le Mans Virtual Series champions Jeffrey Rietveld and Michal Smidl, Formula E racer Sergio Sette Camara, and former 24 Hours of Nürburgring winner Sami-Matti Trogen all competed in one of the most hotly contested sim racing events of the year.
- Bahrain provided clear, dry weather conditions throughout the 8-hours providing the perfect backdrop for entertaining and nail-biting racing
- In the LMP classification, FLOYD VANWALL-BURST took first place with Jernej Simončič taking his team over the finish line. Simončič had a comfortable lead in the final few laps and saw FLOYD VANWALL-BURST finish with a total race time of 8:01:19.750.
- Team Redline and R8G Esports provided a wealth of excitement in the last few laps with an intense race for 2nd place overall. Despite showcasing an impressive performance throughout the race, last year’s champions Team Redline had to be satisfied with third place.
- Jernej Simončič from FLOYD VANWALL-BURST spoke after the race about the close race with Team Redline: “We were so confused by the Redline strategy. We were trying to make sense of it for one hour or so and in the end, it didn’t make sense but they still appeared to be ahead of us. So we knew that we just needed to keep going with our strategy advantage; we had 2/3 laps on them. We carried that and tried to strike in the end. Fortunately in the end I had the pace to make the catch for the lead.”
- Collin Spork from Alpine Esports set the fastest lap in the LMP category with an impressive lap time of 1:42.606.
- In the GTE classification, it was a dominant showing from first time Le Mans Virtual race winner, Oracle Red Bull Racing, with a final race time of 8:02:57.504. SF Velas Esports Team recorded a series’ best result for a Ferrari to finish in second, and BMW Team Redline came in third.
- Dennis Jordan from Oracle Red Bull Racing spoke about his teammate Yuri Kasdorp after the race: “Yuri was just on fire. What he did at the start was just incredible. In his first two stints, I have never seen anything like it, all credit to him. It’s his birthday today as well; he really made us win the race today,”
- Jordy Zwiers from SF Velas Esports Team was awarded the fastest GTE lap with a time of 1:54.813
Three more races remain in this thrilling competition before the finale of the Le Mans Virtual Series season, the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual on January 14/15, 2023, all of which will be held online on the rFactor2 platform.
Next Up: Round 2 – 4 Hours of Monza – October 8th 2022
Images from 8 Hours of Bahrain can be found here.