The second round of the Le Mans Virtual Series, a thrilling 6 Hours of Spa race, has officially concluded with Team Redline’s Felix Rosenqvist, Atze Kerkhof and Bono Huis taking first place overall. In second and third places were Floyd ByKolles-Burst and Rebellion GPX Esports. Rudy van Buren, Enzo Bonito and Kevin Siggy from BMW Team Readline took first place in the LMGTE category. Both classes were incredibly competitive, with the battles for first place in LMP2 and LMGTE coming down to the final minutes of the race. A tough fought contest on the rFactor2 platform, the event featured:
- An incredibly close battle between Team Redline and RG8 Esports in the LMP2 class, with differing tyre and fuel strategies culminating in a P1 finish from Team Redline that went down to the wire
- An equally close flight in LMGTE, which was dominated in the opening hours by Proton Competition and the other Porsche 911 RSR GTE teams, before the BMW M8 GTE of BMW Team Readline took first place with less than ten minutes to go thanks to fuel saving throughout the race.
- Philippe Denes for Mahle Racing Team securing the fastest lap with a time of 1:58.894
After the race, Felix Rosenqvist from Team Redline said “In the end we have to thank the team with the amazing fuel saving strategy. There were some concerns about rain, but in the end it never came so we didn’t need to worry about it. It was so much fun, with these races there’s so much at stake all the time…”
Le Mans Virtual Series, 6 Hours of Spa – Post Race Report
- 6 Hours of Spa, the second of five rounds of the Le Mans Virtual Series, kicked off Saturday 16th October with 114 drivers across the LMP2 and LMGTE classes taking to the start line. Star drivers such as Indycar driver Felix Rosenqvist, FIA F3 Vice Champion Jack Doohan and IndyCar’s Sage Karam lined up for one of the most hotly contested sim racing events of the year.
- As usual with Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, all eyes were on the sky as rain was forecast for the later hours of the race. However, dry conditions prevailed which meant drivers were able to push the pace on the soft tyre compounds. The lack of rain didn’t hinder the race drama, with a number of dramatic moments in the race, such as an unfortunate mistake from Round 1 winner Realteam Hydrogen Redline that saw their LMP2 car hit the wall and retire from the race in the first hour.
- In the LMP2 Classification, RG8 Esports took the lead in the second hour and held the position for much of the race.
- However, in the final hour a strong challenge from Felix Rosenqvist’s Team Redline proved too much, who alongside drivers Atze Kerkhof and Bono Huis took and held the race lead. They were followed 13s behind by Floyd ByKolles-Burst in second place, with Rebellion GPX Esports completing the podium – just missing out on 2nd by 0.4s!. Their second place finish means Floyd ByKolles-Burst now lead the LMP2 Championship by 2 points.
- In the LMGTE Classification, the three Porsche teams of Proton Competition and Porsche Esports Team looked very dominant in the opening hours, challenging to own all three podium spots. However, as the race went on BMW Team Redline applied continuous pressure, challenging the race favorites and eventually securing first place with less than ten minutes to go thanks to fuel saving throughout the race. Porsche Esports Team took 2nd and 3rd, the No.91 Porsche Esports Team just 1.7s behind the winner. Porsche Esports Team and BMW Team Readilne now sit tied at 43 points each in the LMGTE Team’s championship.
- The fastest lap in the LMP2 class was Philippe Denes from MAHLE RACING TEAM, who secured a 1:58.894 time on the 51st lap. Over in LMGTE, Charlie Collins in the Proton Competition Porsche 911 RSR GTE was the fastest with a 2:13.075 lap time which he drove on his 49th lap.
- Felix Rosenqvist from Team Redline said “It’s been such a long preparation for this race. We all put so many hours in. In the end we have to thank the team with the amazing fuel saving strategy. There were some concerns about rain, but in the end it never came so we didn’t need to worry about it. It was so much fun, with these races there’s so much at stake all the time, when I did my two stints I was completely fried afterwards.”
- Kevin Siggy from BMW Team Redline commented on the close finish in LMGTE “The final stint was very hard, with the fuel saving we had to do to get past the Porsche, but in the end we nailed the strategy and came out with first place. We ended the race with 0.4 litres of fuel, so it was very very close. After we passed the Porsche, it was about fuel saving as much as possible and making it to the end.”
Two more races remain in 2021, with the next round the 8 Hours of Nurburgring coming in 4 weeks, all before the finale to the Le Mans Virtual Series season, the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual race on January 15/16, 2022 which will be held live at the Autosport International Show at the NEC in Birmingham, UK.
- Round 3 8 Hours of Nürburgring, Germany November 13, 2021
- Round 4 500 Miles of Sebring, USA December 18, 2021
- Round 5 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual January 15/16, 2022