Multimatic Motorsports has partnered with top Esports team, Zansho Simsport, for this race and the driver line-up for the “Multimatic-Zansho” LMP2 car will be a combination of real racers and sim racers. Multimatic will be represented by Andy Priaulx and Seb Priaulx. Andy is a Le Mans veteran, racing there the past four years in the Ford GT programme, run by Multimatic. Seb, his son, is a match for his famous father in a simulator so the two are expected to be trading times throughout the 24-hour race. Representing Zansho will be Mike Epps and Olivier Fortin. Epps has been successful in both the real and virtual racing worlds and is one of the fastest pro drivers in sim racing. French-Canadian Fortin has had much success in the Virtual Endurance Championship so all together Multimatic-Zansho has a strong driver line-up.
“We’re excited to be going back to Le Mans, albeit in the virtual world,” said Priaulx. “Esports has given many of us drivers an opportunity to stay sharp during the lockdown and I think we have all learnt a lot about sim racing. We’ve yet to do an endurance race though so this is a new challenge but at least I will be able to sleep in my own bed this time.”
Since the outbreak of Covid-19 and the postponement of real racing schedules, Esports has taken racing into the virtual world and Multimatic’s drivers have been using this platform to stay behind the wheel in readiness for the return to racing.
Harry Tincknell is eager to get back behind the wheel of the Mazda RT24-P in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship but during the lockdown he has been busy racing in the IMSA iRacing Pro Series. Both he and Seb Priaulx campaign virtual Ford GTs and, with help from Multimatic’s engineers, have been working their way up through the rankings with each event. Harry knows the IMSA tracks well as he competes in the Mazda Motorsports DPi programme and this is a great opportunity for Seb to learn the tracks new to him as he prepares to pick up on the strong debut he has made in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge.
Harry and Seb have also been racing in The Race All-Stars Pro Series, in both Le Mans Prototype and Formula car models. Last weekend, on the Indianapolis road course, Tincknell took victory in the Pro Series, demonstrating what a natural born racer he is but also what a fast learner he is, having only bought his simulator a few weeks ago.
Andy Priaulx has focused on The Race All-Stars Legends Trophy, where some of the biggest names in the sport compete against each other. Racing against drivers like Mario Andretti, Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso, Dario Franchitti and Peter Solberg has kept Priaulx’s reactions sharp throughout the lockdown.
The Race All-Star Series takes place every Saturday at 17:00hrs BST / 12:00hrs ET and can be watched at the-race.com/youtube. The next round of the IMSA iRacing Pro Series takes place at VIR tonight (Thursday 28th May). The 90-minute race will be broadcast on the iRacing YouTube channel. The 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual gets underway on Saturday 13th June. For more information about the event, please visit https://24virtual.lemansesports.com/.