The opening spherical of the inaugural Le Mans Virtual Series took to the commemorated Autodromo Nazionale Monza for 4 hours of stay multi-class racing.
The RE8G Esports Oreca 07 of Erhan Jajovski clinched pole place a day earlier on the head of the sector with esports stalwart Kevin Siggy main GTE class for BMW Group Redline after putting the automobile in first throughout qualifying.
Nobody was positive how the grid of 38 automobiles would handle racing right down to the Variante del Rettifilo on the primary lap. With 4 hours of racing forward, and three drivers per automobile, warning ought to have been the precedence on the early laps.
The LMP2 class was a mannequin of excellent behaviour, with Jajovski controlling the sector when the lights went inexperienced. In GTE, beginning a number of moments later, Joonas Raivio shot out from fourth to grab the lead earlier than the primary nook, with Timotej Andonovski for TESLA R8G ESPORTS pulling the same transfer to take second from eighth on the grid.
That battle would additionally end in frustration minutes later, because the 77 Porsche Proton Competitors piloted by Kevin van Dooren and the fast-stating Andonovski tangled on the Variante della Roggia, sending them down the order and leading to a drive-through penalty for the TESLA R8G driver.
Nuno Pinto within the Group Fordzilla LMP2 automobile additionally acquired a drive-through for a false begin.
On the entrance of the pack, Jesper Pedersen for Floyd ByKolles-Burst was searching down Jajovski, closing to effectively inside half a second. Within the struggle, the highest two went vast into the opening nook permitting GPX Rebel Williams driver Marcell Csincsik to make it a three-way struggle on the half-hour mark.
The primary spherical of LMP2 pit lane visits began at 34 minutes, with Jajovski extending his benefit out entrance.
The GTE class continued to ship shut battles, with Porsche Esports Group driver Mitchell deJong making his option to the pinnacle of the sector after a tentative begin. The primary pit stops didn’t arrive till almost the one-hour in.
R8G Esports then switched drivers, Gordon Mutch taking the wheel of the main quantity eight machine. Sadly, after a go to to the gravel on the exit of the Variante della Roggia, he spun and whereas parked throughout the monitor, was hit by the 61 Porsche of Alister Yoong and the 38 JOTA automobile of Ferris Stanley.
Jonathan Aberdein, now taking up automobile 44 from Michi Hoyer, averted the chaos and took the lead, whereas Mutch and Stanley returned to the pits with heavy injury.
Aberdein didn’t have it simple although, as Jeffrey Rietveld was all around the South African racing driver. The Realteam Hydrogen Redline driver ultimately took the lead on the within of Flip 1 after a number of makes an attempt across the outdoors of the Curva Alboreto.
Because the race progressed, catastrophe struck Marco Saupe within the Group WRT SIMTAG Esports automobile as he was hit from behind whereas stationary in his pit field by the Team Fordzilla entry pushed by Luke Browing, damaging each automobiles.
The drama continued for the Group WRT SIMTAG Esports, later setting on hearth across the Curva Grande and into retirement.
With one-hour-forty left on the clock, the race-leading quantity 70 automobile pitted forward of a frantic three-car battle for second, right now headed by 2021 ELMS champion Yifei Ye.
Quickly after, Race Director Eduardo Freitas issued a stern reminder that blue flags should be revered, as automobiles inside every class began lapping one another. The eighth-placed Beitske Visser within the MAHLE RACING TEAM entry was the final automobile on the lead lap as we approached the ultimate quarter.
As we appeached the ultimate hour, the GTE main Porsche had checked out with a 30-second benefit. As an alternative, the main focus was on the 2 duelling BMWs for second and third positions. The BMW Group GB M8 pushed by Sami-Matti Trogen was forward of BMW Group Redline’s Enzo Bonito, however after a flash of the headlights, Bonito made it by underneath brakes on the first nook.
Because the race entered its ultimate hour, Dani Juncadella was now within the main Realteam Hydrogen LMP2 automobile and saved the hole to the chasing pack to 17 seconds – the hard-charging Jiri Toman, a race winner in GT Pro Series this year, in second at this stage for GPX Rebel Williams. The main GTE Porsche pitted one lap sooner than the chasing BMWs however resumed the lead as soon as that they had taken their fourth cease.
With slightly below 30 minutes left, the ultimate cease for Toman was queued up. Pitting later than the chief meant that his pit cease must be fast and Juncadella’s lead minimize. Ultimately, this proved to be the right concept, the hole slashed to simply over eight seconds.
This arrange a singular proposition for the ultimate stint, because the race was led by a professional motorsport driver, defending towards an on-form esports professional. Equally, in GTE, BMW Group Redline had opted for longer stints than its rivals all through the race, exiting the pits for the ultimate time in second, simply two seconds behind the main Porsche pushed by Mack Bakkum.
Juncadella was greater than as much as the duty, nevertheless, successful along with his teammates Jeffrey Rietveld and Michal Smidl for Realteam Hydrogen Redline by 7.eight seconds. Second-placed Toman in the end got here underneath strain from the present GT Pro Series championship leader Jernej Simončič, however an premature lapped GTE automobile dissolved the battle.
“Jeffrey did a tremendous first stint and Michal took over his tyres, which isn’t simple. In the direction of the top, I simply needed to drive it residence. A stunning race.”
In the meantime, in GTE class, it was a masterful efficiency by the manufacturer-backed Porsche group, balancing the lead from simply previous 30 minutes till the top.
“Mitchell and Martin did such an incredible job earlier than I took over the automobile, in the long run, it was actually about bringing it residence,” defined Mack Bakkum.
“We did get a shock in the long run with BMW Group Redline once they skipped tyre adjustments, however we knew that even when they got here out barely forward we’d have had a giant tempo benefit.”
LMP2 Digital Le Mans Collection, Spherical 1, Monza, Consequence
- #70 Realteam Hydrogen Redline – 147 laps
- #22 GPX Rebel Williams +7.865
- #four Floyd ByKolles-Burst +9.853
- #444 Alpha Ind. ByKolles-Burst +27.063
- #1 Rebel GPX Esports +49.913
GTE Digital Le Mans Collection, Spherical 1 Monza, Outcomes
- #91 Porsche Esports Group – 133 lap
- #71 BMW Group Redline +7.530
- #88 Proton Competitors +1 lap
- #55 BMW Group GB +1 lap
- #89 BMW Group BS+COMPETITION +1 lap