July 26, 2021

Pagenaud, Montoya lead Team Penske virtual Le Mans line-up

Following the postponement of the real-life endurance race to September 19-20 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a virtual rFactor 2 race will take place on the original June 13-14 date organised by the World Endurance Championship, Le Mans organiser the ACO and Motorsport Games.

The race will mark reigning Indy 500 winner Pagenaud’s first major sim racing appearance since the controversial IndyCar iRacing Challenge finale at Indianapolis, in which Pagenaud came to blows with McLaren F1 star and race leader Lando Norris.

Pagenaud will share a virtual ORECA 07 LMP2 car with his 2020 Daytona 24 Hours Penske team-mates Montoya, Dane Cameron and Ricky Taylor.

Norris will compete against Pagenaud in a Team Redline-ran virtual LMP2 car alongside fellow F1 driver Max Verstappen and sim racing veterans Atze Kerkhof and Greger Huttu.

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Pagenaud has made four real-life Le Mans appearances, most recently finishing as the overall runner-up as part of Peugeot’s line-up at the 2011 Le Mans 24 Hours.

44-year-old Montoya finished third in the LMP2 class on his only Le Mans start in 2018, while Taylor has competed in six editions across GTE and LMP2. Cameron has never competed in the endurance classic.

Penske is one of the few teams to entirely comprise of real-world professional drivers, with the rules dictating that each team can run up to two sim racers in their four-driver line-ups.

Three-time World Touring Car champion Andy Priaulx, who was raced for Ford’s factory GT effort in the previous four Le Mans will switch to racing a virtual LMP2 alongside his son Sebastian Priaulx.

They will be joined by ex-British Touring Car Championship driver and avid sim racer Mike Epps as well as Olivier Fortin.

F1 driver Pierre Gasly, Formula E stars Antonio Felix da Costa, Felipe Massa, Stoffel Vandoorne and Jean-Eric Vergne and IndyCar’s Felix Rosenqvist are among the drivers already announced for the race.

The Virtual Le Mans 24 Hours will be streamed live on Motorsport.tv and Motorsport.com. The race starts on 13 June at 09:00 EST or 15:00 CET.

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