Drivers from Formula 1, F2, Formula E and IndyCar will all feature in the Le Mans Virtual Series championship, which will culminate in a second running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual in January next year.
2009 Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button is one of the named pro drivers for the Rocket Simsport team with Alex Buncombe as the second mandatory real-world driver.
Button and Buncombe finished ninth overall in the original 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual last year.
Since then Button has competed in a number of sim racing events, usually held on Assetto Corsa Competizione.
With the Le Mans Virtual Series being run using rFactor 2, it will be one of his first major events on the platform since winning the second season’s Legends Trophy championship in The Race All-Star Series during the 2020 lockdown.
IndyCar will be represented by the current points leader Alex Palou and Felix Rosenqvist, with Rosenqvist another to have competed in the 2020 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual.
There are multiple returning names from the first event including Jack Aitken, who finished third overall in the last year’s event, as well as Louis Deletraz and Raffaele Marciello who won the original event with Williams Esports.
Mercedes Formula E driver Stoffel Vandoorne is another of the big-name entrants.
The Le Mans Virtual Series will contain five races, one being held each month starting from September and ending with the 24 Hours of Le Mans in January.
Each of the preceding races will be shorter in duration ranging from four to eight hours. During those earlier races at least one FIA-graded driver from each team will need to take part along with the sim racers.
For the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual each team will need a minimum of two FIA-graded drivers. Teams can submit up to five drivers for their roster.
The prize pool for the competition is $250,000 with half of the money being distributed according to the results of the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual.