The 24 Hours of Le Mans will be hosted in a video game for 2020, the race will go at 3 PM local time in France (9 AM ET) on June 13th. The most important race of the year will not be on Gran Turismo, Forza or Assetto Corsa, organizers found a more realistic game that will offer a better simulation and a more realistic feel to the audience, rFactor 2.
rFactor 2 is not an unknown game for racing enthusiast, developed by Studio 397 and launched in 2013 the game cannot compete with modern games like Forza or Gran Turismo Sports in terms of visual fidelity, but is the simulation aspect that caught the eye of the FIA. The game features an advanced physics engine, driving surfaces and painted line thickness affects grip levels, a complex aerodynamics system adds to the thrills of a high speed race.
Being a 24 hours race is crucial the day and night lightning transitions, something that is not possible at Gran Turismo Sports, other features like the impact of rubber in the track is also impressive. Racing tires degrade fast, in rFactor 2 tires prints rubber in the track which increases grip throughout racing session, rubber marbling also affects grip. If the organizers decides to add a bit of spice to the race it can be accomplished, as the game also counts with dynamic weather, the racing line will slowly dry after the rain.
Similar to the real event, stamina and concentration will be key, drivers face each others in a stressful scenario and will have to endure for at least four hours, a TV broadcast will be available around the world, commentators and pit reporters will also be present in the race. FIA WEC CEO Gérard Neveu said “As in real life, it will bring together the crème de la crème of automotive manufacturers, racing teams and drivers plus the world’s best sim racers competing alongside these global names.”
COVID-19 has cancelled all kind of events in 2020, sports, TV and movie production are also affected, the videogames industry has showed its importance in maintaining the world entertained. Sports like Football and Formula 1 has been shown good reception of virtual competitions. 24 Hours of Le Mans 2020 being a virtual race is an unfortunate scenario, but is a honor for the gaming industry, and something that all videogames’ enthusiast.