Le Mans Virtual Will Return in the “Near Future,” Motorsport Games CEO Confirms

a group of racing cars are driving down a highway .

a group of racing cars are driving down a highway .

The last Le Mans Virtual event was marred with controversy. Server issues severely disrupted the final event, frequently disconnecting drivers including Max Verstappen, who publicly slammed the event as a “clown show” in a lengthy rant. The three-time Formula 1 world champion even urged players to uninstall rFactor 2.

Since the controversy, the series has been on hiatus, leaving fans wondering when or if it will return with the recent early access release of the official WEC game, Le Mans Ultimate.

A new platform for Le Mans Virtual

Speaking to RacingGames, Motorsport Games CEO Stephen Hood confirmed that the next Le Mans Virtual will not take place in rFactor 2 but will return in Le Mans Ultimate in the “near future.”

“There are plans to do that,” Hood confirmed when asked if Le Mans Ultimate will host the next Le Mans Virtual series. “We thought we would start talking about that at Le Mans.”

Le Mans Ultimate 2024 liveries 2
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For now, Motorsport Games is focusing on optimizing the online experience and building a solid platform to avoid repeating the last event's high-profile issues. This starts with “net code improvements” in next week’s free June update, which also adds the 2024 BMW M Hybrid to the grid and free 2024 liveries for the existing Hypercars.

“The code changes address some of the weaknesses of running Le Mans Virtual in rFactor 2, which has been well documented – especially by high-profile drivers,” Hood explains.

“In order to fix those needle-in-a-haystack issues in the code, we didn’t need to rip all the networking code out. When it works in rFactor 2, it works well. A lot of the legacy tech needed to be updated and reformatted so we have better ownership of it and identify where it’s breaking.”

Le Mans Ultimate 2024 liveries
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“If you can’t follow the story in the code, it’s very difficult to debug and fix. We were adamant that we needed to take RF2’s framework, bring it into LMU, reorganize it, and make it fit for the future. Because that’s going to be the foundation.”

“Le Mans Virtual is the halo event, but there’s also everything else we want to do like running community events, league racing, and online championships. You can’t do that if it’s on shaky foundations. If it falls over all the time, we’re going to be a laughingstock among gamers. We’re well on our way to updating that.”

Previously, only elite players could enter the Le Mans Virtual, but Hood hints that the next event will have a new, more “accessible” format to attract a broader range of drivers and viewers.

“There is a desire internally to announce what we’re doing for Le Mans Virtual. I would like to make it more accessible so it’s not just a broadcast event that 99% of people tune in to try and watch – there’s an element that you’re participating. But we need to steady the ship first.”

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Le Mans Virtual set to return in the "near future"

As for when the next Le Mans Virtual will start, Hood says it will be “sometime after” the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the “near future” but wouldn’t provide a timeframe. Despite the delays, it will never return to rFactor 2.

BMW M Hybrid and Toyota GR010 in Le Mans Ultimate
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“We won’t do it in rFactor 2 again,” Hood confirmed. “The next time we run the Le Mans Virtual, it will be in the official Le Mans game.”

The last Le Mans Virtual series started in September 2022, with five rounds culminating at Le Mans in January 2023. If Motorsport Games continues to improve Le Mans Ultimate’s online platform, there’s hope that the Le Mans Virtual will return sooner rather than later. 

Are you looking forward to the Le Mans Virtual returning? Let us know in the comments below.

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