24 Hours of Le Mans drivers take on a professional gamer on a racing simulator
Photo: ACO

24 Hours of Le Mans drivers take on a professional gamer on a racing simulator

The Automobile Club de l’Ouest recently dared two 24 Hours of Le Mans drivers to pit their wits against professional e-gamer Alexandre Arnou on the racing simulators at Le Mans Karting International. Who do you think won?

Alexandre Arnou has been a professional Forza Motorsport gamer for five years now. As part of the special LMP2 podium ceremony held on the same day as the premier of the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans film, the young Parisian played against André Negrão (Signatech Alpine Matmut) and Julien Andlauer (Dempsey-Proton Racing).

The simulator match took place at Le Mans Karting International and was followed by a virtual race at the Bugatti track. André Negrão, Julien Andlauer, Alexandre Arnou were joined by three 24 Hours of Le Mans fans, delighted to be able to join in the fun. 

André Negrão came first, with Alexandre Arnou second and Julien Andlauer third. Alexandre Arnou: “This was my first time on the Ellip6 simulator. It threw me at first. I had a lot of ground to make up because I was involved in a crash on the first corner but I caught up with Julien and André. I was 2 seconds a lap faster than them. I got past Julien towards the end of the race. It was great to play against real drivers."

Some Le Mans drivers have extensive experience with simulator games. Tommy Milner of Corvette Racing helped develop the game Need for Speed Shift, for example, while Nicki Thiim (Aston Martin Racing) and José María López (Toyota Gazoo Racing) are also keen gamers.

Sébastien Buemi spends a lot of time on the Toyota Gazoo Racing and Red Bull Racing (Formula One) simulators. “At Toyota we do a lot of work on the simulator in between races. It helps us develop the car and work on settings. These days, there’s a high correlation between the simulator and real racing. At home, I don’t play much; it’s hard to fit it in with races and family life,” explains the man who, teamed with Kazuki Nakajima and Fernando Alonso, won this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans in the #8 Toyota TS050 HYBRID.

Did you know?

With the Le Mans Esports Series, you can experience Le Mans 24 Hours for (almost) real! Take up the challenge and maybe you’ll qualify for the grand finale to be held during the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June 2019. Start practising now and why not take part in the next round of the Le Mans Esports Series stand at the Autosport International Show at the Birmingham NEC from 10-13 January!