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Toyota, Porsche Confirm Virtual 24H Le Mans Involvement

FIA WEC manufacturers show early interest in next month’s virtual 24H Le Mans event…

Photo: Porsche

Toyota Gazoo Racing and Porsche have become the first FIA World Endurance Championship teams to confirm their involvement in the virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Reigning Le Mans winner Toyota announced on Tuesday that it plans to enter a factory-liveried Oreca 07 Gibson into the online event, which is taking place on June 13-14.

Toyota will compete for overall honors in the LMP2 class because LMP1 cars are not available on the base rFactor 2 platform which will be used for the race.

The Japanese manufacturer has not yet named any drivers for its esports debut.

Porsche has also outlined its plan to run a total of four cars under the marque’s Porsche Esports Team banner.

The Porsche 911 RSR is one of four cars available to race in the GTE division, alongside machinery from Ferrari, Chevrolet and Aston Martin.

It’s understood that all four of the official brands in the FIA World Endurance Championship – Toyota, Porsche, Aston Martin and Ferrari – have already filed entries.

WEC CEO Gerard Neveu told journalists in a recent videoconference call that at least 40 entries had been received as of May 13, while the grid capacity is 50 cars.

Neveu expressed a desire to see teams putting together varied lineups involving drivers from different disciplines in motorsport.

Each team will be required to field at least two real-world professional drivers and a maximum of two sim racing specialists.

“You have a few people from all these different platforms, drivers already planning to attend the event and already discussing with a few different teams or manufacturers,” said Neveu.

“It will be very interesting because we will have a combination of names that were impossible to [have] in the real competition for different reasons. For example, Formula 1 was supposed to have a race in Canada [on the original Le Mans date].

“We can have no contract issues, so you will have so many possibilities and it will be very fantastic to see a lineup that you cannot imagine.

“Maybe you will see some lineups that could be the lineups of the future? Or maybe you will find again some drivers that you have not seen at Le Mans for a few years.”

Neveu added that regular updates on team entries and driver additions will be made in the weeks leading up to the race.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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