Ex-Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean has revealed that he had a “lot of fun” competing in last weekend’s Le Mans 24 Hours Virtual, the biggest sim-racing event in the world.
The race boasts some of the greatest sim and real-life drivers, with Grosjean and double World Champion Max Verstappen having taken part.
Verstappen was competing as usual for Team Redline in the highest category and led the first seven hours of the race.
The race endured two lengthy stoppages, though, following “serious server issues”, which included a security breach.
As a result, several teams were disconnected from the race, including Verstappen’s.
Once the race eventually restarted, Verstappen’s team were once again disconnected from the servers whilst leading, a position they lost by the time they’d managed to get back into the race.
The Dutchman’s side suffered from the issue again not long after, dropping them to over a lap behind the leader and P17.
As a result, the #1 Team Redline car retired from the race, with Verstappen having labelled the event as a “clown show”.
His views were shared by many, who want to see the event moved to the platform iRacing, instead of rFactor 2, which it’s currently held on.
The sim-platform is owned by Motorsport Games, who were heavily criticised for the endless server issues, with many labelling the event as having “represented” sim-racing “poorly”.
The race’s executive producer explained what caused the stoppages during the race, with some of the drivers having been blamed for an ‘accidental’ mistake.
“It became clear within the first seven hours of the race that we had some serious server issues which led to us showing the red flag on the race twice,” said Gérard Neveu, executive producer of the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual.
“After an initial investigation, it seems that some race competitors accidentally shared to the public the IP addresses connecting them to the server, which is not supposed to happen.”
Whilst Verstappen retired in anger, Grosjean’s Team R8G completed the race and won the GTE Class, with the Motorsport Games ambassador having likened the technical issues many faced to a real-life mechanical fault, suggesting that the race has “pieces to improve” like every other real-life category.
“Le Mans Virtual is over and I had a lot of fun,” Grosjean said on social media.
“Sim racing is super competitive and seeing one of the biggest race in the world being done on sim is awesome. Yes, few bits and pieces to improve, but isn’t that just like everywhere else?”