This edition of the iRacing 24 h of Le Mans had a special ingredient: The participation of the F1 driver Max Verstappen in the LMP1 class of the top split. As expected, the F1 driver exhibited an excellent performance in sim racing, and his participation in the event brought a unique interest for the audience. In fact, the event had a massive participation, with almost 1000 cars racing in 17 different splits.
In the same 24 h race and split, UI1-Positive SimRacingtook part in a different class, with a Honda HPD ARX-01c, finishing in P9 after an excellent race with almost no errors. The UI1-Positive SimRacingcar started in an excellent P4, after a very good qualifying lap. However, two early disconnections during the racedropped the car back to the last place, in a track where taking a tow implied approx. 15 minutes lost.
Despite these technical problems, the team made an excellent recovery overnight. It was an outstanding error free, brilliant racing, to finally reach the top 10 in the top split. We are very happy with the result.
Our LMP1 car narrowly missed out on making the top split, starting also in P4 in the second split, which had a very high Strength of Field. The first laps were very good and the UI1-Positive SimRacing LMP1 was racing in P3 when an incident among three cars required an unexpected pit stop and severe repairs. The car couldn’t be fully repaired, and the drivers had to struggle with a bent steering wheel for the remaining part of the race. It was lap 21, still more than 400 laps ahead, and the drivers were fighting with a damaged car, in P17, losing 1 sec per lap with the cars in front.
But the UI1-Positive SimRacing drivers follow the rules ‘improvise, adapt, overcome’ and completed one of the best races ever of a PSR car, given the circumstances. The car recovered a reasonable pace and thanks to an outstanding performance of all the drivers, we were fighting for the podium three hours before the end of the race. The strategies and a good management of all the team put the car in a brilliant final 2nd position.
The GTE car, a Ferrari 488 GTE also could fight for very good result in the second split. But unfortunately, the car only completed 100 laps, finishing the race after an accident. Nevertheless, we feel overall extremely happy with the performance of the team, overcoming the difficulties to finish the race with two cars and delivering excellent results: a top10 in the top split (HPD) and P2 in the second split (LMP1). Next stop: the 24 h of SPA in July.