Sports Desk, May 15 (efe-epa).- Covid-19 forced the organizers of the 24 Hour of Le Mans to postpone the iconic endurance race until September, but their announcement Friday of a virtual version of the competition gives motorsport fans something to look forward to next month.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual will take place June 13-14, the original dates for the physical race, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, FIA World Endurance Championship and Motorsports Games said.
As many as 50 teams, each comprising two professional drivers and two esports competitors, will battle on the rFactor2 simulation platform.
The simulation will be programmed to provide changing weather and both daylight and nighttime conditions. Teams will be required to alternate drivers, with shifts ranging from a minimum of four hours to a maximum of seven.
Fans will be able to watch the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual on any of a broad array of platforms.
“I love the scope of it: The world’s greatest race brought to life on its original scheduled weekend as the world’s greatest esports race,” Motorsports Network president James Allen said in a press release.
Elsewhere in the sports world, Friday brought news of more cancelations due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Following the announcement of the WTA Tour suspension through July 12, the WTA events in Bastad, Lausanne, Bucharest, and Jurmala scheduled for July will not be held,” the Women’s Tennis Association said. “We regret this is the case but will continue to be guided by medical experts for when it is safe and possible to return to WTA competition.”
The WTA promised a decision next month on the tournaments in Palermo, which is supposed to start July 18, and Karlsruhe, scheduled for July 28-Aug. 2.
The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), one of the leading governing bodies of the men’s game, said that it was extending the suspension of the ATP Tour until the end of July, affecting events in Hamburg, Bastad, Newport, Los Cabos, Gstaad, Umag, Atlanta and Kitzbühel.
“Due to continued uncertainties surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, we regret to announce our decision to extend the suspension of the Tour,” ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi said.
“We continue to assess all of our options in an effort to resume the Tour as soon as it is safe to do so, including the feasibility of rescheduling events later in the season,” he said.
For the moment, ATP tournaments scheduled for August and beyond are set to go forward as planned. EFE