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The opening round of the 2022-23 Le Mans Virtual Series season is fast-approaching and the premier endurance esports championship has once again attracted top level attention from major automotive marques, elite esports teams and top-level drivers from both the real and virtual worlds.  

The 40 team entries are split between two categories – LMP (using an ORECA 07 LMP2 model) and GTE, with teams free to use either an Aston Martin Vantage GTE, BMW M8 GTE, Ferrari 488 GTE or Porsche 911 RSR GTE.  These manufacturers join with Alpine and Mercedes-AMG in supporting esports teams in the series.

A mix of ‘pro’ drivers from the real motorsport world and elite competitors from the sim racing scene will be racing together to represent their teams in the 8 Hours of Bahrain.  Among the names who will be on the grid are Formula E racer Sergio Sette Camara for Nextview Vanwall Burst, former 24 Hours of Nürburgring winner Sami-Matti Trogen in the Williams Esports entry, James Baldwin for AMG Team Petronas Esports, gamer-turned-real world racer Dylan Pereira for Proton Coanda Esports and former DTM Champion Bruno Spengler who continues his long-time association with BMW competing for BMW Team BS+COMPETITION.  

Joining them are 2021 Le Mans Virtual Series champions Jeffrey Rietveld and Michal Smidl for Team Redline, Josh Rogers and Mitchell deJong for Porsche Coanda, Yuri Kasdorp for Oracle Red Bull Racing, plus 2021 Le Mans Cup Champion Christopher Högfeldt who graduates to the premier grid with R8G Esports.  Add into the mix sim racing stars such as Michi Hoyer, Kevin Siggy, Bono Huis and many more and fast and furious racing action is guaranteed.

120 drivers will be competing from around the world on the all-new virtual Bahrain International Circuit, vying for victory.  Full season entries are eligible for the US$250,000 prize fund, with monies being split evenly between the LMP and GTE classes.

Supporting this year’s Le Mans Virtual Series will be some of the world’s most high-profile brands, including: Thrustmaster as Official Hardware Partner, Rolex as Official Timepiece Partner, Total Energies as Official Energy Partner, Goodyear as Official Tire Partner, LEGO® Technic as Official Engineering Partner and Algorand as Official Blockchain Partner.

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By Zoltan Tundik

Zoltán Tűndik-Kiszner-Szilágyi is the Co-Founder, Co-Owner and Head of Business at Hipther Agency, parent brand of WireUp, European Gaming, PICANTE, and Gaming Americas. Zoltán is a self-taught publisher and events organizer who has developed several brands and services that have increased the notoriety of his company within several multi-billion industries. Among the developed brands and services you can find online news portals that cover several tech industries, gaming, blockchain, fintech, artificial intelligence, and more. In parallel, the company has built a portfolio of annually organized boutique-style conferences in Europe and North America. All the events organized by his company focus on bringing a wealth of information about the latest innovation in several industries such as Entertainment, Technology, Gaming and Gambling, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Fintech, Quantum Technology, Legal Cannabis, Health and Lifestyle, VR/AR, eSports and many more.