"Les 2.4 heures du Mans" on 12th June 2022 made history here at THR. A grand total of 64 fearless drivers from 5 communities convened to relive an iconic era of sportscar racing, jointly fielding 32 of the fastest sportscar prototypes of the 1960's in teams of two at the circuit that might be the most iconic one of them all. They descended upon the classic Circuit de la Sarthe, represented in Assetto Corsa as Le Grand Circuit 1967 by Terra21, WooChoo & VirtuaLM. To increase the immersion in this event, it was fittingly edited by Narwhal/Machina to feature the famously dangerous diagonal grid along the pits for the Le Mans start that was only abandoned after the 24 hour race of 1969.
A huge thank you goes out from the entire THR team to our friends from VintageAC (VAC), Classic Vintage Racers (CVR), Americas Sim Racing League (ASRL) and virtueller Asphalt (vA) who jointly made this happen with us, and to all participating drivers! Another massive thank you goes out to Microlin100 from CRS for his incredible live commentary of our stream. YOU ALL made this evening special for us!
With numerous very fast drivers on the grid, it was clear from the beginning that the fight for the front positions would be intense. After all of the teams had racked up hundreds of laps, a dominant lap by GoodSmile Racing put the #37 Donut Mushroom Racing Ford GT40 on pole with a groundbreaking 3:24.062, ahead of two other Fords that rounded out a qualifying podium for the mighty V8-powered endurance racing legend from the United States. The top 10 were split evenly between Ford and Porsche 908 Langheck teams, while the fastest of the five participating Ferrari 330 P4 fought its way 13th position on the grid.
Complete qualifying results:
Starting Grid photo:
The scene was set for 2 hours and 24 minutes of intense slipstream fighting, strategy, and drama throughout a complete day/night cycle with one mandatory driver swap, as well as one splash&dash of various duration for each of the cars entered in the event.
The tension was enormous as the final seconds counted down and the ground shook in the paddock when the lights turned green and sent off more than 21,000 horsepower at once. Within seconds, dramatic scenes occurred when a collision on the front straight in the midpack sent a Ferrari spinning into the pitwall and rebounding back on track, triggering a pileup that involved no less than 13 cars. including an Alien abduction of the #437 virtueller Asphalt Porsche team that was forced straight back to the pits to jump into their spare car.
From here, the field quickly descended upon the famous Ligne Droite des Hunaudières that is also commonly referred to as the Mulsanne Straight. Seeing the tension and noise level rise while 32 of the finest race cars of the 1960's slowly appear on the horizon and storming towards you before flying by at over 300 km/h was a sight to behold, with Felix789 in the Donut Mushroom Racing leading the way while numerous cars in the pack behind were already busy slipstreaming their way past each other:
Cold brakes and a full fuel tank caught Felix789 on the wrong foot, though, losing the lead while performing a perfectly executed 270-degree-Spin in the Mulsanne run-off zone and rejoining just in time to avoid potential disaster after two other GT40s had made contact with each other at the beginning of the braking zone, causing their drivers to lose control. One of them crashed into the trees inside of Mulsanne, while the other miraculously spun through the apex of Mulsanne without a T-Bone collision. Several vehicles made contact behind, leading the Ecurie Ecosse Porsche to end up on its roof after jumping over the sand bar lining the exit of Virage de Mulsanne.
Tragedy was only two minutes away, however, when contact at the exit of the Dunlop curve on lap 2 sent a GT40 spinning and crashing into the inside wall violently before unavoidably being collected by three other cars directly after the Dunlop Bridge, leading to even more horrifying scenes when the Ferrari 330 P4 that first impacted the stricken GT40 crashed over the barriers and into the spectator area.
The battle raged on into the early evening hours, with the lead passing through several hands such as the #920 Bloody Wartburg Racing Porsche in which Henrik Ward stormed into the lead within the first laps of the race until a spin at Arnage cost him several positions again. The evening saw the first retirement of the race, when the last spare car of the SG Stern team was destroyed in a tragic high-speed lapping accident on the start/finish straight after the team had already been caught up in the start crash and the tragedy from lap 2.
After this dramatic early phase of the race, the shadows grew longer and the teams began to switch on their lights, having little time to spare to enjoy the beautiful sunset that dips the Ligne Droite des Hunaudières into a beautiful orange tint in this video.
The night was on, and like it has often done before in real life, it became the decisive phase of the race here once again. With diverging pit strategies, teams tried to gain decisive advantages and disaster struck several teams who had driven themselves into a promising positions, whether through spectacular accidents or through technical difficulties. Notable casualties of the night included but were not limited to:
- Lindholm/Ward in the #920 Bloody Wartburg Racing Porsche (DNF - driver swap problem)
- Mellero/Narwhal in the #99 Keyboard Racers Ford GT40 (DNF - driver swap problem)
- Seppänen/Koivisto in the #29(1) Thunderbolt Wolves Ford (DNF - driver swap problem)
- Breurather/Marx in the #95 FlyBy e-Sports Porsche (flipped out of the lead due to an unsafe rejoin)
- Flashor/HappyKojot in the #22 Braking Monkeys Ferrari (head-on crash at 280 km/h)
As the sun began to rise again above the Circuit de la Sarthe, it became clear that it was going to become difficult to beat the pole-sitting #37 Donut Mushroom Racing Ford GT40 that had retaken the lead during the evening before running away from the competition with a spotless performance during the night hours. With an unchallenged winning margin of nearly 82 seconds, Felix789 and GoodSmile Racing took home a dominant victory in Le Mans.
Behind them, two Porsches on different pit strategies emerged as the knights who would duke it out for 2nd place: #71227 The Kingsmen (Timo One & Patrick Goldbach) and #92 Imkermeister Motorsport (Sebastian Holler & Valentin Knechtel). The decisive moment between the two came with the Splash&Dash of the Imkermeister Porsche #92 in the final laps of the race:
The Imkermeister Motorsport entry emerged with a 5 second lead over the Kingsmen team with five laps to go. After condolidating their position until the end of the race, 2nd place was taken home with a 12 second advantage by Sebastian Holler and Valentin Knechtel.
The Kingsmen had started the race as the top-qualified Porsche team and delivered a spotless race. In the end, Timo One and Patrick Goldbach brought the #71227 Porsche home safely in 3rd place, and 9 seconds clear of the 4th-placed-Ford of meisterJäger and Simone Porcu.
Congratulations to the winners and the teams who finished on the podium, and thank you to everyone who helped us to make it happen - both behind the scenes, and on track. It was magic!
(written by ValentinK)
Final Results - confirmed by THR Race Control
Live Stream of the Race
THR was hugely fortunate that Microlin agreed to commentate on the race.
He turned the special event into an incredible event.
Unfortunately, the technology did not cooperate.
Despite smooth recording and best connection, unfortunately laggs occurred during the transfer from OBS to Youtube, making the stream jerky.
We would like to give the race and the great commentary a proper framework and re-record the video.
However, this is difficult and will take some time, because:
- the audio commentary is not in a separate track and the engine sound has to be filtered.
- the camera settings and angles made by Microlin have to be replicated
- there is no single coherent replay file
Nevertheless, we would like to thank Microlin for his great work!
Driver Quotes after the race
Congrats to the winners ! Unbelievable drivers there ! Congrats to the finishers and huge congrats to @[THR] pitman and THR for hosting this race !! Let's go for full endurance races nowFlow
Awesome guys and congratulations to the podiumDuderei
congrats to everyone that finished. It looked hard. Thanks to @[THR] pitman for making it happen and to @Microlin100 for the great commentary!Jonah Hax
ah man great drive everyone, thanks ladsValentino
That was awesome!!!!Gregory
Great stuff all, and cool skins from everyone too!!HeatCAN
Congrats to the podium and everyone who finished. Great race. Well done guys, very fair driving. Thanks a lot to pitman and his team, fantastic eventRolf Biber
You guys put on an amazing show tonight!Microlin
Good racing everyone! Congrats @GoodsmileRacing and @Felix789 for the win!Patrick Goldbach
Thanks for the effort of organising this eventDavid Nascadi
Thanks for the hosts! This was fun!Matheus Nolli
Congrats to @GoodsmileRacing and @Felix789 on the win!SimonOfTheDesert
Thanks for the really fun race! Hosting is greatly appreciated. I will stay here and wait for an announcement of some more events, because this one went really smooth.Riley Gallardo
this was very fun. let´s do another event like thisDavid Grundström
Thanks for the race it was fun. Commentary was great too on the liveMIACHINA
Congrats to Goodsmile/Felix & Patrick/Timo! That was one intense race, guys. Thank you all for participatingValentinK
What a nice race! Thx to the organiser to put so much effort in. It was really fun to race with so many drivers. Great community with so much support before the race. Thx @simone porcu we were a great team. Very good driving. So annoying I forgot to change the tires. Congrats @GoodsmileRacing and Felix crazy pace during the race. I hope for more type of those events and please with @Microlin100 as commentator againmeisterJäger
This was an a great event and one that I'm happy to have been a part of. I made a mistake that really ruined a great run for @Maurizio Savona and our team. Sorry M8! Thank you @[THR] pitman for sorting out the green Ferrari skin. Look forward to the next one!NaNMaN919
Amazingly well organized event.Costo
Final words from pitman
When I decided to organize this event, I didn't expect how much work it would mean.
Many things were new to me and I spent hour after hour organizing the race.
Fortunately I had support from my Orga members, but also from the admins of the other communities.
After almost everything (except the stream) worked well, I can say that the effort was worth it.
It was absolutely worth it!
What was that for an event?
32 teams, 64 drivers, day/night, 2.4 hours and that in Le Mans.
It was great to watch you all live on the streaming PC in my house. (Fortunately there was no lag.)
Your feedback after the race was great. It made up for the effort of the last days.
I think we put on a great event and we learned a lot in the process.
Last week we had a meeting with the organizing team and the good news is that we agreed to offer similar events in the future!
For this we have noted some improvements:
- the collection of all needed information of the teams/drivers will be done via a google form in the future
- if we have a day/night transition again, we will provide a test server for the whole week
- for the skin problem we had with one car we also found a solution
- we will improve the information on the website
- we will create channels in Discord, where you can help yourself with problems (of course we will support in the channels)
If you want to stay informed, you can assign yourself the role "THR Endurance" in #role-assignment in our Discord server.
Special thanks to our OrgaTeam, to the admins of the communities (or their representatives) and especially to Microlin.
And of course, many thanks to all the drivers who were on track with us.