Button signs up for Virtual Le Mans
Esports | May 28th, 2020
Formula 1’s 2009 world champion Jenson Button has entered a team in June’s Virtual Le Mans 24 Hours.
Button will drive for his Team Rocket outfit, which also competes in the GT World Challenge Europe series, in the virtual edition of the French endurance classic.
The real-world Le Mans 24 Hours has been postponed to September 19-20 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The esports event, which is a partnership between Le Mans organiser the ACO, the World Endurance Championship and Motorsport Games, will take place on the real race’s original June 13-14 date.
Button made one real-life Le Mans appearance with LMP1 privateer team SMP Racing in the 2018 edition of the race, but his car retired during the final hour with terminal engine trouble.
The 2009 F1 world champion is no stranger to sim racing, having participated in a number of esports events since the postponement of all real-life motorsport. He’s competing in the SRO GT Esports series and made a one-off appearance in F1’s Virtual Grand Prix at Albert Park.
In the Virtual Le Mans 24 Hours, Button will share an LMP2 with fellow British driver Alex Buncombe, who was previously a part of Nissan’s brief LMP1 project. The line-up will be completed by Jan van der Heyde, who represents Nissan e.dams in the Formula E Race at Home Challenge series for esports drivers, and British sim racer Matt Richards.
They will compete against the likes of Formula 1 stars Max Verstappen, Lando Norris and Pierre Gasly as well as two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya, IndyCar champion Simon Pagenaud and double Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne.
The Virtual Le Mans 24 Hours will be streamed live on Motorsport.tv and Motorsport.com. The race starts on June 13 at 14:00 BST or 15:00 CET.