F1 Winter Break
“You will have huge success” – Alonso welcomes new Le Mans esports series
Posted By: Editor   |  20 Aug 2018   |  6:02 am GMT  |  34 comments

A new esports initiative launched this weekend, the Le Mans esports series and double F1 champion and Le Mans 24 Hours winner Fernando Alonso believes it will be a “huge success” and “very attractive” to his sim-racing team.

Registration is now open, and the first of six qualifying events is under way.

The series encourages the participation of teams, not only pre-established pro sim racing teams such as Jean Eric Vergne’s Veloce, or Alonso’s FA Racing G2 squad but also groups of friends or new partnerships.

The Le Mans Esports Series (LMES) is a joint initiative by Motorsport Network and the Automobile Club l’Ouest (ACO). Winners of the ground-breaking esports series will have a chance to secure a spot on the 2019 Le Mans 24hrs podium with the real life race winners and a share of the $100,000 prize pot.

In order to have a chance at appearing alongside the real-life winners on one of the most iconic podiums in motor racing, players can either enter individually or form a three-driver team and race their way through the qualifying rounds and into the live Super Final, which takes place ahead of the big race at Le Mans in June 2019.

Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, said: “The 2019 Le Mans 24 Hours will be outstanding! Not only will our race be the culmination of the FIA World Endurance Championship Super Season, we will also be hosting the Super Final of the Le Mans Esports Series, which starts today at Silverstone.

“As 60 teams take part in the 87th edition of the world’s greatest endurance race, the twelve best simracer outfits will be competing in the Super Final of the Le Mans Esports Series. Just like their counterparts out on track, the competitors will take turns at the wheel throughout the 24-hour race.  I’m looking forward to playing host to this exciting new way of racing.”

Stephen Hood, the Head of esports at Motorsport Network, said: “We anticipate that competitors looking for an edge will look to the feature of team-based endurance racing, unique to the Le Mans Esports Series and esports in general, and utilise a team manager and strategy director. This provides new ways to access esports without ever having to become an elite driver, allowing all to engage and have fun competing in events such as our Le Mans Esports Series.

“At the heart of the Le Mans Esports Series is The 24 Hours of Le Mans, which has allowed us to creatively and strategically bring new ideas to esports – by accessing the reach of Motorsport Network we expect to take not just esports enthusiasts, but motorsport fans, as well, on an exciting journey to the Super Final at Le Mans in June 2019.”

eSports Series “attractive” to Alonso’s sim racing team

The series is open to all sim racers, including those associated with sim racing teams, such as Fernando Alonso’s FA Racing G2.

Speaking at the launch of the Le Mans eSports Series, this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Alonso said the competition would be appealing to his team.

“The Le Mans Esports Series will be very attractive,” Alonso said. “The platforms that you have out there are impressive.

“I’m happy to be an owner of the team [FA Racing G2], I’m very proud of what the guys are doing, and I think that you will have a huge success with this new adventure, a lot of people are behind it.

“The possibilities that Esports has are unlimited. We have probably not reached the limit yet, we will keep discovering more that can offer that platform.

“We will enjoy it together.”

Full schedule below:

Race 1 – Silverstone [to support WEC 6h of Silverstone, 19 Aug]
Location: Online only

Track: Silverstone circuit

Registration: opens 18th Aug, closes 31st Aug

Qualifiers: Online, 18th-31st Aug

Online Races: 4th-15th Sept

Race 2 – Fuji [to support WEC 6 Hours of Fuji, 14 Oct]

Location: Online, and Offline at Fuji race.

Track: Suzuka circuit

Registration: opens 16th Sept, closes 29th Sept

Qualifiers: Online, 16th-29th Sept,

Races: Online 25th Sept – 6th Oct, Offline 12th October

Race 3 – Shanghai [to support WEC 6 Hours of Shanghai, 18 Nov]

Location: Online only

Track: Bathurst circuit

Registration: opens 18th Oct, closes 11th Nov

Qualifiers: Online, 29th Oct-11th Nov

Races: Online 20th Nov-1st Dec

Race 4 – Autosport International

Location: Online, and Offline at Autosport International

Track: Brands Hatch circuit

Registration: opens 8th Dec, closes 30th Dec

Qualifiers: Online, 17th-30th Dec

Races: Online 25th Dec-5th Jan 2019, Offline 10th Jan 2019

Race 5 – Sebring [to support WEC 1,000miles of Sebring, 15 Mar 2019]

Location: Online, and Offline (location TBC)

Track: Sebring circuit

Registration: opens 17th Jan 2019, closes 9th Feb 2019

Qualifiers: Online, 27th Jan-9th Feb

Races: Online 19th February – 2nd March, Offline 13th March 2019

Race 6 – Spa-Francorchamps  [to support WEC Total 6 Hours  of Spa-Francorchamps, 4 May 2019]

Location: Online only

Track: Spa-Francorchamps circuit

Registration: opens 19th March, closes 11th April

Qualifiers: Online, 29th March-11th April

Races: Online 20th April-1st May

SUPER FINAL – 24 Hours of Le Mans [to support WEC 24 Hours of Le Mans, 15-16 June 2019]

Location: Offline

Track: Le Mans circuit

Qualifiers: 8th-21st May

Races: 14th June 2019

There will also be an additional ONLINE event in the run-up to the Le Mans Super Final – this will not be a qualifying round, but a chance for everyone to test their mettle against this iconic race circuit.

Full details of the qualification process and registration for both professional sim racers and amateurs to compete in the opening season using Forza Motorsport 7 on the Xbox platform can be found here.

All images: Motorsport Images

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Good to see WEC getting into esports. It’s annoying that this competition is exclusive to Forza as the XBOX ONE is not very popular, at least in Australia. But good to see them going in the right direction.

I feel like one of the biggest issues with the F1 esports setup is that the games are never released in time for the season, which cripples the fan experience.

I think the vision for fan-based esports could be something like this:

– Fans race along using the F1 title, across both Playstation and XBOX

– Races happen on the actual race weekends, with practice sessions, quali and races

– Race live against the FIA timing, or race after the event

This would build momentum around the events, and help to engage people who may not be esports fans.

Every other sports series game comes out well before the season starts, and allows players to follow on via roster updates and so on. There’s no reason F1 should be doing otherwise. Codemasters and LIberty would have to skip a year of the title to implement this system, but there’s no reason that DLC or similar could be made available if they wanted to extend the functionality of the existing F1 title.

Anyway, it seems there’s a lot of cynicism on this site about esports, but it’s part of motorsports now. As a father of two little boys, esports provides a much safer and more accessible way into motorsports that a working middle-class family could never afford to provide otherwise. A PS4/XBOX, wheel and simple race seat setup costs less than a basic 200cc kart and is much lower maintenance.


Only Alonso will be racing the Toyota Hybrid WEC car?

Oh…it will be more fair and equal on car performance for all participants?



very interesting. is the objective for fans to enjoy watching them compete or to compete themselves?






Okay, again what does this mean?

Battery powered cars?

. .or computer games?

Why don’t we see a battery powered Drag Race series ?


We do see it.

It’s a Tesla P100D destroying all the super cars that dare line up against it. The series is on youtube! I mean…it’s getting so shameful that they actually line up the P100Ds with lower charge levels just to give the other cars a shot now.


Please Sebee, no more Tesla. This whole taxpayer funded fraud of a company is currently in its death throes.

Musk hasn’t even bothered to build an actual factory in which to build these overpriced abominations and is building them in what are effectively giant tents. Clearly even he doesn’t believe that the product will succeed, otherwise he would invest in a proper factory.

I will be absolutely ecstatic when a tesla goes belly up and musk’s tax payer funded parasitism comes to an end — at least as far as tesla is concerned.


Did you hear? Apple is back in the car game.

After diverting and distracting the media that they were out, movement is happening again, and game appears back on.

Apple is sitting on 270B. You think Tesla is a a potential buy?


Sebee, in all honesty I can’t think of a single reason to use Apple Car service. Maybe if I’m travelling somewhere I might use a taxi, but there is already plenty of those, so Apple will contribute nothing.


LukeC, batteries! Tesla has killer battery facility.

It will change your life. You’ll see. You’ll widdle your plenty of cars down to one favourite one, and for the rest you’ll use the AppleCar service.


Who cares. It won’t change my life either way. I already have plenty of cars and bikes that allow me to go anywhere I want and without any issues whatsoever.

As to your question whether Tesla is worth a buy, what is there to buy exactly? Those giant tents, or the insanely expensive tech that tesla has already proved is simply not competitive in the marketplace?



And how long can the Tesla P100D keep up this magnificent feat on one charge?

I’m not being funny, seriously curious ?


James K, little something I recall from an article about doing hot laps in a Tesla. This is from Road and Track.


Is this a limitation? Sure. But it’s one we’ve experienced in plenty of internal-combustion cars. At our Performance Car of the Year testing last year in summertime heat, our particular Honda Civic Type R could only hold on for two laps of NCM Motorsports Park before overheating and going into limp-home mode. An Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio that our man Sam Smith tested at Gingerman Raceway fell on its face on its first full-speed lap, multiple times. (Alfa Romeo later explained that the car we tested was missing some crucial software updates.) A new Mustang GT with Performance Package 2 will start to overheat its differential after a handful of laps at a typical circuit. Ford figures if you wanted a track car, you’d have gone with the GT350. And remember the well-documented track day overheating problems of the Corvette Z06?


Look at it this way. Every petrol car loses performance too.

You think you can buy an AMG car and lap endlessly with it and maintain performance?

Dream on. It will overheat in the very least, very quickly. Try it sometime.

You’re here. You know what it takes to race. You think those other “performance” cars are endlessly capable? Dream on.

One of the best marketing scams perpetrated is that these “performance” cars can sustain the performance at the car’s limit endlessly, or even over more than 2 or 3 laps.


I, on the the other hand, do not see a scenario where electric cars recharge in 60 seconds, or even in 60 minutes.

What I do see is people keeping the faith while mouthing the ” better batteries are coming” mantra, as they’ve been doing for the last century.


I hear you LukeC.

Normal cars don’t burn enough fuel to make such a difference. That’s the other thing, these performance cars are all FAT! …and heavy.

FE – I hear you. It’s all about the battery though. There have been serious advances in battery capacity, re-charge speed and safety.

I’m into it myself. I can totally see a scenario where FE cars eventually come into the pits and take a 60s recharge during a pit stop. It would actually be one heck of a showcase to do a recharge that fast.


Petrol cars actually perform better the longer they lap as the fuel load lightens. That’s why lap records are often set towards the end of a stint, or even towards the end of a race.

I’ve actually been watching quite a lot of formula e lately, and when I see how slow and sluggish those cars are it reminds of old motor racing footage from the 1910s and 20s.


Look at it this way: how may Le Mans 24 hour races has Tesla won?


The games industry generates huge amounts of money. So of course it makes sence to try and tap into that


Obviously, well not too obviously actually, e gaming tournaments have been around for many years, selling out major venues for the finals. But it had remained a bit of a teen nerd thing, not a mainstream entertainment. So this latest LMES is a boost for the e racers.

Of course there is an F1 version too but very low key, Liberty have missed a golden opportunity to grab and promote the EF1 series with real teams submitting real entries. Merc have a team which includes a previous e champion.

A few weeks back on Joe’s blog I predicted that e F1 would become huge, it is Liberty’s hands they can promote it or sit on it. If they sit on it they will be loosing a large potential market, the younger generations. They have the digital net to distribute it, it can be added in and given very cheap access as a stand alone to start with, then hopefully the real thing will become attractive.

But to do this we need access to the digital streams in the UK. Liberty allowed Bernie to shoot them in the foot, (with Sky exclusivity in the UK) they need to realise that private care is for the few, while the majority need public access. New sponsors could then appear, whole new market for new advertising….


Well said rpaco totally agree with your post.

Last Paragraph x 100%


Another editor piece. JAonF1 has (not yet at least) had a “What could have been” article like the rest of the media, after FA departure. It can be interesting to look at “the what might have beens” but not everyone gets that treatment. In this case for most media outlets that’s been almost mandatory. And why not, because of the controversies, if nothing else…still there’s been enough of them to fill that demand I’d imagine. Say what you like about him (Alo), he’s good at getting media coverage.


Jaonf1 isn’t like most media sites that write about F1 and if you want the so called mandatory articles which you seem to be complaining about maybe you should just visit those sites instead of bothering to post a comment about a non existent article that as you say every other site has covered. This site is unique in that sense and its what sets James site apart and indeed elevates it from the clickbait sites you seem so fond of.


If you really read my coment before you throw yourself on the keabord with indignant loathing of your own and on behalf of Mr JA you would easily (If you can read) see that I’m happy too not have to read another article like that again, and actually applaud him for not writing one more. And I also sugest that every driver then should get that tratment, but they dont.

However I try to be somewhat balanced and not go mental, like yourself, since I realize many fans acctually like too read that because of the before mentioned controversies.

So try to read the comment again and see if you can grasp anything in it


Nope nothing new and csrtainly saw nothing mental in my comment, just someone who seems akin to being sensitive when it comes to a little criticism.


Ignorance is bliss for some people, when your reading comprehension is that poor, with such inability to analyse what you read and no way of improving that


That’s the problem sars, since James has sold the site to Motorsport.com, and seems to be moving further away from his good work, there seems to be more and more lackluster pieces being put out on the site.

Plus, I think a lot of the regulars are a little frustrated with the new comments section😱😊


Im frustrated with the new posters who have been drawn here by the motorsport.com connection and act like they should be in charge of running the site and the articles posted. I mean, indeed alright!


Easy Sars😄 count to 5 and take a deep slow breath.

I mean, indeed, what an outburst😄


In fact it seems like it is you who wants to dictate what would be allowed to write on this site. Would it not be wise to let JAonF1 to decide that?

We still live in a free country (at least do I). You do not run the site I presume.




Yep it’s Pop Tarts and Hot Pockets and South Park style computer combat. Butters Kenny Stan and Kyle the eWarriors.

Online racing has it’s merits. Motorsports tv use to have a 30min show solely on E sport racing. It was quite interesting. Though it had it’s limitations.

E sport is where the youth seem to be heading so all the best to them.

I prefer the real deal and still like a Pop Tart and a Hot Pocket providing it’s winter and I’m in a hurry😉


Ok I will say first hand I’m biased since I love playing motorsport games.

What I don’t understand is why people think anyone will chose e-sports over the real thing. It will be quite the opposite.

I mean Fifa games have been around since 95 at least, and it never made people stop enjoying football. Not even television managed to stop people from going to stadiums or racing tracks.

I think there’s plenty of space for both to co-exist, and I’m actually positive this will bring the much needed breath of new young fans F1 was looking for.

I’m feeling the new fresh F1!

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