The 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual is progressing smoothly after four hours. Despite any problems encountered, all the Ferrari 488 GTEs are still in with a chance of a podium finish. However, as was already clear from qualifying, the Porsches seem to be most advantaged by the Balance of Performance (BoP), while as sometimes in real races, the 488 GTEs are at a disadvantage on the straights.
Departure. The first edition of the virtual version of the famous Sarthe classic on the rFactor 2 platform, set off at 3 pm sharp with Charles Leclerc at the wheel of the 488 GTE no. 52, the best-placed Ferrari on the grid. He started well but lost a position, slipping to tenth due to the interplay of wakes on the long straights of the French track. David Perel did excellently in Ferrari no. 51 of AF Corse, overtaking the Monegasque Formula 1 driver to move into seventh position. Miguel Molina spent a long time in eleventh in the 488 GTE no. 71 of AF Corse, while car no. 54 of Strong Together driven by Francesco Castellacci was the last-placed of the Ferraris in the first hour.
First stint. Ahead of the group the battle began between the Porsches of Nick Tandy and Daniel Juncadella, which still hold the first two places, while Perel continued to set a fast pace in the only 488 GTE among the top group. Leclerc, however, made a mistake and cut across the chicane, which cost him a drive-through that he took immediately after his first pitstop. This sent the Monegasque to the back of the Ferrari group, behind Molina and Castellacci.
Driver changes. Just before the two-hour mark Perel handed over to the Danish driver Nicklas Nielsen in car no. 51 car which is currently in ninth position, while Federico Leo took over no. 71 and began to set a great pace. He is currently in thirteenth. However, David Tonizza made the best comeback with the Ferrari no. 52. The F1 Esports Pro Series world champion, representing the Ferrari Driver Academy Hublot Esports Team, climbed from seventeenth to twelfth. Giancarlo Fisichella is struggling a little in car no. 54, now in seventeenth after a couple of contacts with prototypes.