Jaxon Evans will line up on the second row of the grid for tomorrow’s Virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans after the Porsche Esports team locked out the top four spots in GTE qualifying.
Sharing with factory Porsche driver Matt Campbell and sim-racing aficionado’s Mack Bakkum and Jeremy Bouteloup, the #92 entry would round out a dominant session for the German manufacturer in fourth, narrowly missing out on the front row.
Australian sim-racer Joshua Roberts clocked a best time of 3.46.550 around the 13.6km Circuit de la Sarthe, relegating American teammate Mitchell deJong in the final stages of the 20-minute session.
“That was one of the best laps I’ve ever done,” said Roberts post the session. “I made a few mistakes, particularly in the last chicane. But now I’m on pole, and I even beat my teammate, Mitchell.
“All in all, that was a strong team effort. We’re looking forward to the race tomorrow. Starting on the front row makes it a little easier but it’s not the be-all and end-all in a 24-hour race.”
Bouteloup was given command of the Evans/Campbell machine for qualifying with the Frenchman setting 3.47.965, but he was ultimately pipped to the post by one-tenth as the #88 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche driven by Kevin van Dooren stole third position.
“Things went okay in the number 92 Porsche Esports 911 RSR,” said Bouteloup. “I’m not entirely satisfied with my performance although both of my attempts were decent and safe enough for place four. This is just one small part of the job and we’re looking forward to doing most of it tomorrow in the race.”
A total of six Porsche 911 RSRs will start within the top-ten of the 20-strong GTE grid come the start of the twice-around-the-clock classic.
Brendon Hartley and the #8 Toyota Gazoo LMP2 car had a more turbulent evening in the prototype session and will start 17th.
Slovenian rFactor 2 specialist Jernej Simoncic set a 3m23.380s around the simulated circuit to snare pole position for the sole ByKolles entry.
The WRT-backed entry of GT stars Dries Vanthoor and Kelvin van der Linde will line-up alongside the ByKolles machine at the head of the field come tomorrow morning.
The race is scheduled to get underway from 1 am NZT and will be broadcast live on Sky Spot 5.