Shane van Gisbergen, Jaxon Evans and Liam Lawson have been recruited to compete in the inaugural Virtual Le Mans Esport series.
All three Kiwis have demonstrated countless times how fast they are behind the wheel of a real race car.
Yet, they are also exceptionally handy in the online realm of racing.
When coronavirus put an abrupt halt on all things motorsport last year, sim racing’s popularity exploded.
All of a sudden, professional drivers were competing against one another in the virtual world of racing.
When last year’s Le Mans 24 Hour was postponed from its original date, series organisers launched the inaugural ‘Virtual Le Mans’ to satisfy starved race fans.
The event attracted several real-life Le Mans drivers to enter, and it was even broadcast live around the world.
Now, promoters are building off the success of the Virtual Le Mans and have formed a new, five-round endurance Esport series.
Each team consists of a roster of five drivers, with two being FIA-graded pros.
Lawson and Van Gisbergen are both in the LMP2 class, with Lawson part of the Red Bull Esports crew and van Gisbergen in the Realteam Hydrogen Redline team.
Meanwhile, Evans is racing in the GTE class with Proton Competition – the same team he made his real-life Le Mans 24 Hour debut with this year.
The other Pro drivers paired with the Kiwis are World Rallycross champion Timmy Hansen (with Lawson), DTM racer Dani Juncadella (with van Gisbergen) and Loek Hartog (with Evans).
The first four races will see each team select one of their pro drivers and two sim-racers.
The Virtual Le Mans 24 will then conclude the series on January 15-16. Two real-world pro drivers and two sim-racers will form each entry.
Rfactor 2 is the platform that is used for the series.
The first round is the virtual 4 Hours of Monza on September 25.
See the full entry list here: