The organisers of the Le Mans 24 Hours race and the Motorsport Network are partnering to launch an esports series, it has been officially announced in anticipation of its August unveiling at Silverstone.
Automobile Club de L’Ouest’s (ACO) new series will feature gamers competing on the Forza Motorsport title and will officially launch at Silverstone in the UK in August. Microsoft, developer of the Forza games, will work with ACO and Motorsport Network on the initiative with Glory4Gamers, a France-based esports company, will control the format and run the events.
The series will include qualifying events at the World Endurance Championships rounds in Fuji, Japan as well as in Florida and at the 2019 Autosport International Show in Birmingham, England.
Those who qualify for the final will compete at the Le Mans 24 Hours race, where they will also go up against the race’s real-life drivers.
World Endurance Championships chief executive Gerard Neveu said: “We know from the worldwide fan survey we carried out last year that we have a growing number of younger fans following us on social media.
“This series allows us to create and grow an esports community of gamers specific to endurance racing. These young fans already know the stars of our paddock, the cars they drive and the circuits we visit and this allows us to speak to them directly via a medium they love - and one they are very good at.
“Why not imagine in the future these gaming masters meeting up with some of our on-track masters - maybe even at the grand final of the esports series which will coincide with the final round of our WEC super-season, the 24 Hours of Le Mans next June.”
The announcement of the series coincided with this year’s race, which was won by Formula One legend Fernando Alonso.
FA Racing, the esports team set up by Alonso in 2017, will take part in the series.