Faultless 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual secures P4 place finish for 2 Seas Motorsport
2 Seas Motorsport continues to build on an impressive debut season of competitive racing with a headline performance at the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual.
- 2 Seas Motorsport continues to impress in debut competitive season
- International driver line-up blends professional drivers with sim racing experts to successfully overcome the team’s biggest challenge to-date
- Careful strategy management keeps the team in contention for the overall victory throughout
2 Seas Motorsport continues to build on an impressive debut season of competitive racing with a headline performance at the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual. Contesting the highly competitive LMP2 category, the English-Bahraini team battled hard to secure fourth place outright, while remaining in contention for the overall race lead throughout the gruelling endurance event with drivers Isa Al-Khalifa (BAH), Oliver Rowland (GBR), Devin Braune (DEU) and Rory Macduff (USA).
In what was the team’s biggest challenge to-date, the result further establishes 2 Seas Motorsport as a true contender on the world stage.
Racing with the spec-entry Oreca 07 as part of a 30-car LMP2 class, 2 Seas Motorsport showed a glimpse of what was to come during qualifying for the inaugural 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual event with professional simulator driver Devin Braune at the wheel. The young German secured a second-row grid slot for the event against a field of fellow professional simulator drivers and an impressive rollcall of names including world champions from various motorsport formulas, past and present.
The race start was made by current ABB FIA Formula E Championship driver Oliver Rowland who pushed hard at the front of the field and kept the pressure on the leader. With strong pace, the British driver continued to contest for the overall race lead in warm, sunny conditions, as events and incidents unravelled further down the order.
Devin Braune took over the driving duties and continued the fight as the top five cars jostled for position and pit stop strategies started to come into play and this would be the format of the race for 2 Seas Motorsport for much of the 24 hours. The first red flag period neutralised the race, eradicating the team’s 90 second lead. Following the restart, Rory Macduff worked to rebuild this gap with pace remaining strong for the #33, and professional driver and 2 Seas Motorsport co-owner Isa Al-Khalifa took on his biggest racing challenge yet.
Jumping in at the deep end, Isa took over driving duties as the sun began to set over around the famous Circuit de la Sarthe and was quickly up to speed despite his lack of track knowledge.
As in the real-world event, nightfall at the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual saw action throughout the field, but the #33 2 Seas Motorsport Oreca 07 LMP2 continued to push forward and challenge for the top spot. However, the team did not navigate the hours of darkness totally unscathed as Devin sustained bodywork damage which required a return to the pitlane for essential repairs. With the repair work completed, the team ran without issue until a drive-through penalty after sunrise meant another trip to the pitlane, although the team was fortune with a near-miss following a high speed impact for two LMP2 front-runners which was narrowly avoided.
Isa Al-Khalifa was in the pitlane as the race was red flagged for a second time due to technical issues with the race servers as the event reached hour 19. The Bahraini driver returned to the track in fourth position, but the red flag period saw the team lose a lap to the leaders and Isa was in heavy traffic as the race got underway once again. Despite this set back, the drivers and the 2 Seas Motorsport engineering team worked tirelessly to maintain the momentum which kept them in contention for the podium throughout the race.
As the team worked to close the gap, Rory took over for his final stint before handing over to Devin for the sprint to the line. This final stage of the race saw Devin managing fuel and tyres all the way to the chequered flag to optimise the carefully managed strategy which saw the #33 cross the line in fourth place overall.
Isa Al-Khalifa, 2 Seas Motorsport team co-owner and #33 Oreca 07 LMP2 driver.
“What a race weekend! The entire event from start to finish has been fantastic, and it really was an honour to be part of the inaugural virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans, racing alongside such a strong mix of drivers – both from the world of sim and real-world racing. I am extremely proud of the team and the result which we have all collectively pulled together to achieve. None of this would have been possible without the tireless hard work and dedication of the 2 Seas Motorsport team behind the scenes who helped put everything together and I’d personal like to thank our engineers Xavi Ramon, Tomas Beha and Martin Heriaud who managed a perfect strategy.
“It has been a really challenging and interesting season so far, and our next race is this coming weekend as we return to action for the final round of the E-Sport GT Series Championship 2020 in Kyalami, before we are due to return to real-world testing at the end of the month.”
Nick Cristofaro, 2 Seas Motorsport team co-owner.
“What an incredible result, and a huge achievement for everyone involved at 2 Seas Motorsport in what is still our debut season. I am extremely proud of what we have all achieved during this weekend after qualifying in the top three, leading the race outright and bringing the car home in fourth place after 24 hours of hard racing, and Isa, Oliver, Devin and Rory drove faultless throughout the entire race. A huge thanks to our sponsors and partners Batelco, Bott, BOXO, CCM Racing CASELINER UK, EDB, F POD, Hopkins Motorsport, Motul, Ruroc, Raceparts UK and Serenco (UK) Ltd for their continued support, and I would also like to extend my appreciation to the Bahrain International Circuit for the entry slot which gave us the opportunity to become involved with this event."
2 Seas Motorsport returns to action for the SRO E-Sport GT Series Championship 2020 season finale at Kyalami, South Africa on Saturday 21 June. The Pro race starts at 13.00 BST (14.00 CET).