In recognition of the FIA World Endurance Championship – the ultimate endurance racing challenge, cars representing the ultimate in technology, durability and performance, and taking place at the ultimate motorsport venue, there can only be one name for the official game for the 24 Hours of Le Mans and FIA WEC: Le Mans Ultimate.
Expected in December 2023, this special centenary year for the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, owner and founder of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the game has been developed by Studio 397 and will capture all the emotion, speed and glory of the world’s most famous and prestigious endurance motorsport event. Studio 397, the developers behind the rFactor 2 platform, have a pedigree for gaming and sports car racing – with their name reflecting the remarkable feat by Audi Sport in 2010, where its R15 prototype lapped the Circuit de la Sarthe 397 times before taking victory.
The PC-based game will feature official cars and circuits from the 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship season, which of course has the 24 Hours of Le Mans as its headline event. Included for the first time will be Hypercars from Ferrari, Peugeot, Porsche and Toyota, which – together with models of all the cars of the 2023 full-season WEC entrants – will be competing on iconic tracks such as Spa-Francorchamps, Monza, Fuji and Circuit de la Sarthe.
As well as high-fidelity models of cars and circuits, class leading physics and performance from the physics engine behind rFactor 2 will be brought into the new game, as well as further innovative gaming and competition features associated with endurance racing. The online gameplay will be powered by RaceControl, a new development from Motorsport Games that powers an interactive multiplayer experience. Features will include both competitive and more casual races, as well as the ability to host a private session. Perhaps most innovatively, the game is planned to include a collaborative asynchronous race mode, whereby a team of players can undertake their stints at a time and date that suits them, with each member fitting in their time in the car around other commitments or time zone restraints.
The fans’ chance to be involved in final development
Invited by the ACO, on site at Circuit de la Sarthe from 7th-11th June will be representatives of Le Mans Ultimate who will be offering the fans and spectators a unique First Look Preview Presented by Thrustmaster. Based in the Gaming Zone in the Family Area, there will be 10 simulators on which the general public can either drive the Porsche 963 Hypercar or the Ferrari 488 GTE and emulate their real-life heroes by completing laps of the track.
A competition supported by Thrustmaster allows everyone who signs up to play the game to be entered into a prize draw to win a Limited Edition Thrustmaster T818 Steering Wheel and base. Fans will also be able to give feedback and their views in a post-play survey.
Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest: “This year the 24 Hours of Le Mans celebrates its centenary and the prestige of the race is unparalleled. It is only natural, in this new golden age of endurance, for fans to want to experience racing first hand, or almost. Today’s video games give them just that opportunity. In the wake of the undisputed success of the Le Mans Virtual Series and the Virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans, Le Mans Ultimate is the… ultimate game when it comes to simulating the sensations racing drivers feel at the wheel. A big thank you to Motorsport Games and Studio 397 for a game that has all the ingredients to be hugely popular!”
Frédéric Lequien, CEO of the FIA World Endurance Championship: “With this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, round four of the FIA WEC, celebrating its 100th anniversary, it has provided the perfect platform for Le Mans Ultimate to be revealed to eager fans across the globe. The team at Motorsport Games and Studio 397 are committed to creating a product which can help bring the joys of endurance racing to gamers all over. We can’t wait to get see the final product later this year!”
Stephen Hood, CEO Motorsport Games: “It’s great to pull the covers off and introduce the world to Le Mans Ultimate for the first time. In this Centenary year, we have been working closely with the ACO to bring the thrill of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA WEC to people all around the world. We aim to help make them feel invested in Le Mans Ultimate from the start, taking them on a gaming journey with updates and behind-the-scenes coverage through our social media channels to show the development and the excitement we all have at Studio 397 and Motorsport Games to produce the best experience for gamers and motorsport fans.”