Le Mans Virtual has expanded in 2021/22, instead of being a singular 24 Hour event like in 2020, it now has an entire championship along with a support series that runs on a Friday. That support series is the Le Mans Virtual Cup, using the LMP3 cars available in rFactor 2.
The evening consists of a single 45-minute race, after the Le Mans Virtual Series cars have taken part in a qualifying session for the race on the following day. In this series, all of the action is very much condensed, in comparison to an endurance championship.
Satellite Racing have a number of drivers competing in this championship, with four of their drivers taking art in the second race at Spa. This comes after a fairly disappointing opening round at Monza, where despite leading in the early part of the race, Finland’s Jimi Nisula suffered a technical glitch which forced him to pit from the lead. He was able to finish, but only in 13th, leaving him to think what could have been. Henri Sinik, who was also competing, didn’t even make it that far as he suffered a crash at the very start.
The team were looking for redemption heading into Spa, and they certainly got a promising result for their efforts. The first success for them was managing to get four drivers onto the very competitive grid for this particular race, with Nisula and Sinik now partnering Martin Hemmingsen and Nello Pastorino in the field.
And it was one of the debutants who performed best on the day, with Hemmingsen clinching a 4th place in the end. The former Drillers Esports driver has been going from strength to strength recently, and this result is another feather in his cap.
Estonian driver Henri Sinik was able to back up the Dane’s performance with a Top 10 himself, while Nisula once again struggled to get the result he arguably deserved, coming home in 15th. Nello Pastorino had a day to forget by all accounts, only managing to finish 24th. Despite this, a pair of Top 10s for Satellite Racing leaves them a lot to be positive about, and they will be fired up heading into the next rounds at the Nurburgring, Sebring, and Le Mans.
At the front of the field and the championsip after these races, it’s Luca D’Amelio who is having a dream start to the Le Mans Virtual Cup. He took a commanding win in Monza and controlled the race once Jimi Nisula had suffered his bad luck, and only missed out on the win by 1.3 seconds at Spa.
It was Janos Bracsok that was able to take the win on that occasion, continuing a solid 2021 for the Hungarian. The next race of Le Mans Virtual Cup will be on the 12th of November, and Satellite Racing will be ones to watch as they try to right the wrongs of the opening two rounds.