Box Latest News
Photo News[08-08-2020]
PIERRE RAGUES BACK IN ACTION AS WEC SEASON RESUMES AT SPA [Full Article]
Photo News[11-07-2020]
RACING SOLUTIONS LAUNCHED IN FRANCE [Full Article]
Photo News[07-07-2020]
BACK TO REALITY FOR PIERRE RAGUES AS TESTING RESUMES AT CIRCUIT PAUL RICARD [Full Article]
Photo News[14-06-2020]
PIERRE RAGUES ENJOYS ‘INCREDIBLE’ LE MANS 24 HOURS VIRTUAL WITH SIGNATECH ALPINE ELF [Full Article]
Photo News[26-05-2020]
PIERRE RAGUES AND SIGNATECH ALPINE ELF SET FOR VIRTUAL 24 HOURS OF LE MANS [Full Article]
[14-06-2020]
PIERRE RAGUES ENJOYS ‘INCREDIBLE’ LE MANS 24 HOURS VIRTUAL WITH SIGNATECH ALPINE ELF Photo News
French racer Pierre Ragues has declared this weekend’s Virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans ‘incredible’ following an impressively organised online event, broadcast from the famous Studio Gabriel in Paris.
 
With 200 drivers taking part from 170 different simulators in 37 countries around the world, the virtual event was a massive undertaking for the ACO, WEC and Motorsport Games but one which brought together the endurance and online communities during the traditional Le Mans weekend.
 
Pierre joined his regular team-mates Thomas Laurent and André Negrão, as well as professional sim racer Nicolas Longuet to fly the flag for Signatech Alpine Elf, driving the #36 LMP2 car. In the build-up to the event, the team took part in regular sessions and shorter practice races to prepare their set-ups, working closely with their engineers - replicating the same process as the real world. 
 
Pierre was one of the drivers to compete directly in the Paris studio with his sim regularly shown as part of the professional broadcast. He was also seen chatting with FIA President Jean Todt prior to the race start. While the end result was not reflective of Pierre and the team’s usual standards around Circuit de la Sarthe, the entire experience was one that has generated a positive buzz and acted as an appreciated replacement for the postponed Le Mans event. 

Q+A with Pierre Ragues
 
How was your experience of the Le Mans 24 Hours Virtual?
“I must admit - putting the results to one side - it has been an incredible event and a really enjoyable experience. Although I’ve had lots of sim experience, thanks to Ellip6, I have never participated in an online event on such a grand scale. It’s clear that the hard work and efforts of the ACO, WEC and Motorsport Games has paid off. To be present in the studio, and to compete in such a unique and special race has been a privilege for me.”

Let’s just look at the result, it was surely not what you were expecting?
“No, definitely not. We enter any competition - real or virtual - hoping to be in the mix. Unfortunately, although we showed good pace at times, and I was particularly happy with my own performance, we had some incidents on Saturday which put us down the classification. There was no real chance to make up positions, but we kept pushing hard - just as we would at the real Le Mans.”
 
What aspects of the online race have you enjoyed especially? 
“The really impressive aspect of this event has been how close to reality it has actually been; from the graphics to the interaction with our Signatech Alpine Elf engineers, to the broadcast quality, it has been an immersive experience. Being able to work with the engineers, and my team-mates Thomas, Andre and Nicolas, on the car set-up and strategy has been great. To see so many drivers from across motorsport and esports join the WEC community on this occasion has been amazing to see.”

What was it like competing in the studio?
“Being in Studio Gabriel really made it feel like an international event, which of course it was, but I imagine the atmosphere being in a sim at home would have made it feel very different. The entire broadcast was super professional, and I comment the whole team for putting on an engaging show. From the studio, I was also able to speak to Jean Todt before the race and also to see what life is like for broadcasters during this event, something us drivers don’t usually get to see.” 
 
Did it make you miss the real thing?
“Racing around Circuit de la Sarthe will always be one of the most special things for a racing driver, and we’re all hoping the postponed event will go ahead later in the year. For now, this Le Mans 24 Hours Virtual was a fine alternative and with many elements that were surprisingly close to reality. We all look forward to being back at Le Mans physically, but this experience has reflected all of the values of the ACO and WEC, and it’s been our pleasure to be involved.”