You knew this was coming. In case you missed it given everything else that’s going on, we recently passed the weekend when the 24 Hours of Le Mans would have been contested under ordinary circumstances. You probably know that it wasn’t. But as with other varieties of motorsport, Le Mans did indeed take place in a virtual manner. Yes, the world’s most famous sports car race was run, if you will, featuring drivers using simulators. And it ended, as Le Mans events so often have, with victory by Porsche, in the form of a digitally created 911 RSR, with Nick Tandy leading its four-driver lineup. Perhaps more significantly, the digital Sarthe running came 50 years to the day after Porsche scored its initial overall Le Mans victory, when Richard Attwood and Hans Hermann won the 1970 grind aboard a Porsche 917K, the greatest factory-built racing car ever produced.
Whether you accept this as real automobile racing or not, this will go down in Porsche annals, at least, as the Stuttgart legend’s 19th overall victory at Le Mans, more than any other manufacturer. The digital race featured a four-car Porsche effort, with two professional sim drivers participating. The winning 911 RSR tallied 339 laps. Bully to the winners. If this whets your appetite for the real thing, take heart: The French tricolor is set to wave the real Le Mans off on its twice-around-the-clock classic on September 19.