Fernando Alonso and Alpine's 2022 motorsport calendar gets started this weekend, as they participate in the Le Mans 24 Hours Virtual.
Organised in conjunction with the Automobile Club de l'Ouest and the FIA World Endurance Championship, the 24 hour endurance race replicates as closely as possible all the challenges of the real-life event using the rFactor2 platform.
Alonso, a two-time winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours, will oversee and captain one of the two cars Alpine are entering into the Virtual race this weekend.
Alonso will command the #36 Alpine, piloted by Alpine Academy driver and 2021 F3 rookie Victor Martins, Michelin Le Mans Cup driver Sacha Lehmann, and Alpine eSports drivers Patrik Sipos and Olli Pahkala.
Alpine's second car will be driven by Eneric Andre, Peter Zuba, Antoine Doquin and Romain Boeckler, although won't benefit from Alonso's wisdom and experience guiding them.
Facing off against Verstappen
Interestingly, Alonso's crew will be going up against a team including newly-crowned F1 World Champion Max Verstappen. The Dutch driver is no stranger to the sim racing world, and he'll be driving for Team Redline as they attempt to win the event outright.
Verstappen has spoken recently about how he feels sim racing has made him a better driver.
"I'm thrilled to be the captain of the #36 Alpine in the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual," Alonso said.
"I love endurance racing and it's always good to stay in touch with motorsport from a personal point of view. In recent years, sim racing has become more professional and popular. I'm a big esports fan in general.
"I'm looking forward to helping Victor Martins, one of our Alpine Academy drivers. He has experience in sim racing, and I'm sure the #36, along with the other excellent drivers, will be competitive."
The 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual will be broadcast live from start to finish on Eurosport, ESPN, Sky Sports and J-Sports as well as the FIA WEC app and their social media channels on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitch.
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