Nick Tandy says Porsche’s GTE victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual was ‘balm for the soul’ for Porsche after the COVID-19 pandemic curtailed racing around the world.
Tandy teamed with Porsche junior Ayhancan Güven and sim racing stars Josh Rodgers and Tommy Ostgaard aboard the #93 Porsche 911 RSR and started the race from pole position. After a battle with the R8G Esports Team Corvette in the early hours, the Porsche took the lead of the race and for the remaining hours.
“This win is balm for the soul. We have some very difficult months behind us,” said Tandy The long break without real racing was and is a real strain for everyone at Porsche Motorsport, as well as for the fans and the drivers. For this reason, the virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans was a brilliant initiative to revive motor racing.
On this very day five years ago, I climbed to the top step of the podium as the overall Le Mans winner. Now to win the virtual race, it doesn’t get much better!”
Tandy’s last racing outing before the pandemic was the IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship season opener at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, where he finished third in the GTLM class. Porsche announced at the start of the month that it will end its factory GTLM programme at the end of the 2020 season.
The win marks Tandy’s major second esports win in a month. The Briton ended BMW’s win streak in the IMSA iRacing Pro Series at Road America in May, where he ran one-two with Güven for the majority of the race. The Turkish youngster joined Tandy on board the winning Porsche at Le Mans.
“That was pretty nerve-wracking in the final hours, I hardly dared to look, but it all went well,” said Güven. “Victory feels great, especially since we’ve had some extremely exhausting weeks of preparation.
The perfect teamwork paid off, and we deserve this win. We were definitely the fastest GTE vehicle in the field throughout the race. My first win at Le Mans is a virtual one – hopefully, I’ll be able to compete in the real race one day.”