Montoya and Pagenaud lead Penske's Virtual Le Mans entry

Josh Suttill
Montoya and Pagenaud lead Penske Virtual Le Mans entry

Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya and 2016 IndyCar Series champion Simon Pagenaud will race for Team Penske in the Virtual Le Mans 24 Hours race in June.

Montoya's latest sim racing conquest will see him lead Penske's first appearance at Le Mans since the 1971 edition of the race - albeit on the rFactor 2 simulation game.

Following the postponement of the real-life iconic endurance race to 19-20 September due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a virtual race will take place on the original 13-14 June date organised by the World Endurance Championship, Le Mans organiser the ACO and Motorsport Games.

Reigning IMSA champions Montoya and Dane Cameron will share a virtual ORECA 07 LMP2 car with regular endurance co-driver Pagenaud and IMSA team-mate Ricky Taylor.

The race will mark 2019 Indy 500 winner Pagenaud's first major sim racing appearance since the controversial IndyCar iRacing Challenge finale at Indianapolis, where Pagenaud collided with guesting McLaren Formula 1 driver and then race leader Lando Norris.

Norris will compete against Pagenaud in a Team Redline-ran virtual LMP2 car alongside fellow F1 driver Max Verstappen and sim racing veterans Atze Kerkhof and Greger Huttu.

Pagenaud has made four real-life Le Mans appearances, most recently finishing as the overall runner-up as part of Peugeot's line-up at the 2011 Le Mans 24 Hours.

Montoya and Pagenaud lead Penske Virtual Le Mans entry

Taylor, the 2017 IMSA champion, has made six appearances at Le Mans, while Montoya - also a two-time winner of the Daytona 24 Hours - finished third in the LMP2 class on his one Le Mans start in 2018. Cameron has never competed in the endurance classic.

Penske is one of the few teams to entirely comprise of real-world professional drivers, with the rules dictating that each team can run up to two sim racers in their four-driver line-ups.

Three-time World Touring Car champion Andy Priaulx, who has driven for the Multimatic-run Ford GT effort in the previous four Le Mans, will switch to racing a virtual LMP2 car for Multimatic alongside his son Sebastian, who finished runner-up in British GT4 last season.

They will be joined by ex-British Touring Car Championship driver and avid sim racer Mike Epps as well as Olivier Fortin.

F1 driver Pierre Gasly, Formula E stars Antonio Felix da Costa, Felipe Massa, Stoffel Vandoorne and Jean-Eric Vergne and IndyCar's Felix Rosenqvist are among the drivers already announced for the race.

The Virtual Le Mans 24 Hours will be streamed live on The race starts on 13 June at 14:00 BST.

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