The Le Mans Esport Series will return for a second season in 2020, with a new format and a doubled prize fund of $200,000.
Season one ended with a 24-hour marathon event right in the Le Mans Village, ahead of the real-world race. The Veloce Esports team took the overall victory, but for 2020 it won’t be all about the pro drivers.
This year, there’ll be a two-tier event, with both a Pro and a Pro-Am division. The two groups will qualify separately for next year’s final, again taking place during the 24 Hours of Le Mans race weekend and within the Le Mans Village.
Professional esports teams can sign up over the next week (October 31 to November 7). They’ll then face a five-round qualification calendar, with online races in Forza Motorsport 7 at Le Mans, Silverstone, Nurburgring, Sebring, and Spa-Francorchamps, running through to May 2020. There’ll be a $50,000 prize fund available.
For the Pro-Am section, there’s online qualifiers and live events. 18 “Pro” drivers will qualify from six online qualifying rounds in Forza Motorsport 7 — three each round. The calendar for that is as follows:
- November 15-24 – Le Mans, Porsche #2 (Porsche) Team 919 Hybrid
- December 13-22 – Road Atlanta, Ferrari #51 AF Corse 458 Italia GTE
- January 10-19 – Silverstone, Mazda #55 Mazda 787B
- January 31-February 9 – Nurburgring, Porsche #78 MOMO 935/78
- March 20-29 – Sebring, Ford #66 Ford Racing GT Le Mans
- April 24-May 3 – Spa-Francorchamps, Porsche #92 Porsche GT Team 911 RSR
Nine further drivers will qualify as amateurs, via two live events next year. These will take place in January at the Autosport International Show in Birmingham, and in March at Sebring International Raceway during the Super Sebring event.
A draft session before the 2020 Super Final will create nine “Pro-Am” teams from the 27 qualified drivers, to take on the qualified Pro teams for a $150,000 prize fund at the event.