PaddlUp Esports wins the big one at Le Mans
The virtual Le Mans circuit hosted the PaddlUp Esports squad for the first time on Saturday, 21 May and the team didn't disappoint, ensuring it was a race to remember.
Last time out in the ACF WEC series, PaddlUp Esports' near-faultless charge was hampered by technical issues at Monza. The team would experience no such issues at Round 2 and, with similar downforce and overall setup requirements at the legendary Circuit de le Sarthe as Monza, there was little for Riley Phillips and the squad to do to prepare for their most gruelling challenge yet.
Phillips – PaddlUp's resident simulator expert – got behind the wheel for qualifying and was on imperious form, eventually taking pole position by an incredible eight-tenths of a second.
With 10 hours on the clock, racing got underway and the PaddlUp-branded Alpine A480-Gibson showed no signs of slowing down. A dream getaway ensured the #94 car retained the lead and, with Phillips at the wheel, extended the advantage to over 20 seconds at the 40-minute mark.
Clean and consistent running throughout the race meant that at the halfway point, the team were closing in on the third-place car to lap it.
As running continued, it became apparent that PaddlUp Esports' closest competitors were on a slightly different strategy, and would be able to miss one of the last pit stops. The team quickly understood that they would have to lap second place to ensure the victory, and they did just that seven hours in having also set the fastest lap.
The second-place car ultimately pushed to hard to unlap themselves and got caught up in traffic and spins giving the PaddlUp team plenty of breathing space. They would eventually claim victory having lapped their closest competitor two times and rounding out their most successful event to date.
Riley Phillips, Driver, PaddlUp Esports said: "The 10 hour was a great race for the team. The set-up is quite similar to Monza so we really didn't have to change that much to get the car on the pace.
"Any endurance race is hard but staying focused for 10 hours is especially challenging. This is the best result we could've asked for and at one of the biggest events of the season. The only way is up from here for PaddlUp Esports!"