Event will take place this weekend in downtown San Francisco

The Le Mans 24 Hours will be the talk of the motor racing world as the 86th instalment of the iconic endurance race kicks off this weekend in France. But a continent away in the U.S., a different kind of endurance race will also take place, one that will be hosted by Audi of America in partnership with Forza MotorSport 6. The event will take place in San Francisco and it has been billed as a 24-hour virtual race featuring 12 teams of professional gamers and the finalists from Audi’s own 24 Hours of Le Forza Contest.

While it may not have the same authenticity as actually competing in Le Mans, the Audi 24 Hours of Le Forza will pit these teams against one another in a 24-hour online endurance race on Forza 6. Contestants will even be dressed in full racing suits and helmets, and will drive near-replicas of the real race cars with the same shifts and similar weather conditions as what is expected in Le Mans.

The online endurance race will be live-streamed on Twitch, the social media platform that has become the go-to app for live streaming online gaming events.

The team who ends up winning the Audi 24 Hours of Le Forza will get more than just bragging rights for their accomplishment. A trip to Sonoma, California awaits every member of the team where they will get the chance to participate in a real-world Audi sports car experience. The second- and third- place teams will also receive awards, with the runner ups getting a trip to Austin, Texas to attend the 2016 Lone Star Le Mans race and the third-place group all receiving an Xbox One and a copy of Forza 6.

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Why it matters

Audi has had a lot of tremendous ideas in its long and esteemed history, but this might as well be the best ideas it has ever thought of.

Okay, that statement is dipped with a little bit of the hyperbole sauce, but you can’t deny that hosting a 24-hour online endurance race is a great idea. The event should be exciting and it should provide a lot of hardcore Forza 6 gamers a chance to prove themselves in the ultimate competitive setting. Give credit to Audi and its partners for thinking of doing something like this and do it on the same day the 24 Hours of Le Mans is decided has a symbolic tone to it.

It should turn into a successful event, although I do have one concern about it. The race is 24 hours long, and while the specific mechanics are not yet known, the racing environment could get stressful in no time. Some may not be fit to handle that kind of stress, especially when the race goes through the slogging stages. It is as much a mental and psychological challenge as it is a physical one, so on that note, the team who ends up winning may not be the most skilled driving team in the competition. It’s going to be the toughest one.

But what do I know, right? I’m not competing in the event, but I’ll definitely keep tabs on it through Twitch. And to those who end up winning, let me say advanced congratulations, and get a lot of rest before this weekend. You’re going to need it.

What do you think?
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