Belloc in at Larbre, Berthon joins Greaves for Le Mans

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Jean-Philippe Belloc and Nathanael Berthon will both race at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans after being drafted in as replacements this week.

Belloc tested with Larbre Competition on Sunday at the Circuit de la Sarthe alongside Nicky Catsburg as the team sought a replacement for the injured Paolo Ruberti.

Ruberti was injured in an accident at Hockenheim last week while coaching, ruling him out of Le Mans.

On Thursday, Larbre announced that Belloc would be joining Yutaka Yamagishi and Pierre Ragues in the Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, marking his 10th entry to Le Mans.

“I am delighted to have been chosen by Jack Leconte to replace Paolo Ruberti, to whom everybody sends their best wishes, for this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans,” Belloc said.

“It’s a very nice show of trust and a great privilege to defend the colours of Larbre Competition in the world’s greatest endurance race.

“The LMGTE AM category is quite competitive this year but I think we have a very solid package. The Corvette C7.R has proven its worth and the team has what it takes to challenge for a good result.

“Finally, I’d like to extend my warmest thanks to my friend and long-time teammate Christophe Bourret, who made it possible for me to be available for this iconic event.”

Greaves Motorsport has also made a change to its driver line-up, replacing Kuba Giermaziak who was dropped prior to Sunday’s test after his financial backing fell through.

Berthon parted company with G-Drive Racing last week, making way for Manor driver Will Stevens, but will still race at Le Mans in LMP2 after striking a deal with Greaves Motorsport.

“I am delighted to join Greaves Motorsport for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. I have been speaking with the team for a few years, now we are able to finally able to work together,” said Berthon.

“Greaves Motorsport is a very strong and professional organisation and I have no doubt that we are going to do an amazing job together in Le Mans.

“I would like to thank the Greaves family for welcoming me onboard and giving me this great opportunity.”

IndyCar disappointed by delay of video game but aiming to launch at start of 2024

IndyCar video game 2024

An IndyCar executive said there is “absolutely” disappointment that its long-awaited video game recently was delayed beyond its target date, but the series remains optimistic about the new title.

“Well, I don’t know how quick it will be, but the whole situation is important to us,” Penske Entertainment president and CEO Mark Miles said during a news conference Monday morning to announce IndyCar’s NTT title sponsorship. “Motorsport Games has spent a lot of money, a lot of effort to create an IndyCar title. What we’ve seen of that effort, which is not completely obvious, is very reassuring.

“I think it’s going to be outstanding. That’s our shared objective, that when it is released, it’s just widely accepted. A great credit both to IndyCar racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, something that our fans love.”

In June 2021, IndyCar announced a new partnership with Motorsport Games to create and distribute an IndyCar video game for the PC and Xbox and PlayStation consoles in 2023.

But during an earnings call last week, Motorsport Games said the IndyCar game had been delayed to 2024 to ensure high quality.

Somewhat compounding the delay is that IndyCar’s license for iRacing expired after the end of the 2022 season because of its exclusive agreement with Motorsport Games.

That’s resulted in significant changes for IndyCar on iRacing, which had provided a high-profile way for the series to stay visible during its 2020 shutdown from the pandemic. (Players still can race an unbranded car but don’t race on current IndyCar tracks, nor can they stream).

That’s helped ratchet up the attention on having a video game outlet for IndyCar.

“I wish we had an IndyCar title 10 years ago,” said Miles, who has been working with the organization since 2013. “We’ve been close, but we’ve had these I think speed bumps.”

IndyCar is hopeful the Motorsports Game edition will be ready at the start of 2024. Miles hinted that beta versions could be unveiled to reporters ahead of the time “to begin to show the progress in a narrow way to make sure we’ve got it right, to test the progress so that we’re ready when they’re ready.”

It’s been nearly 18 years since the release of the most recent IndyCar video game for console or PC.

“(We) better get it right,” Miles said. “It’s something we’re very close to and continue to think about what it is to make sure we get it over the line in due course.”