During the third running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual, it is clear that there were two major server issues which necessitated red flag stoppages. These were global disconnections caused by a security breach, resulting from the unintentional sharing by race competitors of IP addresses connecting teams to the server.
We have had 180 competitors taking part on 164 different simulators all around the world, and we appreciate the frustrations of any individual drivers or teams affected. A full investigation will be launched at the conclusion of the event, and we will report back on the findings in due course.
2023 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual Statement
Following the conclusion of the 2023 running of the 24 Hours of Lemans Virtual, and the unfortunate issues that resulted in a double red flag stoppage and player disconnects, the technical team of Studio 397 are undertaking preliminary investigations to determine causes and direction of development to be applied to future product updates.
Once again, we apologise to fans and participants of this event for the obvious frustrations these incidents have caused. Issues like these are massively frustrating to all involved in such a considerable production, and we remain determined to use the 2023 event as a platform to expand our knowledge and experience, to help build in a stronger, more robust set of solutions for every online player of rFactor 2.
We are aware that the IP addresses of the servers were inadvertently made public, and we observed unusual levels of traffic during the event, combined with logging of some concerning events taking place during this period. We are not aware of a malicious attack, but will be implementing new procedures to ensure that in future our servers are robustly defended. The use of direct IP addresses for access to multiplayer sessions is clearly not an ideal solution, and we take full responsibility for any inadvertent distribution to non-participants – we are actively working on new processes to allow only permitted users and prevent similar issues in the future.
Additionally, the four instances of spontaneous multiple disconnects that occurred during the race were highly unusual and have only been seen once before in competition. Whilst we have made significant improvements and bug fixes to the multiplayer code of the game in recent years, we are clearly still experiencing problems with legacy low-level networking code. Naturally, this is an unacceptable situation for any multiplayer environment, and we are committed to rewriting this code over the coming months to ensure a better experience for all players.
The spotlight on the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual over the years has been both rewarding and challenging for rFactor 2 and Studio 397. As the most widely visible sim racing event, any issues are thrust into the spotlight by the incredible competitors from around the globe. We aspire to be the most realistic racing simulation experience and will continue tirelessly to ensure that we take learnings, along with the Le Mans organisers to produce spectacular virtual racing events as we move towards the future.