Okay, it's not what you think as 5 gamers each drive a virtual version of the latest Ford GT at the game's Le Mans circuit in Forza Motorsport 6 for over 48 hours to set a new Guinness World Records title.
The latest Le Mans motorsports record for the Ford GT wasn't set at the Circuit de la Sarthe, but rather, 434 miles (by car approximately 6 hours and 35 minutes) northwest of the fabled racetrack at Henry-Ford Strasse in Cologne, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany, and the headquarters of Ford of Europe AG.
Cologne is also the site of Gamescom, Europe's largest interactive games trade fair that, this year, is taking place Aug. 17-21. This year, five gamers from around the EU were challenged to set a new Guinness World Record and here, as they say, is the rest of the story.
Ford GT race car in Forza Motorsport 6
Cara Scott, 25, from the U.K.; Hélène Cressot, from France; Johannes Knapp, 30, from Germany; Andrea Lorenzo Facchinetti, 42, from Italy; and Jesús Sicilia Sánchez, 23, from Spain were the gamers involved in the attempt. Each took on a simulated version of the La Sarthe circuit used for the Le Mans 24 Hours, racing a Ford GT in the virtual world of Forza Motorsport 6.
Some 48 hours, 29 minutes and 21 seconds later (breaking the previous record of 48 hours 1 minute) and after completing a combined 25,479 virtual miles (in actuality, 41,004 virtual kilometers) and 3015 laps, the five stepped away from their racing simulators (we don't need no cheesy wireless, hand-held controllers here), somewhat the worse for wear.
"They did an amazing job. Just like driving at the real Le Mans, this achievement required extreme levels of concentration, attention to detail, and most importantly endurance – because they had to keep going for twice as long as we did," said Ford Chip Ganassi Racing driver Stefan Mücke, who competes in the FIA World Endurance Championship in the Ford GT, and started the virtual race.
Mücke should know, he's somewhat of an expert. Earlier this year he spent 9:05.40 hours in the real thing, completing 136 laps during this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans.
On the other hand, powered by a combined 32 energy drinks, 146 bottles of water, 47 bottles of soft drinks and more than six and a half pounds (over 3 kilograms) of sweets, the five virtual racers managed to stay awake for two nights straight while driving the equivalent of once around the world.
Keeping it real
Later that day, the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title was presented on the Microsoft stand at Gamescom.
"For me, it's incredible to see anyone stay up all night, whether it's for a bumper car marathon or four days of watching television," said Lena Kuhlmann, official adjudicator, GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS. "Two days of race gaming is a superlative effort. The endurance of the gamers is remarkable. They were engaged, concentrating and having fun even after the record was broken. It's also great to have the actual Ford GT in view, to keep the gamers from getting completely immersed in the virtual world."