ADVERTISEMENT

Peugeot ‘cannot underestimate the challenge’ of entering WEC

ADVERTISEMENT

Peugeot will enter a pair of hybrid-powered 9X8 cars in the WEC’s top Hypercar class at the remaining three rounds of the 2022 WEC season, starting with the Six Hours of Monza on July 10, marking a return to the top echelon of the sports cars. vying for time in over a decade.

The French manufacturer has invested considerable resources in building the successor to the 24 Hours of Le Mans winner 908 HDi FAP, and recently reached its test target of 15,000 km after a mammoth 36-hour endurance race in Motorland Aragon in Spain.

However, Peugeot will have to catch up with Toyota and Glickenhaus, who gained the upper hand by having their new LMH cars ready for the birth of the Hypercar division in 2021.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Watch the WEC 6 Hours of Monza qualifying and race live on Motorsport.tv (geographical restrictions may apply).

While 2020 Le Mans LMP2 class winner di Resta was impressed by Peugeot’s preparations for its WEC debut, having been extensively involved in its test programme, he feels only Monza will show how the Stellantis brand stacks up. with his rivals.

“I don’t think we can underestimate the challenge of what’s ahead, but at some point you have to go and run and see where you stand,” said di Resta, who will share the #93 entry with Jean-Eric Vergne. and Mikkel Jensen.

“These are exciting times, and I’d say our preparations have gone well over the last month. Ultimately though, it’s only when you’re racing against competitors that your weakness can show up.”

“I think what I appreciate the most is the amount of work that’s going on in the factory, with every individual involved in this program. Over the next two weeks, they’re probably going to feel the most pressure they’ve had in several years to make this happen.”

“I’m going in with a very open mind. I think the most important thing is to assess our level of performance and how we all work together as a team. It’s tremendously exciting to see a car come through for a proper race weekend.” a track.”

peugeot 9x8

peugeot 9×8

Photo by: Peugeot Sport

Former Audi LMP1 star Loic Duval believes Monza will be a “learning weekend” for his new employer Peugeot, but he was excited to compete in the top class of the WEC for the first time since 2016 after spending the last seasons in the LMP2 ranks with TDS Racing and Realteam.

“As a team, we have worked tirelessly to develop and prepare this car for racing, and the most recent test, a full-scale endurance simulation at Aragon, was particularly intense,” said Duval, who will drive Gustavo Menezes and James Rossiter in the #94 9X8.

“For us, Monza is very much a learning weekend. We are just starting to work together as a team in career mode, both from the perspective of the driving team and in terms of engineers, mechanics and the entire Peugeot Sport operation. “.

“After the journey we’ve all been on together thus far, to finally be racing is immensely motivating for all of us.”

“Like the rest of the team, I’m excited and eager to get started. It’s been a while since we announced we’d be returning to competition and I’m looking forward to getting back into battle in my natural environment.”

Also read:

Two-time Formula E champion Vergne has also kept expectations of Peugeot’s long-awaited return to endurance racing at bay, admitting the French manufacturer heads to Monza in a “humble frame of mind”.

“I love Monza. I’ve raced there a lot, and it really lives up to its Temple of Speed ​​moniker. It’s a fantastic circuit and a great place to start our WEC adventure in the new Peugeot 9X8,” said the Frenchman.

“We will go there in a humble frame of mind, with the aim of performing to the best of our abilities and continuing all the good work that has been done so far.

“Race by race, we will pick up the pace and push harder and harder. Peugeot Sport is an iconic team with a rich history of success in international endurance racing. Our ultimate goal is to equal, if not surpass, Peugeot’s previous achievements in LeMans.”

sniloans