Peugeot WEC debut delayed until after Le Mans 24 Hours

Peugeot will debut into the World Endurance Championship at least after the Le Mans 24 Hours due to the time they require for their preparations.

The French manufacturer has confirmed they will not race at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, Round 3 of the 2022 Season 10 schedule.

Peugeot has been preparing for their return to top-tier sportscar racing with their new 9X8 Le Mans Hypercar, which has required time to refine its reliability.

This means their attendance will not be so at the opening three rounds: 1000 Miles of Sebring, the 6 Hours of Spa, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The provisional entry list for the French classic will be released next Monday 28 February, so the expectation for Hypercar entries will be across Alpine, Glickenhaus and Toyota.

Olivier Jansonnie, Technical Director of Peugeot’s WEC programme, explained:

“Quite simply, this will afford us the time we need to achieve the necessary level of reliability.

“For obvious reasons with regard to Balance Of Performance adjustments, it would not have been possible to enter the Le Mans 24 Hours without first contesting the preceding WEC race – the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps on May 7.

“This way, our planning will enable us to put the full weight of our teams and resources behind our own test sessions, without the disruption of racing at Spa-Francorchamps and Le Mans.

Credit: Peugeot Sport

“Both operationally and from a reliability perspective, Le Mans is the most difficult race on the calendar.

“We will begin with some shorter races, which will allow us to progressively get up-to-speed in the championship.

“Like with our road-going cars when we have to choose between meeting a deadline or focussing on quality, we always prioritise quality.”

The Le Mans Hypercars are put through a process of homologation before they race in the championship, the likes of which Glickenhaus and Toyota did so last year.

Each of the designs can not be modified further until 2025, except in very particular circumstances governed by strict conditions.

Any such modifications will be counted as ‘Evo jokers’, which are limited to just five between 2021 and 2025.

A set of milestones are in place to meet the homologation this year, and a file describes in-minute detail all of the vehicle’s components (accompanied by photos and weight measurements).

Wind tunnel test details of its aerodynamics are included with an inspection of the vehicle by the FIA/ACO.

Peugeot will debut their 9X8 in the summer and will soon confirm their specific entries.