October 4, 2022

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

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

However, Peugeot will have some catching up to do with Toyota and Glickenhaus, who have taken a head start preparing their new LMH cars for the birth of the Hypercar division in 2021.

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

While 2020 Le Mans LMP2 class winner di Resta has been impressed with Peugeot’s preparations for its WEC debut after being heavily involved in its testing programme, he believes only Monza will show how the Stellantis brand stacks up to its rivals.

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

“It’s an exciting time, and I would say our preparations have been going well over the last month. Ultimately, though, it’s only when you’re racing against competitors that your weakness can show.

“I think the biggest thing I appreciate is the amount of work that’s going on in the factory, with every individual involved in this program. Over the next couple of weeks they’re probably going to feel the most pressure. that they have had for several years. years to get there

“I go with a very open mind. I think the most important things are to assess our level of performance and how we all work together as a team. It’s just hugely exciting to see a car come in for a real one-track race weekend.”

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 was delighted to compete in the top class of the WEC for the first time since 2016 after spent 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 in Aragon – was particularly intense,” said Duval, who will lead Gustavo Menezes and James Rossiter in #94 9X8.

“Monza is really a learning weekend for us. We are just starting to work together as a team in race mode, both from a flight crew perspective and in terms of engineers, mechanics and of the entire Peugeot Sport operation.”

“After the journey we’ve all traveled together so far, finally going for a run is hugely motivating for all of us.”

“Like the rest of the team, I’m excited and can’t wait to get started. It’s been a while since we announced our return to competition, and I can’t wait to get back to fighting in my natural environment.”

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Vergne, a two-time Formula E champion, also kept tabs on expectations for Peugeot’s much-anticipated return to endurance racing, admitting the French manufacturer heads to Monza with “a humble state of mind”.

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

“We will go there in a humble state of mind, with the aim of doing the best we can and continuing all the good work that has been done so far.

“Race after 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 match, if not surpass, Peugeot’s previous achievements at Le Mans.”