Peugeot sets deadline for LMDh switch decision

Peugeot will decide at the end of March whether it will continue developing a LM Hypercar for its FIA World Endurance Championship return or switch to the new LMDh category.

Peugeot sets deadline for LMDh switch decision

The French manufacturer has stated that it is evaluating its options after the announcement in January that the new breed of IMSA Weather SportsCar Championship machinery will also be able to race for outright victory in the WEC from 2021/22.

Jean-Marc Finot, boss of motorsport at Peugeot parent PSA, said: "Our reference for the programme is the hypercar regulations, but we are looking at the LMDh regulations.

"It could be interesting but there are some conditions to be fulfilled for it to be interesting."

Peugeot's decision will follow the scheduled unveiling of more details of the LMDh platform over the course of the IMSA/WEC doubleheader meeting on March 20/21.

Finot explained that a decision by Peugeot on the direction of its return to the top flight of international sportscar racing in 2022 would have to follow shortly afterwards. 

"We will have to make the decision by the end of March whatever will be the description of the regulations if we want to stay on our schedule," he said.

Read Also:

Peugeot's decision will be based on whatever set of rules offers it the best chance of success in the WEC, according to Finot. A second criterion will be based on comparing the "marketing efficiency" of the two rulebooks. 

Finot explained that Peugeot is looking for "perfect equity" between LMP2-based LMDh machinery and LM Hypercars. 

"That means it is mandatory for LMDh and LM Hypercar to have the same weight, the same aero specification and the same power," he added.

"If we don't have that, it would difficult to manage the Balance of Performance [between LMDh and LM Hypercar machinery]." 

Finot did not explain how that might be possible given that the LM Hypercar rules call for cars weighing 1100kg, while the current breed of LMP2 cars hit the scales at 930kg, except to say that he believed the LMDh rules remain "a work in progress".

Peugeot's return to sportscar racing for the first time since 2011 is linked to the launch of a line of 'Peugeot Sport Engineered' hybrid road cars, but Finot revealed that the common energy-retrieval system that will be laid down in the LMDh rules will not be an obstacle to Peugeot choosing this route. 

"What is interesting in this championship is the freedom of design in the aerodynamic specification and to demonstrate our skills in terms of electrified powertrain management," he said. "If the components are the same, it will not be a big issue; it will not be a decision criterion." 

Peugeot previously revealed that it has partnered with Ligier for the aerodynamics of its new WEC contender, which is due to race for the first time over the course of 2022.

shares
comments
Opinion: Is the WEC's hypercar dream already over?

Previous article

Opinion: Is the WEC's hypercar dream already over?

Next article

Toyota rules out LMDh after Aston Martin withdrawal

Toyota rules out LMDh after Aston Martin withdrawal
Load comments
The understated Le Mans legend who has earned a testimonial Prime

The understated Le Mans legend who has earned a testimonial

OPINION: After 24 Le Mans 24 Hours participations, 50-year-old Emmanuel Collard will be absent from the grid this year, stuck at the mercy of his gold driver grading. But, while he's not motivated by breaking start records, the French veteran is determined to return to the field next year.

WEC
Jul 24, 2021
How glitches threatened Toyota's unbeaten WEC streak Prime

How glitches threatened Toyota's unbeaten WEC streak

The FIA World Endurance Championship's long-awaited return to Monza posed the sternest test yet for Toyota's new hypercar. Although the Japanese marque's GR010 Hybrid remains unbeaten, the victory for Mike Conway, Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi was far from plain sailing.

WEC
Jul 19, 2021
The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence Prime

The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence

Following the latest convergence connection permitting Le Mans Hypercars from the FIA World Endurance Championship to compete against LMDh entries in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship from 2023, it could open up enticing options not only to manufacturers but also for the calendar and race formats

WEC
Jul 13, 2021
How overlooked Mazda produced one of Le Mans' greatest shocks Prime

How overlooked Mazda produced one of Le Mans' greatest shocks

The screaming rotary-engined Mazda 787 is regarded as one of the most popular Le Mans 24 Hours-winning cars, but until its surprise success on this day 30 years ago it was never regarded as a likely victor. But that reckoned without a new technical partner, some canny political manoeuvring and a rival's bizarre self-inflicted weakness.

Le Mans
Jun 23, 2021
How Alpine's stunted Portimao charge kept Toyota clear Prime

How Alpine's stunted Portimao charge kept Toyota clear

Despite going stride for stride for pace at Portimao, Alpine’s grandfathered LMP1 couldn’t convert pole position into a sustained victory fight against Toyota. And due to rules and car limitations that are set in stone, the French manufacturer will be searching for solutions in its own battle of endurance.

WEC
Jun 14, 2021
Charting 100 world championship sportscar starts for Toyota Prime

Charting 100 world championship sportscar starts for Toyota

This weekend's Portimao 8 Hours round of the FIA World Endurance Championship marks the 100th world champion prototype start for Toyota. Here are the major milestones on the road to three figures since the earliest low-key days of its entry into the Group C arena nearly 40 years ago.

WEC
Jun 12, 2021
The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing Prime

The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing

Most of the column inches after the World Endurance Championship's opener were centred around the relative pace of the Hypercar class and the LMP2s, but there's another question that needs addressing in order for the new division to have a successful future

WEC
May 7, 2021
How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era Prime

How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era

Amid concerns that the new Hypercar class would be upstaged on debut by the spec LMP2 machines at Spa, Toyota delivered the pole and victory that the vast majority of observers expected. But neither car had a clean run, which gave the grandfathered Alpine LMP1 an unexpected shot at glory.

WEC
May 4, 2021