Peugeot could make early Le Mans return in 2022

Peugeot has not ruled out racing its new LM Hypercar before the start of the 2022/23 FIA World Endurance Championship season.

Peugeot could make early Le Mans return in 2022

Jean-Marc Finot, motorsport boss of the marque parent company PSA, stressed that the announcement of its return to front-line sportscar racing for the first time since 2011 in November stated that it would be back in 2022. 

This was widely interpreted as meaning the beginning of the 2022/23 season, including in statements from WEC promoter the Automobile Club de l'Ouest and the series. 

Asked by Motorsport.com if that meant the start of the 2022/23 WEC season, Finot replied: "We have not said that - we have said we will arrive in 2022 but we have not said exactly when. We are keeping the possibility to race before."

He suggested that an early debut involving racing in the 2021/22 season finale at the Le Mans 24 Hours "would be a tough decision to make because it would be risky".

Finot stressed that no decisions on when the Peugeot LM Hypercar will make its race debut have been taken. 

He revealed that it is Peugeot's intention to have its car, which will be a lookalike hypercar built to the prototype segment of the rules, up and running during the course of 2021. 

"It will be the middle of 2021, but I cannot give you the precise month," he said. 

Finot explained that the long lead time for Peugeot's sportscar return was necessary because the rules allow a manufacturer to homologate only two different designs over the course of the initial five-year lifespan of the hypercar class. 

"If you are not mature enough [when starting racing], you could regret it for five years," he said.

Finot would not reveal if the configuration of the engine that will power its hybrid hypercar had been set. 

"We will keep you informed," he said. "I think we will have a big event to announce this story."

Read Also:

Finot was talking at this weekend's Bahrain WEC round, which he is visiting as part of fact-finding mission. 

He said that he wanted to "feel the mood of the paddock" and also to talk to teams about placing mechanics from PSA Motorsport headquarters in Satory ahead of its WEC entry. 

"Now we have stopped the World Rally Championship programme [under the Citroen brand], we have very good mechanics with huge experience, but we have to train them in endurance racing," he said. "I am meeting with team managers to see what can be done."

He didn't rule out some mechanics ending up at Rebellion Racing, with which Peugeot announced a link-up earlier this month. 

Finot said that if this happened it would "be a rental and not in the frame of our partnership".

Remember when: Peugeot's 905 debut...

shares
comments
Di Resta insists WEC/DTM clashes "don't impact me"

Previous article

Di Resta insists WEC/DTM clashes "don't impact me"

Next article

Bahrain WEC: Senna, Nato give Rebellion back-to-back poles

Bahrain WEC: Senna, Nato give Rebellion back-to-back poles
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