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WEC Lamborghini SC63 unveil

Peugeot has "all the right ingredients" for WEC success - di Resta

Paul di Resta believes Peugeot has "all the right ingredients" for success in the World Endurance Championship, and says he's seeing "some light at the end of that tunnel".

#93 Peugeot Totalenergies Peugeot 9X8: Paul Di Resta

The French manufacturer scored its first WEC podium with the 9X8 Le Mans Hypercar last time out at Monza, the result for the #93 machine di Resta shared with Mikkel Jensen and Jean-Eric Vergne marking the first time Peugeot had finished on the same lap as the leader.

For di Resta, the podium finish was a first step towards achieving the start-up Peugeot Sport outfit's goals of challenging WEC mainstay Toyota for victories.

The Scot stressed that "you cannot underestimate what they've been up against because it's been new from a standstill" but has confidence that Peugeot is on a path of improvement.

"Rome was not built in a day, as you would say," he said.

"And I can't specify enough just how much of a challenge it is to come into this championship now with the manufacturers and the people behind it. But we've moved on and we're going forwards."

When asked by Motorsport.com if Peugeot deserved more respect for its efforts, di Resta replied: "I guess the way you look at it is like baking a cake in a sense.

"The ingredients are right, it's whether you've got the activation right. And you'll only know at the end if the activation is right.

Podium: #93 Peugeot Totalenergies Peugeot 9X8: Paul Di Resta, Mikkel Jensen, Jean-Eric Vergne

Podium: #93 Peugeot Totalenergies Peugeot 9X8: Paul Di Resta, Mikkel Jensen, Jean-Eric Vergne

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

"But I think it's got all the right ingredients, it's just about the paths you take. One path may not make that happen, equally one path might just make it flourish like you wouldn't believe.

"You get to that point, but you've got to see through it and you've got to keep going."

Peugeot's Monza showing, one year on from the programme's first outing, came after an encouraging run at the Le Mans 24 Hours in which the #93 crew of Loic Duval, Gustavo Menezes and Nico Muller led 34 laps. 

A Balance of Performance boost prior to Monza, while rivals were pegged back, was also a factor in Peugeot's best result to date, which technical director Olivier Jansonnie described as a "huge" boost.

It has focused on widening the car's operating window to be competitive in a wider range of conditions, with the 9XH a rarity among the Hypercar field for running 31cm tyres on both front and rear axles.

A change of rules during its conception meant it had already committed to this approach before it was permissible for four-wheel drive hybrids to utilise 29cm front and 34cm rear tyres, adopted by all new cars unless homologated and raced prior to this season - a change Toyota made prior to the 2022 season.

Di Resta alluded to this in stating that the WEC today is "a very different place to what was expected three years ago", describing it as "a different ball game", but stated that the Peugeot team is "a happy environment" as it works towards the top.

#93 Peugeot Totalenergies Peugeot 9X8: Paul Di Resta, Mikkel Jensen, Jean-Eric Vergne

#93 Peugeot Totalenergies Peugeot 9X8: Paul Di Resta, Mikkel Jensen, Jean-Eric Vergne

Photo by: Paolo Belletti

"I'm satisfied with what's going on and the decisions being made," he said.

"But until you stand on the top step and you're dominant I don't think you can honestly say you're in the right place and in the right sweet spot. And you should never give up, leaving no stone unturned until you do that.

"I think as long as that mentality is within our team, that's what you keep doing."

He added: "With time and painful experiences and painful nights of endurance testing in zero degrees in Aragon in the winter, it puts some light at the end of that tunnel."

 

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