Peugeot has confirmed that its entry into the top class of the FIA World Endurance Championship will be a full factory effort, although it has not ruled out third-party partners, including ORECA, in being part of the project.
Announced on Wednesday, the French manufacturer will make its return to top-level sports car racing beginning in 2022 under the FIA and ACO’s new Hypercar regulations.
It becomes the third manufacturer alongside Toyota and Aston Martin to commit to the new platform that’s set to debut next year.
According to Groupe PSA Motorsport director Jean-Marc Finot, who spoke during Thursday’s DS Techeetah ABB FIA Formula E Championship launch in Paris, the move to re-enter endurance racing comes as a “courageous decision” for the manufacturer.
“This is an exciting moment for motorsport in France and for us too. We are proud to be back in endurance with this project,” Finot told Sportscar365.
“We will use the same skills for Hypercar project as has been the experience we have being getting in Formula E.
“It is a very courageous decision from the PSA Group and by the executive committee because everyone knows that the car industry is currently tricky but it means as a group we trust in our future.”
When asked about the operations behind the program, Finot said they could have some partnerships although indicated that the car would likely be designed and built out of Peugeot Sport’s facilities.
“It is a factory program but we could have some partnerships but it is not decided yet,” he said.
“We have to organize and manage some skills coming from a partner or supporter, it is possible, but now we have to begin the program.”
Sportscar365 understands that ORECA has been in discussions with Peugeot for a Hypercar project, although it appeared to be a more customer-based program unlike what Finot has billed as a full factory endeavor.
“I speak to Hughes [De Chaunac] of course but nothing is forecasted in this area and everything is open,” Pinon said.
“We are equipped for that [designing/manufacturing] in Satory. We are proud of the facility.
“It used to be the Citroen Racing center and then three years ago we created PSA Motorsport and we merged the old Citroen Racing and Peugeot Motorsport team in to one motorsport place for all motorsport brands.”
When reached by Sportscar365, an ORECA spokesperson declined to comment on the matter.
Sam Smith contributed to this report