Last week, Carlos Tavares, the CEO and chairman of Groupe PSA, got behind the wheel of MissionH24’s electric-hydrogen prototype, the LMPH2G, in a private test drive at the Linas-Montlhéry autodrome in France.
Tavares kicked off his day’s testing with a few laps as passenger alongside Norman Nato, MissionH24’s performance and development driver.
He was then sent out alone by the technicians of the H24Racing team, which operates the car, under the eye of Jean-Michel Bouresche, the man in charge of MissionH24’s operations and the team’s principal.
After two series of runs on the motorway circuit reserved for testing and developing vehicles with high-level on-board technology, Taveres, who has previous endurance racing experience, admitted that the hydrogen-powered car is “convincing.”
“MissionH24 has developed a real racing car based on a very promising form of propulsion,” he said. “I’m a dyed-in-the-wool car enthusiast and a passionate lover of motor racing, and of technology.
“Of course, the path which the MissionH24 program is following is full of pitfalls that have to be successfully negotiated. But this project shows that the electric-hydrogen solution is a tangible promising reality.
“Behind the wheel, an “old learner-driver” like myself has to learn a different style of driving.
“The LMPH2G is a real racing car with incredible acceleration, efficient aerodynamics and very good handling. But it’s a car of tomorrow so you also have to learn to cope with the electric-hydrogen generator, to play with the brakes in the deceleration phase of the car, and the energy recovery system.
“But all this makes driving it very exciting! The trail has been blazed and in a short time I can assure you that many people will be queuing up to drive this car – and the ones to come!”
Work has continued on the project that sees the goal of a hydrogen racing class in the 2024 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Peugeot, meanwhile, is on track to make its return to Le Mans-style racing in 2022, likely under the new LMDh formula.
“The fact that Carlos Tavares has today driven the LMPH2G, the first electric-hydrogen endurance racing prototype, shows what we’ve accomplished through our in-depth reflection and the work we’ve done together,” said ACO President Pierre Fillon.
“The motor car and motor racing are teammates in this indispensable success – the energy transition.”