FIA World Endurance Championship CEO Gerard Neveu says Peugeot’s recently announced Hypercar program for 2022 has “absolutely not” affected the ACO’s ongoing discussions with IMSA on the proposed integration of the DPi 2.0 platform into the WEC’s top class.
Announced earlier this month, the French manufacturer has committed to a factory hybrid-powered Hypercar program that will likely debut in the 2022-23 WEC season.
While Peugeot becomes the third major automaker to commit to the platform, Neveu said efforts to unite the two sanctioning bodies through an interchangeable top class of cars has never been stronger, following a meeting between senior-level ACO and IMSA executives and technical staff in Miami.
“There’s no secret that we had a meeting last week,” Neveu told Sportscar365. “We’ve never had such a good relationship that we now have with IMSA.
“The idea is to make sure we can join. It doesn’t mean we have to destroy what we have on each side.”
Neveu has even suggested that Peugeot’s yet-to-be-named Hypercar, which is believed to feature a front-wheel driven hybrid system, could potentially be eligible for IMSA competition, should the agreement be reached.
“The fact that Peugeot is in is another good news for everybody, including IMSA,” he said.
“If one day we can see the Peugeot Hypercar racing in America, all the people would be very happy about that. It’s good for endurance.
“The idea with IMSA is to make sure we play the same game together in sports car racing, which is the idea. We’re doing the same job. We have a lot of respect for IMSA and I’m sure [they feel the same way].
“We have to be together.”
When asked if an announcement confirming a joint cooperation between the DPi and Hypercar platforms could come as early as January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, as suggested by several industry sources to Sportscar365, Neveu refused to comment.
“If there has to be an announcement, there are two very efficient presidents, in Jim France and Pierre Fillon, so let them speak,” he said. “The teams are working.”
Peugeot’s Commitment Validates Future for Hypercar Platform
Neveu said Peugeot’s announcement confirms that there’s “clearly a future” for Hypercar, although admits that there are not many other manufacturers “seriously looking” at the platform at this time.
“It’s a big satisfaction of course,” Neveu said of Peugeot’s comeback. “Who would not be happy about that?
“There’s a very good indication if you see the level of positive comments on social media. After that, it was something very powerful. I was not surprised but it means that Peugeot left a very good souvenir.
“I think this is very good news for sports car racing. This is the confirmation that there is clearly a future for the Hypercar platform and we have to continue to develop. But this is positive news and we’ll take it for sure.
“Very frankly, there are few manufacturers that are looking seriously with this category. But the fact that one more has confirmed is a big help for sure.”