Peugeot could re-enter top-level sports car racing with a customer-based Hypercar built by ORECA and run by Rebellion Racing.
As reported by French publication Le Maine Libre, Peugeot has entered discussions on a possible FIA World Endurance Championship program that would come online by as early as the 2021-22 season.
However, unlike its previous factory 908 effort, which was run in-house by Peugeot Sport, it’s understood ORECA would be behind the customer or semi-works effort that would likely be run under the Rebellion banner.
While not commenting specifically on the matter, ORECA President Hugues de Chaunac told Sportscar365 last month that it has been in discussions with two OEMs on possible technical partnerships around the WEC’s new-for-2020 formula.
A decision on a potential program is understood to be needed by the end of this year in order to be ready for the second season of the WEC’s new regulations.
It’s believed the partnership could begin with an engine supply program for Rebellion’s R13 LMP1 car, which would be eligible to be grandfathered into the top class for the 2020-21 season.
Peugeot, which pulled the plug on its planned WEC effort for 2012, has since recovered from its financial crisis and has recently enjoyed success in other forms of motorsports, including Dakar, Rallycross and TCR competition.
The French automaker was on the verge of entering LMP1 in 2017 before it re-focused its efforts around Rallycross, which it has since withdrawn from due to delays in the category’s electrification strategy.
While not believed to be a full-works program, the addition of a third OEM would come as a significant boost to the FIA and ACO’s Hypercar platform, which has yet to attract any major automakers beyond the previously announced efforts from Toyota and Aston Martin.
Progress on possible Hypercar programs from McLaren and Porsche appear to have cooled in recent months, as the ACO has re-entered talks on the possible adoption of IMSA’s so-called DPi 2022 regulations.