Peugeot is still on track to make its debut in the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2022 despite the economic uncertainties surrounding the automotive world amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The French manufacturer, however, has yet to reveal whether it will build a car to the Le Mans Hypercar or newly confirmed LMDh technical regulations.
In an interview with Sportscar365, PSA Motorsport director Jean-Marc Finot explained the automaker has continued development of its factory WEC program in recent months despite having paused the production of customer race cars due to supply chain issues.
Finot explained Peugeot is currently still in the design phase with “calculations” and “computer design” which has fit well within the current period of remote work.
“While [under] lockdown, the endurance project has been moving forward in the right direction,” he said.
“Despite remote working, the whole staff has been studying together and remained motivated.
“R&D has been continuing at home thanks to connectivity means provided by PSA Group. [The] impact of the [health] crisis on our design schedule is currently in an analyzing phase.
“Our goal is still to be there in 2022.”
While Peugeot has yet to declare which top-class platform it will utilize, Finot stressed that budgets will be under closer scrutiny than ever before due to the current economic crisis.
“For the WEC, as for other championships, promoters, organizers and federations have acknowledged that the marketing cost efficiency requirements will increase,” he said.
“Motorsports after the crisis will have to show a bigger social and environmental responsibility and its costs will have to be significantly lower.”
Finot described the confirmation of LMDh regs as a “success” for the ACO, IMSA and WEC and said the parameters are “quite interesting” on the technical, marketing and economic sides, hinting towards a potential commitment to that platform.
“We followed with great interest the evolution of LMDh regulations and convergence between its rules and those for LMH,” he said.
“We are satisfied with this ACO/IMSA/WEC announcement and especially with the confirmation of technical issues linked to the BoP, which will ensure a sporting equity between both categories.
“It was essential to have joint rules on parameters such as weight, power and aerodynamics, and this has been achieved.
“The last economic metrics should be soon available so we will able to make a 100 percent comprehensive review.”
Budgets in LMDh are expected to be significantly less than what has been planned for LMH, which calls for bespoke chassis and an optional hybrid system that Peugeot has pledged to implement in either scenario.
“Our engagement in endurance under the designation of Peugeot Sport should allow us to demonstrate our know-how in terms of hybrid powertrain management and has to support a silhouette bearing stylistic codes of [the] Peugeot brand,” Finot said.
“As regulations will [ensure] an equity between both regulations, it seems obvious to us that this equity will stand wherever [the] cars will race.”
Daniel Lloyd contributed to this report