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Peugeot “Welcome” to Idea of Having Customer LMH Cars

Peugeot open to idea of providing 9X8 prototypes for privateer use in Hypercar class…

Photo: MPS Agency

Peugeot is “welcome” to customers or sponsors that wish to fund additional LMH cars to race in next year’s FIA World Endurance Championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Jean-Marc Finot, who is in charge of the Stellantis group’s motorsport activities, suggested that Peugeot is open to providing more 9X8 prototypes for future racing.

Peugeot has committed to running two cars in a factory capacity for the full WEC campaign next year. It made its debut at last weekend’s 6 Hours of Monza where one of its cars reached the finish after both encountered internal problems.

Asked if Peugeot is considering more entries next year, Finot said: “For the time being no, but if a customer would be interested, we would welcome [them].

“We have to be focused on our factory program, but if we have the opportunity to have more Peugeots on the grid, we would be quite happy.”

Finot said that “everything will be possible” in terms of getting an independent organization on board to fund a Peugeot 9X8 entry in addition to the factory cars.

He stressed that no discussions have taken place with potential customers for 2023.

In the early stages of the Peugeot Hypercar project, former LMP1 privateer Rebellion was named as an official partner to the factory but that association ended after just two months.

During its LMP1 spell, Peugeot produced examples of the 908 HDi FAP prototype that went on to be run by independent teams ORECA and Pescarolo Sport at Le Mans, while the former also won the 12 Hours of Sebring in 2011.

“It is a factory program, we are focused on our program, but that does not mean that if any customer would be interested, we could not study the case,” Finot explained.

“But we have to be sure that the support that will be necessary for the customer would not harm the performance of the factory team on which we are focused. But it could be discussed.

“It’s a sporting business. If you are interested, you are welcome.”

Private Testing Continues after Monza Debut

The next race for the Peugeot 9X8 will be the 6 Hours of Fuji in September, however Peugeot intends to undergo more track testing in the time between now and then.

This will be conducted with its designated test car, while the two racing models that competed at Monza will be sent to the manufacturer’s Versailles-Satory base for checks.

It means that Peugeot, like Toyota, will fly its competition vehicles to Fuji instead of joining the WEC’s organized shipping voyage that departs for Japan this week.

There are no testing restrictions for an LMH manufacturer in its first year of competition.

“We will do at least one if not two tests before Fuji,” said Peugeot’s WEC technical director Olivier Jansonnie.

“We carry on [with] our testing plan.

“We don’t usually test the race cars. Before you are actually able to give away your race cars and ship them, putting them on the boat for Fuji, it would have to be in the next six or seven days from [last weekend].

“For us, it’s much more important now to be able to prepare those race cars for Fuji.”

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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