It has been revealed that Peugeot will partner with Ligier Automotive for its return to top-level prototype racing instead of the anticipated arrangement with ORECA, according to a report from L’Équipe.
The development comes in the wake of Rebellion’s withdrawal from motorsport, which was announced on Thursday.
In an exclusive interview, Groupe PSA Motorsport director Jean-Marc Finot confirmed to the French publication that it will subcontract with Ligier for areas of development of the car that will take the manufacturer back to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2023.
Finot said the structure of the organization will be “tightened” due to Rebellion’s exit, which has not excluded the use of subcontractors for areas of the project including “carbon-composite materials” and “aerodynamic studies”.
“For the latter, we will have established a partnership with Ligier,” Finot told L’Équipe.
“We have not done endurance racing on the track for years, so the options remain open: build up internal skills or call on an external partner.
“We are in the technical construction phase of the project and therefore not yet in the operational stage, for the moment.”
As previously reported by Sportscar365, it was anticipated that ORECA would partner with Peugeot for the program, although company founder and president Hugues de Chaunac confirmed that it has ruled out building a car to the Le Mans Hypercar regulations in the wake of the ACO and IMSA’s new LMDh global platform.
ORECA has provided the operations and technical support of Rebellion’s LMP1 program for the last two WEC seasons and had undertaken initial feasibility studies and conceptual aero work with Peugeot for a potential Le Mans Hypercar last year.
Representatives from both ORECA and Ligier have declined to comment on the Peugeot development when reached by Sportscar365 and Endurance-Info.
Finot, meanwhile, told L’Équipe that a decision has not yet been taken on whether its car would be built to the recently announced LMDh platform, where Ligier is one of the four approved chassis constructors.
“The choice will be made according to the technical regulations which are still the subject of discussions within technical working groups,” Finot said.
“It will also be done according to the [Balance of Performance] between the WEC and IMSA regulations and the best marketing performance according to the racing possibilities offered by the two programs.”