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Vergne, Da Costa Interested in Peugeot Hypercar Program

DS Techeetah drivers targeting Hypercar future with sister brand Peugeot…

Photo: Formula E

DS Techeetah Formula E drivers Jean-Eric Vergne and Antonio Felix Da Costa have both expressed interest in becoming part of Peugeot’s Hypercar lineup when it debuts in the 2022-23 FIA World Endurance Championship season.

Announced on Wednesday, the French manufacturer will make its return to endurance racing for the first time since 2011 with a hybrid-powered Hypercar, likely to be built in-house as a full-factory effort.

Vergne and Da Costa, who drive for sister PSA brand DS in the all-electric championship, are hopeful of being part of the program, should their current Formula E contracts be extended into the launch season of the Peugeot Hypercar project.

“I will be in Hypercar, I want to be in Hypercar,” Vergne told reporters Wednesday at DS Techeetah’s launch in Paris.

“I want to be in a car to win Le Mans, that is the reason why I have been in Le Mans the last few years in LMP2 and that is a clear target for me to win Le Mans. I want to be with the best team to win that race.

“I don’t know what the future is made of, my contract runs until the end of next year, so Peugeot will still not be in Le Mans so I don’t know what will happen with my future in Formula E.

“My priority will be Formula E but then it needs to be with a team that will not have a clash because at the end of the day with the other manufacturer because you represent a brand.

“So I cannot be racing for DS and then race another car somewhere else.”

Da Costa, who has joined the Chinese-flagged Formula E team this season after multiple years with BMW, said he’s now in the “right house” to make a potential top-class debut in sports car racing.

The 28-year-old Portuguese driver, who undertook a season of WEC with BMW Team MTEK in 2018-19, scored his first career class win in last weekend’s 4 Hours of Shanghai at the wheel of JOTA’s Oreca 07 Gibson LMP2 car.

“Obviously [the Peugeot Hypercar program is] planned to happen two or three years from [now],” Da Costa said.

“I heard it yesterday. I am in the right house as everything is under the same roof. I would love to for sure because I am loving my LMP2 experience this year.

“It is perfect to combine WEC and Formula E, obviously there is a clash this year which for me is a bit of a mistake from whoever’s side, it just shouldn’t happen.”

Da Costa hinted he may be able to make an appearance in the top class even sooner, thanks to his current connections.

“I am looking to Hypercar and JOTA has a big connection to Aston Martin through the GT3 program and all that and there are conversations going on but nothing is decided at this point,” he said.

Sam Smith contributed to this report

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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