Team PEUGEOT TotalEnergies made its maiden appearance in the FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) at today’s 6 Hours of Monza. The trip to Italy enabled it to harvest a significant amount of information as the team got to see how the PEUGEOT 9X8 performed in traffic and the afternoon’s extreme conditions. The steep learning curve will now continue with further private testing ahead of the next FIA WEC round, in Fuji, Japan, in September.
FIRST OUTING, FIRST FEEDBACK
Mikkel Jensen and Loïc Duval were behind the wheel of the #93 and #94 PEUGEOT 9X8s respectively when the 2022 6 Hours of Monza got under way at Italy’s infamous ‘Temple of Speed’ at midday, Sunday, July 10.
The moment formally marked PEUGEOT’s return to motor racing, under the watchful eyes of Peugeot CEO Linda Jackson and Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares,
Team Peugeot TotalEnergies was fully aware of what to expect at Monza, namely conditions that couldn’t be simulated in private testing, plenty of new information and fresh questions to be answered, as well as problems associated with racing in a competitive arena that it needed to discover in order to be able to resolve them. The process was nothing particularly revolutionary for a new car and a team in the process of coming together.
From the outset, the races of the #94 and #93 cars followed different paths. While Loïc Duval (#94) started from fifth alongside his Hypercar opponents at the sharp end of the grid, Mikkel Jensen (#93) was the last driver to get away – from 36th position – after he failed to post a time during Saturday evening’s qualifying shootout.
The Frenchman’s intention was to match the pace of the other front-runners, whereas the Dane’s focus was more on weaving his way through the traffic as he fought his way up the order. Five laps into the race, his #93 prototype was running inside the Top 10 and, by the end of Lap 6, it had caught the other Hypercars on the leaderboard. Its run was then interrupted, however, by a technical issue that forced a pit stop. The team managed to get the car on its way again, now in the hands of Paul Di Resta, before it was stopped in its tracks once more.
The afternoon’s different race incidents and difficult weather conditions failed to faze Team Peugeot TotalEnergies which remained in contention thanks to its #94 car. Despite the traffic, the state of the track and some technical problems, the PEUGEOT 9X8 of Gustavo Menezes/James Rossiter/Loic Duval successfully reached the chequered flag to harvest a treasure chest of data that will be invaluable as it prepares for the remainder of the season.
Olivier Jansonnie (Technical Director, Team Peugeot TotalEnergies): “The 6 Hours of Monza turned out to be a punishing race. We came here to learn and it effectively taught us a great deal. We were faced with numerous race-related problems that we couldn’t have replicated in testing, but we are reassured by the potential our car showed in free practice and during the race. We were on the pace but we are well aware of the areas where we need to improve. We had already planned a programme of tests over the coming weeks and they will give us a chance to address these issues in order to be ready for Fuji.”