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A significant step forward for Team Peugeot TotalEnergies at Fuji

Team Peugeot TotalEnergies is continuing its journey in the FIA World Endurance Championship during this weekend’s fifth round of the 2022 series at Fuji, Japan (September 10-11). In only their second competitive appearance, the two PEUGEOT 9X8 Hypercars enjoyed a positive and productive run through free practice and qualifying, with Jean-Éric Vergne and Loïc Duval respectively securing fourth and fifth positions on the grid for tomorrow’s six-hour race for the #93 and #94 cars.

 

With its uniquely undulating configuration, combination of fast and slower turns and a main straight stretching almost 1.5km, the high-speed Japanese circuit situated at the foot of Mount Fuji poses a variety of challenges for PEUGEOT’s two hybrid Hypercars.

After working hard throughout Friday – with a brace of trouble-free 90-minute practice sessions that enabled Team Peugeot TotalEnergies’ #94 and #93 crews to complete 77 and 87 laps of the Japanese track respectively – Saturday’s schedule comprised the weekend’s third practice session and qualifying, which confirmed the progress that the team is making.

From its internal organisation to strategy, car set-up and reliability, every race that the team contests in 2022 represents vital preparation for its maiden full-season assault in 2023, when the sole objective will be victory.

Today’s final 60-minute practice session saw Team Peugeot TotalEnergies continue to improve its lap times, clocking a 1m30.510s with the #93 and 1m30.828s with the #94, which placed them respectively second and third on the timesheets. In qualifying, Jean-Éric Vergne then went quicker again as he led the team’s charge with a lap of 1m30.00s behind the wheel of the #93. In order to gather as much information as possible in qualifying, the #93 and #94 crews adopted significantly different strategies and the 10-minute session ran smoothly for Team Peugeot TotalEnergies, with both cars posting a number of flying laps. Following a successful Saturday at Fuji, the team is now fully focussed on tomorrow’s six-hour race.

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              QUOTE, UNQUOTE

 

Jean-Marc Finot (Director, Stellantis Motorsport):

“The work the team has accomplished since Monza has clearly paid off because we completed every one of the practice sessions without being halted by a single issue. For that, I have to thank and congratulate not only all those here at Fuji, but also everyone back at our base in Satory [near Paris]. That said, we still have a long way to go to reach the level of performance we are targeting. We would have liked to have been closer to the times of our Hypercar rivals but we are heading in the right direction and we are both learning and making progress each time out. The team is gaining good experience and worked well on the car’s set-up for this particularly challenging circuit, while the drivers continued to explore the 9X8’s limit. Strong performance and a smart strategy will be vital in Sunday’s race and our aim is to score the best result possible. Fuel consumption and tyre management will be key parameters over the six hours and, believe me, we intend to give it our very best shot!”

 

Jean-Éric Vergne (#93 car, with Paul di Resta and Mikkel Jensen)

“We have taken a big stride forward since Monza in terms of the car and how the team functions. As far as performance and qualifying go, this is only our second outing and therefore only our second qualifying session. There are still a lot of areas where we can improve but I feel very confident. I’m still having trouble maximising the car’s potential but I think I could have posted an even faster time. The whole team is continuing to work hard.”

Loïc Duval (#94 car, with Gustavo Menezes and James Rossiter)

“ The two cars worked on different things in qualifying. We are still in the learning phase, but we have taken a huge step forward since our first race at Monza. It’s true there was a gap in qualifying here at Fuji compared with our more experienced rivals. We suffered a little through certain portions of the circuit, especially in terms of balance, but the keys to Sunday’s race promise to be consistency and reliability. We are looking to get closer and closer to the other cars. With five prototypes competing in the Hypercar class, we are targeting a podium finish on Sunday.”

QUALIFYING AND FREE PRACTICE IN NUMBERS

In the three practice sessions totalling four hours at Fuji ahead of qualifying, the #94 car completed 38, 39 and 32 laps respectively (almost 500km), while the #93 car covered 38, 49 and 34 laps (almost 550km).
Qualifying times: Jean-Eric Vergne (#93), 1m30.00s / Loïc Duval (#94), 1m30.152s
Track temperature: 42°C / Air temperature: 28°C
              THE 6 HOURS OF FUJI IN BRIEF

Round 5 (of 6) of the 2022 FIA World Endurance Championship

Fuji Speedway: 4.56km in length, with 16 turns and a long main straight stretching almost 1.5km

Timetable (local time):

–        Sunday, September 11: 6 Hours of Fuji, 11:00am local time (04:00 CET)

 

Peugeot Sport news…

Find all the latest news about Peugeot Sport on its new website (www.peugeot-sport.com) and via the following platforms:

Twitter: @peugeotsport

Facebook: @peugeot.sport

Instagram: @peugeotsportofficial

YouTube: Peugeot Sport Official

In the land of the rising sun : www.youtube.com/watch?v=fD8JfEVHsqc

Press_Kit_EN (adobe.com)

Peugeot Sport WEC media contacts:

Website / Photos / Video: https://www.media.stellantis.com/em-en/peugeot-sport


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