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Olivier Jansonnie: “We have improved a lot this season as a team, and we will be there again in 2024”

JANSONNIE Olivier (fra), Technical of Peugeot TotalEnergies, portrait during the 6 Hours of Fuji 2023, 6th round of the 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship, from September 7 to 10, 2023 on the Fuji Speedway, in Oyama, Japan - Photo Antonin Vincent / DPPI

Olivier Jansonnie, Peugeot Sport Technical Director, looks back on Team Peugeot TotalEnergies’ 2023 season in the FIA World Endurance Championship. A season that was tough but with some positive improvements, including a better reliability for the PEUGEOT 9X8 as well as the operation involvement of the team that stayed united and motivated despite facing some hard times.




Can you takes us through the 2023 season for Team Peugeot TotalEnergies?

“The 2023 season was tough, tougher than expected. We started the year in Sebring, which was probably the toughest race as the track is very particular and it was our very first time there, we had some difficulty getting acquainted with the characteristics of the track.

For the first part of the season, the reliability of the car was our main concern. We managed to solve the problem, but it took time and so our progression was slower than we wanted. A lot of hard work was put in by the team before Le Mans which allowed us to have clearly improved our reliability during the 24 Hours of Le Mans, then at Monza and more recently in Fuji and Bahrain.

We also identified a lack of performance on some technical items of the BoP (Balance of Performance) that were not compensated enough compared to the other competitors. Our tyre fitting is specific and then so is our aerodynamic concept. Those two elements combined result in a lack of performance as they were not well evaluated in terms of BoP. Thanks to the amendments in the BoP throughout the season, we were able to have a slightly better performance, but it was not enough to fight for the victory with the other competitors of the Hypercar class. We did everything we could do and thanks to some race facts and a good strategy, like in Monza, we were at some point able to fight in the lead pack and get a few good results.”


What was your favourite moment of this season?

“Le Mans and for several reasons. First, because doing the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the reigning category is something that everyone will remember, as a team and individually. This race was also a bit of a surprise for us considering our results at the previous races, we did not expect to do so well. Our reliability was much better than expected and our performance improved for a majority of the race; we were able to lead the pack thanks strong strategical choices! We showed our car, what the team was able to do, and all of this was a real boost for all the guys and girls of Team Peugeot TotalEnergies. It was a turning point for the end of the season.”

Regarding the team, how did they manage this difficult season?

“Thanks to this team, that stayed united all season long, that held up despite hard moments, we managed to make a step forward with our modus operandi. Nowadays, to win you need three things: a car that can perform, a reliable car, this is endurance racing after all… that being said, we are almost there thanks to our team on-event and everyone back at Satory. And finally, you need a team that can constantly improve, in terms of team spirit and tactically. I’m proud to be part of this team and of its commitment during this 2023 season. We are now stronger altogether, whether it be strategically with the engineers, but also the drivers and of course the mechanics.  It’s hard to start a team with a variety of individuals and a variety of backgrounds and experiences, whom have never been at this level of competition, but have all stepped up to the plate.”

How will you work during the winter break?

“The work over winter starts in December. First, we will get ready for the 2024 FIA WEC season, that will start earlier with the Qatar Prologue in February.  Meanwhile we also have to prepare for the 2024 24 Hours of Le Mans, and we have a lot to do.  We will have to manage the complexity of the evolution of the car, that will of course be ready for Le Mans and the development during the first part of the season.”

What are your goals and expectations for the 2024 FIA WEC season?

There are three main pillars in our strategy: organisation, reliability, and performance. We improved a lot on the first two, so the main expectation for 2024 will be on the last one. This is also why we are undergoing new developments on the car, to go for a concept that will be closer to that of the other competitors. This will allow us to reduce the impact of the BoP defects by finding solutions similar to the competition. Today, that’s the solution that could help us to find a better level of performance, which is our main goal for the coming season.

The second goal will be to capitalise on our level of reliability; due to the evolutions we are planning, we will take some technical risks that we will have to ensure are reliable. This is something that has to be done quickly, before the start of the season, to unlock the same reliability we had at the end of the 2023 season.

This season we did not reach the level of performance we were expecting in 2023, nevertheless we improved a lot as a team. The team is ready for 2024 and if we manage to reach the level of performance we want we will be able to fight with the leaders in 2024.”



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