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Qatar 1812km: both Team Peugeot TotalEnergies Hypercars qualify for Hyperpole session!

93 JENSEN Mikkel (dnk), MULLER Nico (swi), VERGNE Jean-Eric (fra), Peugeot TotalEnergies, Peugeot 9x8 #93, action  during the Qatar Airways Qatar 1812 KM, 1st round of the 2024 FIA World Endurance Championship, from February 29 to March 02, 2024 on the Losail International Circuit in Lusail, Qatar - Photo Joao Filipe / DPPI

·       After qualifying for the Hyperpole, contested solely by the top ten of the nineteen Hypercars, the two PEUGEOT 9X8s will start on the third and fifth rows of the starting grid for the Qatar 1812km.

·       A promising result that confirms the progress made by Team Peugeot TotalEnergies during the FIA WEC Official Prologue held at the start of the week and in free practice leading up to the opening round of the FIA WEC 2024 season.


Although the timing of the Prologue was disrupted due to the late arrival of shipping containers at Doha, both PEUGEOT 9X8s managed nonetheless to rack up 501 laps (2,700km) and gather precious data ahead of the first two practice sessions.


“The Prologue was vitally important to Team Peugeot TotalEnergies because we had never raced here at Losail before,” admitted Loïc Duval. “We had a really busy schedule to define the right set-up. I think the track really suits our car because it is very flat and smooth, and quick too.” A feeling that was confirmed in free practice with the second best time set by Jean-Eric Vergne in FP2 (1m40.772s) in the no.93 PEUGEOT 9X8.


A new qualifying format has been put in place this season in the FIA WEC with an initial twelve-minute session for all nineteen Hypercars. Following this, the top ten head out on track again for a further ten-minute Hyperpole session, during which the top ten places on the starting grid are decided.


During qualifying, Jean-Eric Vergne quickly grabbed third position with a time of 1m40.164s in the no.93 car before then improving to 1m39.974s and secure a top-four spot. In the no.94 PEUGEOT 9X8, Stoffel Vandoorne’s opening attempt put him eighth with a time of 1m40.565s. At the end of the session, the Belgian managed to grab sixth place with a 1m40.281s. A fine team performance in the opening qualifying session for the 2023 version of the PEUGEOT 9X8, with both cars qualifying for the hotly-contested Hyperpole session!


Twenty minutes later, the top ten Hypercars were back out on track, all fitted with fresh tyres as per the rules. On his final flying lap, Jean-Eric Vergne set the sixth fastest time with a 1m40.067s, whilst Stoffel Vandoorne had to settle for tenth place with a 1m40.504s. The no.93 and no.94 PEUGEOT 9X8s will therefore line up on the third and fifth rows of the starting grid for the Qatar 1812km, due to get underway tomorrow at 11am local time (UTC+3).





Peugeot Sport - 1812 km Qatar - Thursday

Olivier Jansonnie, Peugeot Sport Technical Director

“We are delighted that both our cars qualified for the Hyperpole session for the top ten Hypercars. We might have done better in the Hyperpole itself, but the rules require hard tyres to be used for this session, whereas our best option was the medium, the tyre we used in qualifying. Preparation of the car varies between one tyre compound and another. We are going to try and make the most of this opportunity to get the best possible result in the race.”



Jean-eric Vergne –  PEUGEOT 9X8 #93 :  “ We had a good qualifying session and the car was very good. In the Hyperpole, we knew it would be difficult to get it to work with the hard tyres. P6 is nonetheless a good result. I think it’s the best outcome I could have achieved today. The target for tomorrow is to hold onto this position at the start of the race and avoid making any mistakes. A top-five finish would be great, but the competition will be very tough.”


Stoffel Vandoorne – PEUGEOT 9X8 #94 :  “Two cars qualified for the Hyperpole is a very positive result for Team Peugeot TotalEnergies. That was the target today.  Perhaps I could have done better in the Hyperpole, but it was difficult for me. Tomorrow, the aim will be to have a clean race and score as many points as possible.”


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