05 01 2023
In addition to its return to a full endurance-racing campaign in the FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) in 2023, and with less than six months remaining until June’s Le Mans 24 Hours, the race that helped to forge its reputation in the discipline, Peugeot Sport is about to step into the world of Esports. Here, too, Le Mans stands out as its programme’s centrepiece, with the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual looming fast on January 14-15.
Last year saw Peugeot kick off a fresh chapter of its history in endurance racing in general and at Le Mans in particular when the Team Peugeot TotalEnergies-run Peugeot 9X8 joined the FIA WEC’s Hypercar class in the summer.
This season, after a 12-year absence from the Le Mans 24 Hours, the French carmaker is looking forward to its return to the sport’s best-known fixture, intent on rekindling the success it has enjoyed on the event that notably brought it outright wins in 1992, 1993 and 2009.
The first Peugeot crew in Esports history will feature two specialists and two professional drivers.
The USA’s Gustavo Menezes (28, driver of the #94 PEUGEOT 9X8 Hypercar) and Dane Malthe Jakobsen (18, Team Peugeot TotalEnergies’ Rookie test driver at last November’s 8 Hours of Bahrain) will team up with French sim racers Maxime Brient (25) and Valentin Mandernach (16, 2021 French iRacing champion). The link between real motorsport and Esports is compounded by the fact that Maxime Brient also drives DS Penske’s FIA Formula E World Championship simulator.