Peugeot Sport director Bruno Famin has ruled out a return to the World Rally Championship any time soon, saying World Rallycross offers better value.
Peugeot, the WRC’s fourth most successful brand, is contesting World Rallycross with Hansen Motorsport this year, while also developing the 208 T16 R5 car and its all-new 2008 DKR in time for next year’s Dakar.
“The current WRC fails to have good visibility,” said Famin. “The WRC is a European championship with two trips to South America – too little to define the ‘world.’ It is better with rallycross in Argentina, Canada and Turkey and then in Russia – this scenario seems much better to me.
“I see the future of WRC very complicated.”
Famin is not convinced that even beating a dominant manufacturer like Volkswagen would make Peugeot’s return worthwhile.
“It would take at least $60m [to beat Volkswagen] and we do not have the budget. And if we did, would it be worth it? From what I hear, Volkswagen is not too happy with the return that comes from the World Rally Championship. I wonder how many years will it be staying?
“Above all, you would need a promoter who would put on the TV the spectacle that’s there but, unfortunately, nobody gets to see.”
During its time in the World Rally Championship, Peugeot took 48 wins, five manufacturers’ awards and four drivers’ championships. The team left the WRC in 2005.