Peugeot expected to fast-track WEC return; develop hybrid Hypercar

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Peugeot expected to fast-track WEC return; develop hybrid Hypercar

Le Mans/WEC

Peugeot expected to fast-track WEC return; develop hybrid Hypercar

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Peugeot is expected to announce new details of its planned intention to return to the top class of sportscar racing at Le Mans next week, including an acceleration of its program to possibly include a full 2022 WEC campaign.

Previously, the French manufacturer had indicated that it is working towards a late 2022 WEC debut followed by a 2023 Le Mans entry, however this now appears likely to be brought forward due to the WEC’s switch to a calendar year-based season.

PSA Group Chairman Carlos Tavares has already been confirmed as the honorary starter for the 2020 24 Hours of Le Mans, and is expected to play a full part in any announcement.

RACER understands that the second significant part of the announcement will be confirmation that Peugeot will race a car built to the ACO’s LMH ‘Hypercar’ regulations that allow both a bespoke chassis and an in-house developed hybrid powertrain, rather than the choice of one of four chassis suppliers and a spec hybrid offered by the joint ACO and IMS LMDH regulations, now likely to be introduced in 2023.

The decision on a Hypercar platform is believed to spring from a likely technical partner TOTAL; the French energy company a major player in automotive traction and industrial battery sector through its wholly-owned subsidiary Saft, acquired by the company in 2016.

TOTAL previously partnered with Peugeot during the successful diesel-fueled 908 programs from 2007-2011. Peugeot though pulled out of the inaugural FIA WEC in 2012, just weeks before the season started.

If confirmed, the program would make Peugeot the confirmed mainstream OEM in the LMH class, joining Toyota, which is scheduled to debut next year. In addition, 2021 will bring a two-car entry from Glickenhaus and a promised effort from ByKolles in the Hypercar category.

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