Peugeot has confirmed its new 9×8 Le Mans Hypercar — pictured here undergoing testing at Portimao — will make its debut at the 6 Hours of Monza on July 10 with a pair of entries. The works team is then expected to complete the remainder of the World Endurance Championship calendar — the 6 Hours of Fuji in September, and November’s 8 Hours of Bahrain — with its cars in preparation for its 24 Hours of Le Mans debut in 2023.
As expected the driver line-up will consist of Paul Di Resta, Loic Duval, Mikkel Jensen, Gustavo Menezes, James Rossiter and Jean-Eric Vergne, although the exact composition of each trio will be confirmed once the car’s test program has been completed ahead of its competitive debut.
“The challenge we have faced in recent months has been two-fold and has involved forming a team to then produce a car and prepare it for its competitive debut,” said Olivier Jansonnie, technical director for Peugeot Sport. “With only weeks to go until its maiden competitive outing at Monza, the Peugeot 9X8 has been clocking up the kilometers in testing at a variety of circuits. At the end of the day, however, there is no substitute for actual racing and we can’t wait to discover the potential of our hybrid-electric Hypercar, which was developed in-house to demonstrate our skills in the realm of hybridization and other areas.”
Homologation of the 9X8, as with other LMH (and LMDh prototype designs) is a critical stage for the program as it freezes the car’s technical characteristics until 2025.
Although Peugeot’s new car will not be competing at Le Mans this year, the manufacturer will gear up its promotional campaign for its return at this year’s event, opening an exhibition on Peugeot’s history at Le Mans at the circuit’s museum. Fans will also be able to visit a special “Peugeot Zone” in the Le Mans Fan Village featuring a merchandise store with official teamwear produced by Jack & Jones, and offering Kryptonite cocktails that take their inspiration from Peugeot Sport’s new color signature.