Peugeot 908, Le Mans, 2011

Peugeot to enter World Endurance Championship in 2022

World Endurance Championship

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Peugeot has announced it will return to the World Endurance Championship in 2022.

The French manufacturer and multiple winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours gave little detail of its plans on a social media post revealing the move on Wednesday, other than that it will enter a hybrid power hypercar under the championship’s new regulations. Further information has been promised at the beginning of next year.

WEC has suffered a drop in manufacturers in recent seasons. The departures of Audi, Porsche and Nissan left Toyota as the only car-making entrant in the championship’s top flight.

However new regulations planned for the 2020-21 season has already led Aston Martin to commit a non-hybrid hypercar to the championship.

FIA president Jean Todt, who ran Peugeot’s successful sports-prototype team of the early nineties, previously said he hoped the new WEC regulations would attract several new manufacturers to the championship.

Peugeot will return to the series 10 years after it abruptly pulled the plug on its last sportscar programme. That came as a blow to the revived WEC series at the time, as it lost one manufacturer entrant before its first race.

It has won the Le Mans 24 Hours, the blue riband event of the series, three times. Its last win came in 2009, making its 908 the only non-Audi to win at La Sarthe in an 11-year spell. Prior to that it took back-to-back victories in 1992 and 1993 with its 905 Evo 1B, when the team was run by Todt.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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19 comments on “Peugeot to enter World Endurance Championship in 2022”

  1. Who cares anymore. A manufacturer like this leaves the sport when it can’t win, sees a new opportunity because manufacturers that would easily beat it aren’t entering the sport. I have no time for manufacturers like this. WEC would be better to adopt americas Dpi rules as their new lmp1, as lmp1 has become a complete and utter failure of never before seen preportions. Did anyone even follow the last race? The toyotas were handicapped by about 4 seconds a lap, handing a win to rebellion on a plate. The new hypercar formula is a fumbled together piece of garbage that will rely on handicaps, and no one is interested in it, hence Frances least interesting car manufacturer wants to return.

    1. Thing is that Le Mans & the various incarnations of the WEC have always been at there most popular when it’s featured manufacturer’s with the periods of little/no manufacturer interest been the least popular periods.

      Same in the US. The ALMS series reached the peak of it’s popularity when you had manufacturer’s entering from the European series & the series declined when it was left to just the independent’s. Was the same in Grand-Am & why when the 2 series merged they created the DPi formula that has a lot of backing from manufacturer’s & with a Hybrid formula been introduced in 2000 at the request of manufacturer’s who IMSA are actively going after.

      1. @gt-racer, to be fair, kpkart does have a point about the “Hypercar” regulations having a lot of missed opportunities, one of which was finding a way to incorporate the DPi class into that category.

        That was actually one of the ACO’s objectives, and they seem to have spent some time discussing the idea with IMSA, but it seems that it floundered due to a combination of regulatory flux on the ACO’s part and concerns over possible cost inflation (DPi cars are quite a bit cheaper to run, and IMSA seemed to be concerned that the ACO’s rule package left open too many avenues for costs to run rampant).

    2. The thing is, Peugeot had a really competitive car in the 2012 908 H4 before the PSA group pulled the plug on the project minutes before the racing was to begin

    3. Lemans has been like this ever since Henry Ford II waived the flag for the start of the 24 heurs du Mans. A manufacturer comes in sponsors the event, enters the cars they want to enter in order to win.
      Peugeot was selling well in the 00’s and early 10’s in fact Peugeot was easily top seller in the EU. I guess they need the publicity, the cars don’t seem to interest consumers though, change the cars first?

      1. @peartree No, there have been much better times. Different cars, technological variety, and all with a chance to fight for the win. There has been some good, old-fashioned close racing with real cars. Even if it was just two manufacturers, but on equal footing, and it didn’t matter whether one was French or not….for the most part.

    4. @kpcart Yeah LMP1 has become a joke, and the Hypercar era doesn’t look too promising, but how is DPi any better? It is a series where everything is about BoP and standard parts, even outright standard cars with different engines. It is close racing, but it isn’t real racing either, just like the current LMP1.
      I believe any top series needs variety. I think LMP1 can benefit from simplified prototypes racing GTE cars on steroids for the outright win. Just one idea. What killed LMP1 is the over-complicated hybrid and the skewed equalization regulations when there were more hybrid manufacturers, etc. It started with 3 different engine types and 3 different hybrid systems, and by year 3 (2016) there was only one hybrid system used.

  2. Surely it’ll be under Maserati branding if they’re introducing in the Hypercar category

    1. What?
      Maserati is the brand of Fiat Group… not Peugeot.

      1. The Fiat group and PSA (peugeot) will merge, the Maserati brand will thus be part of the same company as Peugeot. I do expect them to just use the peugeot brand though when they enter the WEC instead of Maserati.

        1. They plan to merge, but this plan may fall apart 100 times before that.

          And besides, Peugeot will never agree to enter LeMans under some other brand name.
          Like Audi and Porsche will never use each other’s names, even though they belong to the same parent company.

          1. They already published details of the deal, so its about 99% done.

  3. Good news, I guess? However, manufacturers come and manufacturers go: either they feel like they do not get their money’s worth any more by failing to win, or they have already won everything, and there is no need to prove themselves. Just looking how quickly the current WEC went from serious competition to F1 and the best thing since Group C to the thing it is now, the way endurance racing ebbs and flows is pretty ridiculous.

  4. WEC is where Alfa Romeo should be…instead of this bizarre presence in F1 that is no more than some sort of title sponsorship.

    1. @gpfacts It’s going to be interesting to see what presence Alfa has period. I think at the moment they have no plans to increase their range or develope any news cars. They are apparently going to release an EV version on the current modified platform.
      I would not be surprised to see Alfa drop out of their naming sponsorship of Sauber.

    2. …And wec is what? Audi ran Porsche on a a more aggressive spec car, vw chose that brand to win. They went to the extreme of having a conservative wet weather car and a dry weather car, 6 cars just to make surr they would win. Wec is childs play no competition.

  5. JV get back there and win that Triple Crown.

  6. Well this really is dumb.

    What we want to see is Mclaren P1 vs La Ferrari vs Porsche 918, that over a course of 24 hours. Prototypes are a joke, they are so artificial, they fail to capture my imagination. Atleast when it was Audi, Porsche and Toyota, there was road relevant naming. But that was about it. My Toyota holds 0 common parts with LeMans prototype.

    Hypercars would capture audiences way better. The best part of endurance racing right now is in GT’s Porsche, Corvette, Ford, Ferrari, all kinds of fun.

    1. @jureo, that only comes about because of extremely aggressive manipulation by the ACO to force the GTE cars together though, to the point where the ACO even dictates the maximum length of any stint that the GTE cars are allowed to run before refuelling (with drive through penalties if a driver tried to run a longer stint than permitted under the regulations). Having the governing body effectively dictate the strategies that the teams are allowed to use is something that I think might be a step too far for most fans.

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