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Peugeot returns to motor racing at Monza

Team Peugeot TotalEnergies’ two Peugeot 9X8 Le Mans Hypercar prototypes will make their official racing debut at Monza, Italy, in the fourth round of the 2022 FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) on Sunday.

Building upon the success of its previous programmes with the 905 (1990 to 1993, powered by a V10 petrol engine) and 908 (2007 to 2011, powered by an HDI FAP diesel V12), Peugeot is making its return to endurance racing with a hybrid-powered car that embodies its electrification strategy.

Italy’s Temple of Speed is where it began for the Peugeot 908 in April 2007, with a victorious debut in the headlining LMP1 category at the 1,000 kilometres of Monza.

A decade-and-a-half on, the iconic track will provide the backdrop to the Peugeot 9X8’s racing bow, in the Le Mans Hypercar class of the 6 Hours of Monza on Sunday.

Team Peugeot TotalEnergies has conducted a programme of tests at a variety of circuits across Europe over the past six months, in preparation for their first competitive appearance.

Team Peugeot TotalEnergies’ drivers in a group photo. PHOTO: PEUGEOT

In recent weeks, the team has been meticulously refining its road map. This has been split into core phases – the first took the form of simulator sessions at Peugeot’s Satory base, near Paris, enabling the team to evaluate and finalise its energy-management mapping for Monza as the drivers got to grips – virtually – with the circuit’s unique characteristics and demands.

This was followed by one final physical track test at MotorLand Aragón in Spain, where the 9X8 clocked up its 15,000­ kilometre of running, thereby achieving Team Peugeot TotalEnergies’ pre-Monza target.

In the course of the test, an intensive 36-hour endurance run was completed, putting the team’s two race crews (drivers, engineers and mechanics) through their paces while fixing the race processes firmly in the minds of the women and men responsible for managing the two Peugeot 9X8s which will compete with the numbers number 93 and number 94.

Paul Di Resta, Mikkel Jensen and Jean-Eric Vergne will team up in the number 93 entry, engineered by Gauthier Bouteiller.

The number 94, meanwhile, brings together James Rossiter, Gustavo Menezes and Loïc Duval, with Brice Gaillardon fulfilling the role of race engineer.