Peugeot to return to Le Mans? 0

They’ve been absent since 2011, but Peugeot could be returning to Le Mans. PSA motorsport boss Jean-Marc Finot has admitted the group are weighing up a return to the classic 24 hour endurance race.

Audi have been the dominant force at the circuit in recent times; Peugeot however, were the only manufacturer to come close to breaking the German’s stranglehold, winning the event in 2009. Finot has admitted the PSA group are keeping a close eye on the World Endurance Championship regulations for the 2020 season, being hammered out currently by the FIA and the ACO.

“The FIA and ACO have made a lot of efforts to decrease cost with the new regulations, while still keeping the battery electric technology and plug-in fast charging that will come to road cars in the next few years,’ says Finot, who is in charge of both Peugeot and Citroen’s factory motorsport programmes.  

“There’s a proposal for an almost standard flat underfloor without any parts in the wheelarches, with only one aerodynamic configuration allowed [so no low-downforce Le Mans specials but a shape that must work throughout the WEC calendar], and a limit on wind tunnel time and tests days.

“The costs are going down, but we think there is a possibility for more standardization of parts, as in Formula E – from a spectator point of view I don’t think it’s important that the cells of a battery are different for each manufacturer. We have to find the best balance between the spectacle and cost. The new regulations come in 2020 but it’s not a hurry for us – we must examine the cost and examine whether it’s a clever investment.’

At present, PSA (Peugeot, Vauxhall, Opel and Citroen) motorsport primarily focuses on long-distance rallying. Finot has already expressed his view that that if any of their brands are to enter a new form of motorsport then they must be able to complete for the World Title – but never against each other.

“It would be interesting for us to be back in the WEC. We left five years ago; the PSA Group was unprofitable, it had been done, and we wanted to win the Dakar– but we’ve now won that twice…”

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