Peugeot: Reliability will dictate when Hypercar will race

Peugeot has suggested that the reliability of its new Le Mans Hypercar in testing will dictate when during the 2022 FIA World Endurance Championship season it will make its race debut.

The French marque's new hybrid-powered contender is not due to run for the first time until the end of next year ahead of its race debut at some point in 2022.

Peugeot pushed back the first test of its LMH car from next summer as a result of the delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and it insists that it is still far away from deciding exactly when the car will make its first race outing.

That means it remains unclear if the manufacturer will be contending for a fourth victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours as early as 2022 or whether it will wait until the centenary race in '23.

Olivier Jansonnie, director of the WEC programme at Peugeot Sport, said: "We are not close to making that decision; we are not even ready to decide internally on this. 

"We have built a schedule that will allow us to test by the end of 2021 and from that point on we should know relatively quickly the level of reliability of the car. 

"We don't want to take the risk of starting races before we achieve the right level of reliability."

Peugeot unveiled key technical details of the new LMH prototype on Monday, including the specification of its internal combustion engine, but its press statement did not reveal the vee angle of the 2.6-litre twin-turbo V6.

Director of powertrain development at Peugeot Sport, Francois Coudrain explained that Peugeot was not ready to communicate this, saying: "We don't want to give too much detail in terms of the organic design."

Coudrain confirmed, however, that the powertrain will be a bespoke racing engine developed in-house at Peugeot Sport. 

The engine is scheduled to run on the dyno for the first time in the spring and will then begin running in conjunction with the LMH Peugeot's electric motor generator unit on a four-wheel-drive test bench early in the summer.

The complete powertrain has been called the Peugeot Hybrid4 500kW in reference to its total power output, which equates to 680bhp.

Peugeot has yet to announced a name for the car, but hinted that it could follow the nomenclature of the Le Mans-winning 905 and 908 Group C and LMP1 prototypes.

"Starting with a nine seems to be a good idea, but we will be back at the start of 2022 to be more precise," said Jean-Marc Finot, motorsport boss of Peugeot parent company PSA.

Peugeot will "take its time" on deciding drivers

Finot also emphasised that there is no need to rush to decide on its driver line-up, even though Peugeot previously indicated it has already started the decision-making process.

"There are a lot of drivers interested in this iconic Peugeot Sport programme and we are in touch with many of them," said Finot. "I would just say that we have time because the car will not run until the end of 2021, so we will take our time to have the best team possible. 

"We will chose our drivers for their performance, their team spirit and how they fit the Peugeot Sport mindset."

Finot did not respond when questioned on whether Romain Grosjean was one of those drivers after the outgoing Haas racer declared his interest in a Peugeot WEC seat in October. 

Read Also:

shares
comments

Related video

Peugeot reveals powertrain details for 2022 Hypercar

Previous article

Peugeot reveals powertrain details for 2022 Hypercar

Next article

Porsche LMDh prototype set for Le Mans, WEC, IMSA in 2023

Porsche LMDh prototype set for Le Mans, WEC, IMSA in 2023
Load comments

About this article

Series WEC
Teams Peugeot Sport
Author Gary Watkins
The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing Prime

The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing

Most of the column inches after the World Endurance Championship's opener were centred around the relative pace of the Hypercar class and the LMP2s, but there's another question that needs addressing in order for the new division to have a successful future

WEC
May 7, 2021
How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era Prime

How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era

Amid concerns that the new Hypercar class would be upstaged on debut by the spec LMP2 machines at Spa, Toyota delivered the pole and victory that the vast majority of observers expected. But neither car had a clean run, which gave the grandfathered Alpine LMP1 an unexpected shot at glory.

WEC
May 4, 2021
What to expect from sportscar racing's bold new Hypercar era Prime

What to expect from sportscar racing's bold new Hypercar era

A slim field of three cars will be entered in the Hypercar class for the first round of the World Endurance Championship's post-LMP1 age. But there are plenty of reasons for optimism with the new wave of manufacturer entries and competing class philosophies just around the corner

WEC
Apr 29, 2021
How Aston Martin scaled new heights in the Prodrive era Prime

How Aston Martin scaled new heights in the Prodrive era

The 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship kicks off at Spa this weekend, but for the first time since its 2012 inception there will be no factory-run Aston Martins in the GTE Pro class. That's especially notable because as a works entity, the Prodrive era of Aston Martin Racing that began in 2005 has been a success from the very start.

WEC
Apr 27, 2021
How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname Prime

How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname

Sportscar racing lost one of it's greatest talents 20 years ago today when Bob Wollek was knocked from his bicycle prior to the Sebring 12 Hours. The enigmatic Frenchman never won the Le Mans 24 Hours, but many still remember today why 'Brilliant Bob' became a legend

WEC
Mar 16, 2021
How Ferrari's Hypercar project could bolster Leclerc's legacy Prime

How Ferrari's Hypercar project could bolster Leclerc's legacy

Ferrari's planned return to the top category at the Le Mans 24 Hours has further heightened anticipation for the 2023 race. Few concrete details are currently known, but already it has a high-profile superstar angling for involvement, which would make a refreshing change

WEC
Mar 5, 2021
Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar racing exile Prime

Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar racing exile

Making a return to top-flight sportscar racing after 50 years away, Ferrari will enter the Le Mans Hypercar ranks in 2023. The Italian marque denies the link with Formula 1's new cost cap that frees up resources, but it's certainly no coincidence...

WEC
Feb 25, 2021
The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC Prime

The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s decision to scrap its GT Le Mans class for 2022 raises the question of whether the FIA World Endurance Championship should phase out GTE cars. But it's a much harder decision than it appears on the surface.

WEC
Feb 3, 2021