Qatar 1812km: Team Peugeot TotalEnergies ahead of the new FIA WEC season

Qatar 1812km: Team Peugeot TotalEnergies determined ahead of the new FIA WEC season
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  • Team Peugeot TotalEnergies is due to start the 2024 season of the FIA World Endurance Championship on 24-25 February at the Prologue, followed on 2 March by the Qatar 1812km in Lusail, with two 2023 versions of its PEUGEOT 9X8.
  • The Team’s second full season gets underway in what promises to be an exciting year, with a high-class field and an eighth round added to the race
  • The target for the no. 93 car driven by Mikkel Jensen – Nico Müller – Jean- Eric Vergne and the no. 94 car driven by Paul Di Resta – Loïc Duval – Stoffel Vandoorne will be to draw on the lessons learned last season to make the most of the 2023 PEUGEOT 9X8, before it is replaced with the 2024 version at the following round in Imola (21 April).

Qatar is where an exciting new season kicks off for Team Peugeot TotalEnergies, with nine manufacturers involved in the championship and no fewer than 19 Hypercar entries. A record number in what promises to be a very competitive and closely-contested season.

With around ten hours of racing scheduled at the Lusail International Circuit (5.38 kilometres), the curtain-raiser to the 2024 season of the FIA WEC is expected to present a sizeable challenge. It is the second-longest event on the race calendar, only bettered by the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It will be a real test for both men and machine, not to mention the tyres, especially as hot conditions are expected to play a vital role. The team dealt with challenges on two fronts during the off-season: continue to develop the 2023 PEUGEOT 9X8 whilst following the demanding roadmap set out for the 2024 PEUGEOT 9X8 in order to be ready in time for Imola in April. It is therefore with a very determined and competitive attitude that the team is preparing to kick off its season in Qatar.

Team Peugeot TotalEnergies

“We expect it to be a tough race,” confirmed Olivier Jansonnie, Peugeot Sport Technical Director. “Reliability will be a key factor, but we have the advantage of knowing that the 2023 PEUGEOT 9X8 is a tried and tested car and that it proved itself to be solid in Fuji and Bahrain at the end of last year. We’ll need to produce a clean, error-free performance, in terms of the drivers, reliability and strategy. If we manage to do that, then we can make the most of the circumstances. We have some new tools available to help improve even further what we do on track. In any case, we are determined to get the very best result possible.”  

Whilst the track will be new to many competitors, everyone will have the chance to get to grips with it during the Prologue held prior to the opening round and get back into the swing of things. At Peugeot Sport, crew members will also be able to prepare fully for the new season on the simulator, with all six drivers taking turns behind the wheel. The drivers will have the opportunity to learn about the subtleties of the track, as well as those of the PEUGEOT 9X8 after the winter break, whilst the engineers will be able to work on the set- up of the car and plan for several potential race situations so that the team can react quickly to any eventuality once at the track.  

The final unknown is the BoP, the Balance of Performance between the various cars on the starting grid. “There will be new adjustments made to the balance of performance ahead of the opening round,” commented Jean-Marc Finot, Senior VP, Stellantis Motorsport. “The PEUGEOT 9X8 that will be racing in Qatar will be identical to the one that competed in the final races of 2023. The BoP should therefore position it closer to the performance of the top competitors. The idea is therefore for us to try and fight for the leading positions.” This approach reflects the determination that drives everyone at Team Peugeot TotalEnergies at the start of the new campaign.