Text: Rick Kiewiet
Images: Peugeot Sport
In an article on Peugeot Sport's website, the team confirmed today it will miss the first round of the 2022 WEC season at Sebring in March. There are a couple of hints that it will be present in Spa though... Furthermore, Olivier Jansonnie, technical director of the team, also confirmed that the car is still lacking a rear wing after extensive wind-tunnel and track testing.
First the news that Peugeot is missing Sebring. This was something that was more or less expected. As it was known that not before late November/December the cars' power train would be ready, participating in a race, overseas, in March would come a bit early. Skipping Sebring would give the team almost two more months to prepare the car for its debut (the 6h of Spa is scheduled early May).
Although the team did not confirm explicitly that it will race in Spa, there are hints that it will. First, last week the ACO and FIA confirmed that in order to be eligible to race at this year's edition of the 24 hours of Le Mans, Peugeot will have to race at at least one race ahead of the WEC's blue ribbon event, simply to determine a Balance of Performance (BoP). In light of that statement, the French manufacturer specifically states in its press communiqué:
"We could have opted for attending selected races only without committing to the season. That would have been possible but less coherent. Instead, we have chosen an approach that will enable the team to be fully immersed in the discipline, resulting in much closer collaboration with the organisers even if the 9X8 doesn’t contest every race as our development work and the homologation process continue.”
Jean-Marc Finot, Motorsport Director.
Now, what commitment would it be if Peugeot was to miss 3 of the 6 races (or more) and the season's main event? Exactly.
Finally, after some doubt late last year due to this twitter post in which the car's rear was partially obscured...:
...Peugeot confirmed it is still planning on racing without a rear wing:
"Our calculations and wind tunnel work have confirmed the pertinence of our decision to run without a rear wing. Along with the developments and settings this option calls for, we expect it to be validated as we test at different circuits with differing characteristics.”
Olivier Jansonnie, Technical Director