The factory Peugeot team will not debut its new-for-2022 9X8 Hypercar until after the 2022 24 Hours of Le Mans.
That was confirmed in a statement today from Peugeot Sport as it continues to test its radically-styled prototype ahead of final homologation of the design.
Olivier Jansonnie, Technical Director of Peugeot’s FIA World Endurance Championship program, explained that the constraints of the Hypercar homologation process counted against the team’s participation earlier in the season.
“For obvious reasons with regard to Balance Of Performance adjustments, it would not have been possible to enter the Le Mans 24 Hours without first contesting the preceding WEC race – the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps on May 7,” he said. “This way, our planning will enable us to put the full weight of our teams and resources behind our own test sessions, without the disruption of racing at Spa-Francorchamps and Le Mans.”
The strong suggestion is that the team is now targeting the 10 July FIA WEC race at Monza for the debut of the cars.
Homologation of the 9X8, as with other LMH (and LMDh prototype designs) is a critical stage for the program as it freezes the car’s technical characteristics until 2025.
The Peugeot team will instead utilize its factory driver roster of Loic Duval, Kevin Magnussen, Mikkel Jensen, Gustavo Menezes, Jean-Eric Vergne and Paul di Resta, plus test driver James Rossiter in further testing ahead of the final homologation sign-off.