Team Peugeot TotalEnergies ends 8th and 12th after an action-packed race that it led with the #94 into the early night
More than 300 000 fans came over the weekend to celebrate this Centenary
An exceptional edition and an exceptional result for Team Peugeot TotalEnergies
The 24 Hours of Le Mans Centenary is over and what a race!
More than 300 000 spectators came at the track all weekend long to celebrate the Centenary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, 91st edition of the legendary race and 4th round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.
After 24 hours of racing, and to celebrate its come back to Le Mans, the two Team Peugeot TotalEnergies hybrid-electric Hypercars crossed the finish line in the 8th (#93) and 12th (#94) positions of the Hypercar class.
Beyond the result, it’s mainly the execution of the race that we will remember. After a difficult week, where the team had to deal with several incidents, Team Peugeot TotalEnergies had a fantastic race that was full of surprises.
It was an action-packed event, with plenty of accidents on track and a lot of cars had to retire from the race. The changing weather conditions, with wet and dry sections, made it more complicated for the drivers. The race was neutralised three times with a Safety Cars changing the orders every time.
Paul Di Resta, at the wheel of the #93 PEUGEOT 9X8 and Nico Müller in the #94 took the start given by Lebron James, NBA living legend. The two PEUGEOT 9X8 were in rhythm and in contact with the other competitors, managing the safety cars procedures. The #93 went off track in the end of the afternoon on Saturday and was down the classification after 6 hours.
During the following hours, an audacious strategy with the dynamic qualities of the 9X8 and its drivers allowed the #94 PEUGEOT 9X8 of Loïc Duval to take the lead of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and which held the front of the pack for more than 4 hours thanks to Nico Müller and Gustavo Menezes.
The fans of PEUGEOT were thrilled. Unfortunately, after 11 hours, Gustavo Menezes hit the barriers at the first chicane in the Hunaudières. Thanks to the amazing job of the whole team, the car was back on track only 20 minutes after it came back in the box. In the meantime, the #93, driven by Jean-Eric Vergne, Mikkel Jensen and Paul Di Resta was running consistently and made its way through the classification to stand 6th halfway through.
For the rest of the night and early morning, no major incident are to declare for the two PEUGEOT that held their pace thanks to the focus of the drivers and team. This consistency will lead the #93 up to the 5th place and the #94 on 10th position after 18 hours of racing.
However, with 2h30 to go, both cars were forced back to the garage due to an hydraulic problem. Once again, the team showed its reactive skill, already proven during the pitstop challenge won earlier in the week. Thanks to this amazing teamwork, the two cars can go back on track. And it will be the same during the last hour of racing when the #94 had to pit for an intervention in the engine.
Paul Di Resta and Nico Müller crossed the finish line of the 24 Hours of Le Mans Centenary side by side, under the eyes of Linda Jackson, Peugeot CEO and Carlos Tavares, Stellantis CEO that came to support the team during this long week of racing.
For this Centenary, the Team Peugeot TotalEnergies received such a great support from its partners, public, fans medias… and we want to sincerely thank them for it. Finally, our partners, without whom this adventure would be possible, whom were present at Le Mans with the team to show their support.
The PEUGEOT 9X8 will be back on track in a few weeks, in Monza for the 5th round of the FIA WEC. This round will be followed by the one in Fuji and the final in Bahrain.
WHAT THEY SAID:
Linda Jackson – PEUGEOT CEO: “I’m very proud of this successful comeback at Le Mans after standing in all steps of the podiums, we surprised everyone by leading the case for several hours during the night. Our two cars crossed the finish line including the #93 that finishes 8th. This shows our determination, our savoir-faire in terms of reliability, quality, and commitment. Emotion is our energy and excellence our obsession. PEUGEOT and Le Mans are linked by their heritage and we are building strong foundations for the future. I want to thank the whole PEUGEOT team and our partners for their hard work, all the fans for their support, this 2023 edition definitely has had Allure! See you in La Sarthe in one year and in Monza in one month.”
Jean-Marc Finot – Senior VP Stellantis Motorsport: “As competitors we cannot be satisfied with our standings with our first car in 8th position. But we have to look past the classifications and this has been a big event and a big commitment from the whole team. We can see race after race that we made progress and those 24 Hours of Le Mans were a step further for our performance. We were able to fight against the best teams and even take the lead for more than 4 hours for the greatest pleasure of the fans of PEUGEOT and endurance racing. It was an intense moment with the team. We also had to manage the incidents on track, even if we tried to avoid them, some of them delayed us. About the reliability, we can see that since Sebring we made a lot of progress. The 24 Hours of Le Mans are a really demanding race and we can see that we still have work to do. I’m really proud of our first attempt at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the Hypercar class. I’m really happy to share this moment with the team and our fans.”
Olivier Jansonnie – Peugeot Sport technical Director: « Our joy is reflecting the work that everyone that has been behind this project for over a year, and the goal was to get to Le Mans 2023. We were criticized for lacking performance, results and reliability. We did not show performance as best as our competitors, but we were really close at some points, and we managed to counterbalance with an audacious race strategy and a huge involvement from the team. Of course, if you saw the last three hours of the race, you were able to witness the commitment from the team to keep the cars in the race. In the end, we are exhausted but happy. Our level of preparation when we arrived was way better than for a 6-hour race. That is an element that will be key for the preparation of the next races.”
Jean-Eric Vergne – PEUGEOT #93: “I’m happy to end this race and also to be part of this team. We’ve had a great comeback and I think that everyone did a fantastic job. We made a huge step forward and it will give us more confidence. With the #94 sister car, we even led the race so we can see that the performance is going in the right direction and I’m sure that we have a team that can win. I’m super proud of all the guys, the mechanics, the engineers, as the preparations they put in, and they put down an amazing race, so congratulations.”
Paul Di Resta – PEUGEOT #93: “I think that when you get to the end you have to be happy, given the start that we had at the beginning of the year. We still have a lot of hard work to go to race some of our competitors. I’m super proud of the team, it’s been 6 weeks that they have been working very hard and also the week here was a bit of a challenge. For me I have the easiest job so a big thank you to the team, well done to them. The countdown begins again for next year. We have to look forward too, to challenge ourselves. We will be in Monza soon so we will have to move on to the next one soon. Now we have to enjoy our results with everyone.”
Mikkel Jensen – PEUGEOT #93: “It’s been an amazing experience. The 100 year anniversary with the Hypercar class, it was super competitive. I think the team did an amazing job staying on track without issues for more than 20 hours and then at the end things started to go wrong but it’s still super positive. We have more races to work and to come back stronger so I cannot wait to push even more.”
Loïc Duval – PEUGEOT #94: “It’s nice to say that up until 3 hours before the end we had no issues on both cars so it’s extremely positive. After 11 hours of racing, we were leading which is another positive point. We still don’t have the performance or reliability of the best competitors, but we can see interesting things and it’s important to remember the positive. When you think of our first race in Sebring or even to the mechanical problem that we had earlier in the week we were in the unknown. Finishing with the result is really important for everyone and for the future.”
Nico Müller – PEUGEOT #94: “A lot of emotions. I think that finishing the race with both cars is fantastic. Especially the performance during the race, the team worked really well, and it was amazing. We took out everything we could from the car, we were good in terms of strategy so it’s very positive. I’m really happy and well done to the team, it was a pleasure to do this race with them!”
Gustavo Menezes – PEUGEOT #94: “It was a very intense Le Mans, it never fails to surprise everyone. In the end it was a very positive step. Even if we did not get the dream result of winning, we came here humble, it was our first time, we knew it was going to be very difficult. Having led several hours and to get to the halfway mark in the lead was a great feeling. I’m super proud of all the team, unfortunately we had an incident and some issues but the mechanics and the whole team did an amazing job to come back as soon as possible.”