The Team Peugeot TotalEngergies ends the 6 Hours of Portimão 5th and 7th
A strong race facing some of the best manufacturers in the world
16 points scored in the FIA WEC Hypercar Manufacturers’ championship
The 6 Hours of Portimão, second round of the 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship started at 12h (local time) on the track of the Autodromo Internacional Do Algarve. Paul Di Resta, behind the wheel of the #93 PEUGEOT 9X8 took the start from the pitlane following a change of power steering before the start, and Nico Müller with the #94 started from the 3rd row on the grid.
The Swiss driver, on track with the #94 PEUGEOT 9X8 kept his position, whereas the #93 and Paul Di Resta made their way through the field to come back at the end of the Hypercar pack after two hours of racing.
The battle was then fierce for the Peugeot Sport drivers Nico Müller, Gustavo Menezes and then Loïc Duval, that had to fight against a strong competition from Cadillac, Ferrari and Porsche.
Thanks to a consistent pace and some very good pitstops from the mechanics, the #94 PEUGEOT 9X8 Hybrid Hypercar crossed the finish line in 5th position and this despite a defective reequired torque sensor that forced the team and especially Gustavo and Loïc to end the race in default mode.
The #93 PEUGEOT 9X8, once back in contact with the Hypercar grid, Paul Di Resta, Jean-Eric Vergne et Mikkel Jensen kept an aggressive pace while making their way through the traffic and the Hypercar class to 7th position. A faultless race for the three Peugeot Sport drivers as well as some intense last laps for Mikkel Jensen, who signed his best race lap in 1:33.689.
The hard work done between Sebring and Portimão paid off and the reliability is improving significantly. Some improvements still need to be analysed in the next few days to maintain the rhythm in Spa-Francorchamps, on 28th and 29th of April.
WHAT THEY SAID
Olivier Jansonnie – Peugeot Sport technical director:
“From a sporting point of view, this is not a fantastic race as we are only P5. Nevertheless, we did a good step forward as the two cars crossed the chequered flag, and we managed not to have any of the reliability issues that we have had previously, so this is a first satisfaction. Then, at different points of the race we had a strong pace, we now need to work to maintain this pace throughout the entirety. Concerning the issue on the #93 car that made for a complicated start, it also put us in a position where we could not even fight with the other competitors, which is quite frustrating. In general, I’m very proud of the team, its commitment, and the way that they worked to improve so much since Sebring. I’m also satisfied with the pitstops, where we could see a huge improvement and this point will be important for the future.”
Mikkel Jensen – PEUGEOT #93
“The race did not start well as we had to start from the pitlane so we lost it before we could even get going. I think we’ve had a decent race, we finished 6 hours of racing without any issues and it’s the first time for us. We gathered a lot of data, the pace was much better than it was in Sebring, so I think we can be very satisfied with today’s race. We can use this race and Spa as well to move on to Le Mans, which is the most important event of the year.”
Loïc Duval – PEUGEOT #94:
“Overall we have to say that it was a positive race. I think in terms of strategy we did the best of it with the #94. Nico did a great job at the beginning, Gustavo as well who started to have some issues during his second stint with an FIA torque sensor, so we could not have the power that we wanted, and we had to run on different modes. Then it got worse and worse, I had to do two stints like that so it was very difficult mentally, when you know that there is nothing you can do. We kept fighting and in the end we finish P5, so it’s a nice reward for the team, a massive step forward from Sebring. Everyone should be proud of this result, and we just have to carry on.