Improving reliability of the PEUGEOT 9X8 at the 6 Hours of Portimão
Team PEUGEOT TotalEnergies debut on the Belgian track
Stoffel Vandoorne, Peugeot Sport reserve driver, will support the team at the TotalEnergies 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps
The TotalEnergies 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, third round of the FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) will take place on the 28th and 29th April. The Belgian track, at the heart of the Ardennes Forest, is considered one of the most challenging circuits in the world, renowned for its fast turns and its famous Raidillon.
It will be the first appearance of the PEUGEOT 9X8 on the Spa-Francorchamps lay-out, and as Olivier Jansonnie, Peugeot Sport technical director explains: “It’s a track like no other. The free practices will be our first time on it, we don’t know it and we have never tested there. We will have to anticipate, to quickly identify the optimums on a new track and with different conditions than in Portimão. At Spa, the weather conditions are usually unstable and more complicated to deal with. It’s a fantastic track and we are all very motivated to race on it with our PEUGEOT 9X8.”
After a first Top 5 result last weekend, the Team PEUGEOT TotalEnergies’ aim for Spa-Francorchamps, the last dress rehearsal before the 24 Hours of Le Mans Centenary in June, will be to keep the same level of reliability of the #93 and #94 9X8 than in Portimão.
Stoffel Vandoorne, Peugeot Sport reserve driver, will be present at Spa-Francorchamps to support the Team PEUGEOT TotalEnergies and to bring his experience of his home-track to the team.
The two PEUGEOT 9X8 will be back on track on the 27th of April for the first two free practice sessions. The qualifying session will take place on the 28th of April at 17h50 for the Hypercar class and the start of the race will be given on Saturday 29th April at 12h45.
WHAT THEY SAID
Christian Deltombes – Team PEUGEOT TotalEnergies Team Manager:
“Obviously Spa is a special meeting for a lot of us. It’s an iconic circuit with some particularities that some love and other not. The weather also makes it exciting.
The weekend in Portimão brought some serenity to the team. Sebring was a bit of a shockwave but a positive one for the team and we can be proud of having reacted well after this race. The pitstops were especially efficient with the 2nd and 3rd best pitstop of the whole grid.
We will give our maximum to confirm this dynamic at Spa even if we know that we still have a lot of work to do. The challenge is also bigger considering the small amount of time between Portimão and Spa.”
Jean-Eric Vergne – PEUGEOT #93
“I think we’ve made a big step from Sebring to Portimão in terms of reliability. Apart the issue at the start, we did not have any problems until the end of the race. We need to improve our performance at Spa and as long as we make steps like this, in the right direction race after race, it will be looking good. Spa is probably my favourite circuit on the calendar. I’ve driven there with many cars, it’s an amazing track and I have good memories so I hope that I can carry on the good momentum with Peugeot Sport. The weather should as usual be tricky and changing. The cold won’t make it easy for the tyre choice so the tyre strategy will be a key element for this race. Spa is also the last event before Le Mans, so it will be a good preparation, thanks to its long straight section we will be able to see where we are compared to the other competitors in terms of pure speed in the straights and if there is anything to amend before the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It is going to be a very important race.”
Gustavo Menezes – PEUGEOT #94:
“We left Portimão happy with the improvements done. Obviously, it is still not where our objective is but at the end of the day it takes time to make important steps and the most important things is that we are progressing. We have a plan of where we want to be, and the most important thing is that race by race we make a step forward. In Portimão we had quite good reliability, despite having a technical issue with a required torque sensor. The team executed the race perfectly, the mechanics have been working vigorously since Sebring and it shows with the performance of the pitstops. We will continue working on the performance and reliability for Spa and ultimately for Le Mans. We look forward to it, the work has already started, and we will be heading to Spa in just about a week, so see you there!”