On their much-anticipated début in the FIA World Endurance Championship, the PEUGEOT 9X8 2024 qualified 14th and 15th respectively

Team Peugeot TotalEnergies showed the reliability and potential of its car in free practice but lacked the pace to fight at the front in qualifying

Tomorrow’s race looks set to be a tricky affair with a total of 37 cars, including 19 Hypercar prototypes, competing on the narrow Imola track

After a year of development, the PEUGEOT 9X8 2024 made its competitive bow at Imola’s picturesque Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari (Italy), which will host round two of the 2024 FIA World Endurance Championship.

Following three free practice sessions during which the PEUGEOT 9X8 2024 was able to demonstrate its reliability, with Mikkel Jensen setting the third fastest time in FP1 (1min31.964s), qualifying was held on a dry track but with the heavens looking somewhat menacing.

Jean-Eric Vergne and Stoffel Vandoorne were chosen to drive the no. 93 and no. 94 PEUGEOT in qualifying. Until the middle of the session, both PEUGEOT 9X8 2024 featured in the provisional top ten, before dropping down the standings.

The session was then red-flagged less than two minutes before the end, ruining Jean-Eric and Stoffel’s chances of making it into the Hyperpole. The no. 94 and no. 93 PEUGEOT 9X8 2024 will therefore line up on the starting grid on rows seven and eight in tomorrow’s race, which is due to get underway at 1pm.

“The PEUGEOT 9X8 2024 is still a bit ‘raw’. We know the car has potential and it is quicker than the 2023 version, but we weren’t able to show that in today’s qualifying session. We clearly lacked pace,” admitted Jean-Marc Finot, Stellantis Motorsport Senior VP. “Tomorrow’s race is going to be tough. Imola is a wonderful track but it’s hard to overtake here, so strategy is likely to play a decisive role.”

Stoffel Vandoorne (no. 94 PEUGEOT 9X8 2024)

“The session was cut short by a red flag. This was our first qualifying session in the 2024 version of the PEUGEOT 9X8.  I managed to set a few quick flying laps at the start of the session and I had a good feeling in the car. We line up 14th on the grid so it’s going to be difficult with the traffic at the start, but anything is possible in this race, which is likely to be tricky for everyone.”

Jean-Eric Vergne, (no.93 PEUGEOT 9X8 2024)

“I was a bit unfortunate with the red flag because I wasn’t able to set another flying lap when the session resumed. Having said that, even if I had improved by two or three tenths, we still would have been a little bit too far back. We start 15th and our aim for the race will be to try to fight back and finish in the points.”

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