THE PEUGEOT 9X8 MAKES ITS DEBUT ON THE LEGENDARY MONZA CIRCUIT
THE PEUGEOT TOTALENERGIES TEAM COMPETED IN ITS FIRST FIA WORLD ENDURANCE CHAMPIONSHIP (WEC) RACE IN JULY IN ITALY, AT THE 6 HOURS OF MONZA. HERE IS THE STORY OF THE PEUGEOT 9X8 HYPERCAR'S FIRST COMPETITION.
A TECHNOLOGICAL AND SPORTING CHALLENGE
The PEUGEOT 9X8 is a 4-wheel drive hybrid electric prototype. It is powered by a powertrain developed entirely under the supervision of the Peugeot Sport team.
Track tests have been carried out since December 2021 on 5 different tracks with distinct characteristics (Portimao, Le Castellet, Motorland Aragon, Barcelona and Magny-Cours). More than 10,000 kilometres of tests were carried out in 25 days by the PEUGEOT 9X8.
For the Peugeot TotalEnergies team, Monza is the first opportunity to test the 9X8 on a real circuit and in a competitive environment. After the private tests, this stage is crucial as it allows us to gather a lot of information and to identify any problems that need to be solved.
Six drivers made up the two teams that lined up in Italy for the 6 Hours of Monza on 10 July: Paul Di Resta (ECO), Loïc Duval (FRA), Mikkel Jensen (DAN), Gustavo Menezes (USA/BRA), James Rossiter (GBR) and Jean-Éric Vergne (FRA).
9X8 TO THE TEST OF THE RACE
After qualifying, the race is shaping up differently for the two 9X8s entered in the competition:
The #94, driven by Loïc Duval at the start of the race, started in 5th position, at the top of the grid with the competitors of the Hypercar category.
The #93, driven by Mikkel Jensen, was left behind in 36th position after failing to set a time in qualifying.
For the Frenchman, it was a matter of following the tempo. For the Dane, the objective was to make his way through the pack. In five laps the #93 was already in the top ten, in six laps it was in the Hypercar category. The technical issues to be solved during this test race allowed for new settings and adjustments to be made which are essential to improving performance in future competitions.
The hazards of the race and the weather conditions did not scare the Peugeot TotalEnergies team. The PEUGEOT 9X8 of Gustavo Menezes, James Rossiter and Loïc Duval passed the chequered flag, providing the team with essential data for the rest of the season, despite the traffic, track conditions and a few technical problems.
FROM MONZA 2022 TO THE 24 HOURS OF LE MANS 2023
Even if the 9X8 was not on the track for the 2022 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Lion Brand still wanted to be present through an exhibition entitled "ALLURE - LE MANS", dedicated to the epic of the PEUGEOT brand in the Sarthe. The first chequered flag at the start of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2023 is already scheduled.
Prior to that, the PEUGEOT 9X8s will compete in the 6 Hours of Fuji in September and the 8 Hours of Bahrain in November.
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KEY WORDS: Sport Automobile, Expérience de conduite