Peugeot could replace Audi at Le Mans
Audi is putting an end to its endurance racing program to focus on Formula E, leaving only Porsche and Toyota in the LMP1 class of the World Endurance Championship (WEC). Many in the world of racing are asking Paris-based Peugeot to return to the category in order to fill the empty spot.
Peugeot is seen as the ideal competitor because it has a long history of competing in endurance events. It won the 24 Hours of Le Mans on several occasions, and the 905 famously hit 251 mph on the Mulsanne Straight before race organizers installed chicanes. However, the automaker ended all prototype racing activities when it found itself in dire financial straits in 2012.
Members of the company’s top brass are open to the idea of returning to endurance racing’s top category, which is hardly a surprise considering CEO Carlos Tavares is a huge motorsport enthusiast. However, Automotive News Europe reports they are realistic about the cost of racing at that level, and they explain that three key conditions must be met.
First, the brand needs to improve its financial situation. Second, it needs to put a limit how much it spends to develop a car. Third, it needs to be given enough time to build a car capable of competing against Porsche and Toyota, which have been fine-tuning their race cars for years.
Peugeot is currently focused on winning next month’s Dakar Rally, so we’re unlikely to see a lion-badged prototype on the starting grid of next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Note: Peugeot 908 HDi FAP pictured.