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Thursday, November 30, 2023

Menezes broadcasts Peugeot WEC exit after Bahrain finale

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The Californian 28-year-old introduced on his private Instagram web page that he would depart the French producer’s 9X8 Le Mans Hypercar programme after November’s Bahrain finale.

“After a 3 12 months journey collectively, crammed with ups and downs, Bahrain will formally be my ultimate race with Peugeot within the FIA WEC,” he wrote.

“It’s been an absolute pleasure constructing this undertaking collectively and making reminiscences that may final a lifetime.

“As one door closes, new doorways open. It’s too quickly to share with you all my plans for 2024, however will probably be quick. Better of luck to the group.”

Menezes has been a fixture within the #94 Peugeot lineup because the marque’s lengthy awaited prototype return got here at Monza in 2022.

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He raced initially alongside Loic Duval and James Rossiter earlier than the Briton announced his retirement and moved right into a group principal position on the Maserati MSG Formulation E group.

Rossiter was changed for the 2022 Bahrain 8 Hours, the place the #94 Peugeot matched its fourth place at Monza, and the 2023 marketing campaign by Nico Muller. The #94 crew’s excessive level this season thus far is a fifth place in Portugal.

Menezes joined the Peugeot programme after spending three years as a part of the Riot LMP1 effort, which yielded three WEC victories and a finest Le Mans 24 Hours end of second in 2020.

#94 Peugeot Totalenergies Peugeot 9X8: Loic Duval, Gustavo Menezes, Stoffel Vandoome

Picture by: Andy Chan

Beforehand he spent two years in LMP2, profitable his class at Le Mans and taking the 2016 WEC title for the Signatech Alpine squad which is shifting again into the Hypercar class subsequent season with an ORECA-based A424_ß LMDh chassis that had its first test at Paul Ricard last month.

Peugeot might transfer to switch Menezes with reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne, who made his Peugeot race debut at the newest WEC spherical in Fuji when a collarbone injury sidelined Muller.

Vandoorne described himself as feeling “comfy within the automobile”, though the 9X8s struggled for efficiency within the monitor’s gradual ultimate sector to finish up seventh and eighth regardless of a clear run.

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Discussing the prospect of including a Peugeot WEC drive to his present Formulation E duties with the DS Penske squad, which belongs to the identical Stellantis group as Peugeot, Vandoorne was enthusiastic in regards to the thought.

However he admitted {that a} conflict between the Berlin E-Prix and Spa WEC spherical in Might might trigger problems.

“I’m a racing driver and I need to drive as many programmes as attainable,” stated Vandoorne. “The extra you may drive, the higher it’s.

“Individuals generally say it’s not good to mix programmes as a result of it’s completely different vehicles. I give it some thought the alternative means. I believe it’s really good to mix completely different vehicles since you be taught completely different talent units for every automobile that you just drive.

“There’s the entire schedule factor that could be a massive query mark. It’s not solely a difficulty for me, it’s an issue for lots of the fellows on this paddock who do Formulation E and WEC as effectively.

“Hopefully there will probably be talks between each championships and an answer will probably be discovered to try to separate them.”

Further reporting by Gary Watkins

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