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Peugeot’s Le Mans efficiency a “turning level” for 9X8 programme

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Olivier Jansonnie, technical director at Peugeot Sport, made the declare after the perfect of its 9X8s led the double-points spherical of the World Endurance Championship on 4 separate events and was operating among the many frontrunners till the twelfth hour of the race. 

“It was a turning level; it was our greatest race to date,” mentioned Jansonnie.  “We confirmed some race tempo, and on some events right here we have been superb.

“All of the work we have now been doing for 4 years is lastly paying off – we’re fairly happy with that.

“Our stage of preparation once we arrived was manner higher than for a six-hour race. That is a component that will probably be key for the preparation of the following races.”

The efficiency adopted a collection of disappointing shows within the opening three rounds of Peugeot’s first full-season within the WEC after three exploratory races final yr.

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Jansonnie conceded that the 9X8 couldn’t match the Ferrari 499P or Toyota GR010 HYBRID LMHs that completed first and second in spherical 4 of the 2023 WEC, however identified “that we have been actually shut at some factors”. 

#94 Peugeot Totalenergies Peugeot 9X8 of Loic Duval, Gustavo Menezes, Nico Muller

Photograph by: JEP / Motorsport Images

He additionally expressed satisfaction with the reliability of the Peugeot LMH, regardless that each automobiles encountered issues within the latter levels of the race and dropped right down to eighth and twenty seventh respectively, 12 and 30 laps in arrears. 

“On reliability we suspected many issues might occur, but it surely was comparatively clean for 20, 21 hours,” he defined. 

He additionally gave credit score to the in-house Peugeot Sport staff for getting the 2 9X8s to the end after they bumped into issues. 

“I’m happy with the staff: they have been preventing like loopy to repair the automobiles to maintain them operating,” he mentioned.  “We had to enter survival mode.”

The #93 Peugeot shared by Paul di Resta, Jean-Eric Vergne and Mikkel Jensen was operating fifth into the twenty first hour when it encountered first an issue with the entrance bodywork after which the facility steering, which dropped it to eighth place. 

An engine drawback delayed the #94 automobile pushed by Gustavo Menezes, Loic Duval and Nico Muller. It spent the vast majority of the ultimate hour within the pits earlier than returning to the observe in Muller’s arms for a single lap with the intention to be categorized as a finisher. 

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Menezes acquired the #94 automobile into the lead in the course of the first of two moist parts of the race within the third hour. 

The automobile would lead a complete of 34 laps and was operating third early in hour 12 when Menezes went off on the first chicane on the Mulsanne Straight. 

Vergne misplaced two laps early within the race when he half spun and beached #93 on the kerbs at Mulsanne Nook with the lack of two laps. 

He and his team-mates would stay inside two laps of the chief till the nineteenth hour.

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