It’s one more step for all Peugeot Sport members, and for all endurance fans. After several months of playing cat and mouse, showing only snippets of its 9X8 in its final version, in order to maintain the suspense over the look of the beast, the French manufacturer finally unveiled, on Friday from the circuit of Portimao, its Hypercar and its livery, reminiscent of the 508 PSE with its selenium gray color.
In the presence of Linda Jackson, president of Peugeot, Jean-Marc Finot, director of Stellantis Motorsport, Olivier Jansonnie, technical director of the WEC project, Michael Trouvou, design boss of the 9X8 and all the drivers, including the French Jean-Eric Vergne and Loïc Duval, the French Hypercar, which will make its competition debut at the 6 Hours of Monza on July 10 for the fourth round of the World Endurance Championship, drove on the Portimao circuit under the eyes of around thirty of European journalists.
Rossiter replaces Magnussen
And it was after these few laps on the Portuguese track that the official photos were published. These long months of teasing, since the first images of the presentation at Monza last July, are therefore over. Peugeot, which announced this Hypercar project in November 2019, is now getting into the heart of the matter and will therefore be able to calibrate, with two cars, against Toyota, Glickenhaus and Alpine in just under two months in the Temple of Speed. . Waiting for its first participation in the 24 Hours of Le Mans next year.
“By presenting our racing car today, we are keeping the promise made last summer: the racing Peugeot 9X8 in no way betrays the intention unveiled in July 2021.commented Jansonnie. The challenge, in recent months, has been twofold: our team has been formed while building a car, developing it in order to bring it into competition. A few weeks before this first international meeting, at Monza, the Peugeot 9X8 has multiplied the kilometers in tests on different tracks. Nothing replaces competition. We are therefore eager to gauge the potential of our Hybrid-Electric Hypercar, developed in our workshops, and which should demonstrate our skills in terms of hybridization in particular. »
Peugeot took the opportunity of this reveal to announce the sixth driver, for the Monza race at least, who will recover the place of Kevin Magnussen, who returned to F1 this year with Haas. This is James Rossiter, the test pilot who has worked extensively on the simulator since the start of the project. He could be associated with Loïc Duval and Paul di Resta. The other crew would therefore consist of Jean-Eric Vergne, Mikkel Jensen and Gustavo Menezes.