Peugeot Prioritizes Regular Drivers for WEC Spa Debut

    Ahead of the upcoming round of the 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) at Spa-Francorchamps, Peugeot’s technical director Olivier Jansonnie has revealed the team’s decision to focus on maximizing seat time for its regular drivers in the 9X8 Le Mans Hypercar.

    Jansonnie explained that the goal is to ensure stability within the crew and provide the best possible preparation for the coveted 24 Hours of Le Mans next month, where the 9X8 is set to make only its second race appearance. As a result, reserve driver Malthe Jakobsen will not make his WEC debut at Spa.

    “We’re looking for stability in our crew, basically, trying to make sure that we maximize the driving time for the drivers going to Le Mans afterwards, that was the only thing for us,” Jansonnie told Autosport.

    Peugeot will field two drivers in each of its cars at the Spa round, with Mikkel Jensen and Nico Muller sharing the #93 entry, and Paul di Resta and Loic Duval aboard the #94 car. This approach mirrors the one adopted by the Ganassi-run Cadillac Racing V-Series.R LMDh and the #12 Jota Porsche 963 LMDh.

    Jansonnie believes that this two-driver setup will “make our life much easier in free practice” and allow the team to focus more on car setup, rather than managing multiple drivers.

    “You’re just increasing more variables you have to play with [having] three drivers, so it should be a bit easier,” he said.

    However, the technical director acknowledged that the situation may become more complex if the race requires more than six stints, necessitating further consideration.

    Following the latest Balance of Performance (BoP) adjustments, which saw a 4kg weight gain and a 2kW reduction in maximum power for the 9X8, Jansonnie said the team “don’t expect to be at the very front” at Spa.

    The 2023 FIA WEC season continues with the Spa-Francorchamps round on May 6th. Peugeot’s decision to prioritize its regular drivers in the 9X8’s second race outing reflects the team’s focus on preparing for the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans, where the French manufacturer aims to make a strong statement in the highly competitive Hypercar class.

    ๐Ÿ”— Source