Peugeot, heading for performance in São Paulo

Transparent at the 24 Hours of Le Mans despite convincing reliability, Peugeot must now focus on performance. At Interlagos, the Lions are counting on the many unknowns of the Paulista route to shine.

Published on 09/07/2024 à 12:42

Dorian Grangier

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Peugeot, heading for performance in São Paulo

© Paulo Maria / DPPI

To 24H of Le Mans, they were largely absent from the debates. Peugeot was not present at the Sarthe event last June: although the two new 9X8s finished the race without encountering any major technical problems, they were never able to compete in terms of pace with their competitors. By failing at the gates of the Top 10 (11th place for the No. 94, 12th place for the No. 93), the two French Hypercars remained anonymous in the Sarthe.

Satisfied with the reliability demonstrated at Le Mans, the Sochalian firm now hopes to find performance with its 9 version 8X2024 equipped with a rear wing. The Lions arrive at Interlagos with several unknowns, since the track has not been used in the World ChampionshipEndurance since 2014. If Peugeot has already driven a prototype on the Paulista circuit at the end of the 2000s, notably with the victory of the 908 HDi FAP in 2007 during the Mil Milhas de São Paulo, the French team is approaching this new meeting you with humility and curiosity.

“Suffice it to say that we have never driven on the Interlagos circuit, confides Olivier Jansonnie, technical director of Peugeot Sport. Our preparation is based exclusively on simulation. It is therefore necessarily more complex than a race that we know, but everyone is in the same boat. We approach São Paulo as we approached Qatar or Imola. We will capitalize on the reliability of the Peugeot 9X8 evolution 2024 demonstrated at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in order to maximize the running times in Free Practice to define the best settings for the race. »

Peugeot « starts from a blank sheet of paper » in Sao Paulo

Of the six drivers of Team Peugeot TotalEnergies, only Mikkel Jensen will discover the Paulista track. Paul di Resta, Loïc duval, Nico Müller, Stoffel Vandoorne and Jean-Eric Vergne have already ridden on this legendary circuit whether in Endurance or in Formula 1. “It's a new circuit for the team, very different from that of Le Mans of course, very short with quite a bit of elevation change. The objective will be to find good settings, to continue to make good pit stops and to have a good race strategy to be able to fight with our competitors. We still have work to do to better exploit this new car, that motivates us for the future,” confides Stoffel Vandoorne, driver of the Peugeot n°94.

“After two very intense weeks at Le Mans, we have recharged the batteries and I am ready for the next race, adds Nico Müller, member of crew no. 93. Interlagos is a nice circuit with lots of rhythm and changes in altitude. It is a place steeped in history. The first sector is iconic with the “S do Senna” which could well suit our package. Sector 2 is quite slow, which may not be our strong point. Nobody has tested at Interlagos, we are starting from a blank sheet. It's the unknown for everyone and I love new challenges. »

With a BoP which seems to be more advantageous to him than at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Peugeot will be keen to shine on Sunday in Brazil, on this National Day in France.

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Dorian Grangier

A young journalist nostalgic for the motorsport of yesteryear. Raised on the exploits of Sébastien Loeb and Fernando Alonso.

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