WEC

PEUGEOT TO RETURN TO LE MANS 2022

Peugeot Sport has announced that it will join the FIA World Endurance Championship’s ‘Hypercar’ top class from 2022 onwards.  The French marque made this short announcement via social media, stating simply that it will enter with a ‘Hybrid-Powered’ Hypercar, with “More news to come at the beginning of 2020.”

This announcement marks the return to the top of endurance racing and the Le Mans 24 Hours for Peugeot, after eight years away. It was last seen back in 2011, where it competed in the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (including the Le Mans 24 Hours) with diesel-powered 908 LMP1 cars.

Peugeot’s diesel prototypes ruled Le Mans in 2009. Image by Kevin Wood/LAT

“Superb news from Peugeot!” FIA WEC CEO Gerard Neveu said in reaction to the news. “We can’t wait for you to rejoin the FIA WEC family!”

The brand was due to enter the FIA WEC in its inaugural season back in 2012 to compete against Audi and Toyota with a hybrid-powered 908 (Hybrid4), but pulled the plug on its program just weeks before the season opener at Sebring for financial reasons.

Peugeot stated that the “cost savings permitted by the WEC’s new Hypercar regulations and the confirmation that the series will feature hybrid power units led the Groupe PSA Executive Committee to approve the Peugeot brand’s proposal to participate in the world’s premier endurance racing championship from 2022.”

“I am very excited at the prospect of channeling the skills and passion of my team into this project,” said PSA Motorsport Director Jean-Marc Finot “It is a new challenge and I know our experts will rise to it with another demonstration of their will to win with teams financed by the Group’s brands, fueled by their long experience of top-flight FIA championships and hunger for success.”

Peugeot Brand Director Jean-Philippe Imparato added: “The changes that the FIA WEC is introducing fit now with the transition we are undergoing ourselves with the electrification of our range and the launch of high-performance products, developed in close association with PSA Motorsport and foreshadowed by the Concept 508 Peugeot Sport Engineered. These initiatives are completely in tune with Peugeot’s ‘Motion and E-motion’ brand signature.”

DAKAR RALLY

ALONSO ON MAIDEN DAKAR RALLY RAID PODIUM

Fernando Alonso scored his maiden rally raid podium in Saudi Arabia on Sunday as he continued his preparations for January’s Dakar Rally.

Two-time Formula 1 world champion Alonso entered the five-day Al Ula-Neom Cross-Country Rally with Toyota in Saudi Arabia, giving him and co-driver Marc Coma a first run-out in conditions similar to what they can expect at the Dakar.

Alonso and Coma took third on the final two days of the rally to rise up to P3 in the final overall standings, benefitting from an overnight penalty for Sheikh Khalid Al-Qassimi of Abu Dhabi Racing.

The rally was won by Yazeed Al-Rajhi and Konstantin Zhiltsov, who passed Yasir Seaidan and François Cazalet on the final day.

“It was a good four days preparation for the Dakar and discovering new terrain and new things here,” Alonso said, as quoted by Saudi Gazette.

“To be third in the final two stages and to be third in the overall is the first podium of my life in rally. It is good that it happened now and gives us confidence for Dakar.”

Alonso will enter the Dakar Rally on January 5 as part of a four-car entry from Toyota Gazoo Racing, and currently marks the Spaniard’s only confirmed racing commitments for 2020 thus far.

Alonso is expected to pursue another entry to the Indianapolis 500 as part of his bid to complete the ‘triple crown of motorsport’, but is yet to firm up any plans.

His existing contract with McLaren runs out at the end of this year, with the team set to open talks over any future partnership in the near future.

F1Weekly podcast # 809

THE HOST IS DONE WITH THE 2019 F1 SEASON AND CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE MEANWHILE…NASIR HAMEED IS THE HAPPIEST MAN IN THE WORLD BESIDES LCH!…WE HAVE TECH TALK WITH TIM AND HERE IS A STATEMENT FROM ROGER PENSKE…

ROGER PENSKE: Well, I think to everyone that’s here today and around the world listening to this iconic event, I really have to wind back to 1951 when my dad brought me here when I was 14 years old, and I guess at that point the bug of motor racing got in my blood I’d have to say, and to think about what it’s meant to our company, the brand that we’ve been able to build — it’s interesting, I talked to Mario Andretti today and AJ Foyt, and we all agreed what the Indianapolis 500 has meant to us as individuals and as a company, and certainly our company.

Indy 500 May 29th, 2016 ©2016 Walt Kuhn

And I think that what it really says, that in the United States of America, if you work hard and you’re committed and you have a great group of people, you get great success. So today I hope my dad’s looking down at me and looking at this group and saying, Son, you did a good job.

I’ve got a big commitment here to take over certainly as the steward of this great organization and what’s been done here in the past for so many decades. It’s my commitment to the Hulman family. The fact that you would select us is an opportunity to take on this investment, it’s amazing, and I just want to thank Tony and everyone else that’s been involved in this.

Certainly Mark, you’ve got a great team. We don’t have a gymnasium full of people to bring here. When we buy a business, we look at the people, and the great thing is we’ve rubbed shoulders with many of the people here over the years, so we’ve seen this organization grow, and I certainly think that certainly, IMS Productions does a great job.

What’s happened today with the media partners, there’s just no question that we have the opportunity to grow, and (INDYCAR) will be one of the greatest series as we go forward.

I’m humbled today to say that, and I want to thank Tony, you again and the family for this opportunity, and Mark, I look forward to continuing to work with your team in the future.

Play Podcast: 11-05-19f1weekly809.mp3

FORMULA 1

BOTTAS ON POLE MAX OUT FOR REVENGE?

Bottas, his Mercedes team-mate and the only man who can still delay his championship coronation, secured pole position with a stunningly quick lap – the fastest ever recorded at this twisting Texas track – but the result was largely academic. Even if the Finn goes on to win, Hamilton needs to finish only eighth to be sure of the championship.

This latest effort was not without drama, as Max Verstappen angrily lashed out at his driving over the in-car radio.

As they gathered behind Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat, heading three abreast into a corner, the Dutchman found himself squeezed into the corner, shouting: “It’s his f—— fault, this.”

Verstappen explained: “We were all lining up to do our lap. I had Daniil in front of me. Lewis just drove by like nobody was there, like he didn’t care. I thought, ‘If you don’t care, well I don’t care.’”

Bottas: “I knew how to put it together,” he said, having shaded Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel by 12 thousandths. “I’m glad no one could improve at the end. I’m sure Lewis wants to win the championship in the best possible way. But clearly I’m trying to delay that.”

FORMULA 1

Tech Tim On Location: F1 Comes to Hollywood Boulevard.  October 30 2019

Out with the red carpet and in with the tire tracks!  Before heading to Austin, F1 made a quick stop in Tinseltown to treat fans to donuts and noise.  Ricciardo, Albon, Bottas, and Verstappen made appearances driving cars from Renault, Mercedes, and Red Bull down a two-block straight.

There was plenty of recent history on display, including a stepped-nose V8 circa 2012 and a T-wing.  The crowd was a mix of merchandise-sporting F1 enthusiasts and curious locals and tourists, many of whom were likely experiencing the spectacle of Formula 1 up close for the first time.  Good times were had by all!

Words and pix by F1W familia member and Tech Talk contributor Timothy Szwarc.

F1Weekly Podcast # 808

THE HOST OF F1W IS BEGINNING TO SPLIT AT THE SEEMS AND NASIR CAN ONLY TRY MAKE HIM UNDERSTAND THAT LCH IS THE BEST OF THE MODERN ERA.

Charles Leclerc’s thoughts On the Mexican Grand Prix…
“Starting a race from pole and not finishing first is always disappointing. The beginning of the race went well, and I managed to stay in the lead for the first stint. Wanting to cover off Alex (Albon), we pitted early and committed to a two-stop strategy.

After my first stop the race was very tricky: my second stint was difficult and any time I approached a car ahead I struggled with overheating and couldn’t overtake.
All in all, it’s a shame but if there is something I can learn from today it is to try to help the team more with my feedback from inside the car so that we can make the best call together.”

Play Podcast: 10-29-19f1weekly808.mp3

The Premiere Motorsport Podcast