Paul Di Resta, at the wheel of the #93 PEUGEOT 9X8 and Loïc Duval at the wheel of the #94 took the start of the 1000 miles of Sebring, given by Lyn Saint James, a famous American driver. The two Peugeot Sport drivers started from the 4th and 5th line on the grid, in the middle of a highly-competitive field with six other manufacturers.
Both Peugeot 9X8 had gear box issues in the early hours of the race. Those problems were identified and will be fixed for the next race.
The #93 9X8, returned to the track after repairs and was able to put in some laps until the last hour of the race where it had an ignition problem, that was taken care of quickly, and the car was able to finish the race.
The #94 PEUGEOT 9X8 was stopped following an incident on its hybrid system. The team followed the FIA process and took all the necessary safety measures. The car went back on track after being analysed, and after a complete resolution of the issue and with the guarantee that the car was safe to return on track.
Even if it was hard for the PEUGEOT 9X8 to catch up the field, the drivers did all they could to overcome part of the level of performance of the car while dealing with the track conditions that were not in favour of the two PEUGEOT 9X8.
Both cars could finally be back in the rhythm that was expected for this race weekend and they both crossed the finish line of the Sebring International raceway. This is not the result the Team Peugeot TotalEnergies came for and the team is disappointed that the race does not reflect all the work done on the cars. From tomorrow onward, we will go back to work to add those learnings to the list of improvements that we have to do until June, for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. We also wish to offer our congratulations to Toyota Gazoo Racing for their first win of the season.
The team will be back together in a few days in Le Castellet for some testing in order to have a better level of performance in Portimão for the second round of the FIA WEC, the 15th and 16th of April.
WHAT THEY SAID
Olivier Jansonnie – Team Peugeot TotalEnergies Technical Director :
“In terms of strict performance we were at the same level we were at during the qualifying and it shows well what we’ve missed all weekend. In terms of reliability, the two issues that we faced are the same for both cars and it’s issues that we know of and the solution will soon be available for the next races. On the drivers side, they did their best to push the car to its limits. The team also made major improvements and I’m quite happy with that. We knew that coming here without testing before would be hard, but it was our choice. We now have to examine everything in detail and come back with a better level of performance.”
Paul Di Resta – PEUGEOT #93:
“It was a very tough and challenging race. We identified a lot of issues and where we are against the competition. It is a strong category now and we need to face the reality, that does not emphasise all the hard work that the team did, and I want to thank them for that. We have to keep working together, upper our game and do the best we can. It’s a huge challenge to come here. I know what it takes to try to win this race. Now we have to debrief, and we will be back in testing in 10 days times and then into races before Le Mans.”
Gustavo Menezes – PEUGEOT #94
“Obviously I’m a little bit disappointed with the result that does not reflect the hard work and the dedication the team put in the last two weeks, with short nights and massive amounts of works in the cars. We ended up at the performance level we expected to have, which clearly is not good enough to go at Le Mans with a chance of victory. We also know that we learnt massively. Despite mechanical issues we kept putting miles on track, learnt and highlighted the issues that we have to work on for the races coming up in Europe. In the end of the day, I’m happy with my performance considering the position we were at. I had two clean stints and I performed at the best of my ability.”