The next destination of Team Peugeot TotalEnergies as part of the FIA World Endurance Championship is the Algarve circuit, for the second event of the 2023 season.
After a challenging race during the 1000 miles of Sebring, where Team Peugeot TotalEnergies encountered several mechanical incidents, the team since tested in Le Castellet in order to pull together and make improvements to the PEUGEOT 9X8 ahead of the coming European races. The work done during the last test session on the French track enabled the team to sharpen the PEUGEOT 9X8 reliability and to work on the problems experienced last month in Florida. The work put in by , the mechanics, the engineers, and the drivers is an important factor to staying focused on their intentions, to fight against the tough competition for the coming season.
The Autodromo International do Algarve is one of the shortest track of the season, a length of4.653km. It is a fast, technical track, known for its changes of elevation. The various blind turns make it very demanding for the drivers : Paul Di Resta, Mikkel Jensen and Jean-Éric Vergne at the wheel of the #93 PEUGEOT 9X8 and Loïc Duval, Gustavo Menezes and Nico Müller on the #94.
The 6 Hours of Portimão will be, without any doubt, a new challenge for the Team Peugeot TotalEngergies but the whole team is ready to let roar their competitive spirit against the six other manufacturers that compose the Le Mans Hypercar class.
The first free practice session in Algarve will take place on the 14th of April at 11h (local time). The qualifying session will start on the 15th of April at 19h (local time), followed by the race on Sunday 16th April at noon (local time).
Jean-Marc Finot – Stellantis Senior VP:
“Portimão is an amazing circuit, with a lot of hills which make it quite interesting on a driving point of view. It’s a track with slow corner exits that will be demanding for the traction. In Sebring, we saw that the level of competition was very high, and we now know that we have a lot of work to do concerning our performance and to be at the same level as the other competitors. Concerning our level of reliability, at this stage of the project,is something that has to be fixed and it’s why we will do other endurance tests in order to challenge the car.
“Concerning the team, it has a winning mentality, it’s a team that bounces back and it is ready to face the competition for the coming races. Our goal for Portimão, as for every race, is to do the best we can and aim high. Even if we know that it won’t be easy, we will give all we have.”
Jean-Eric Vergne – PEUGEOT #93
“The level of the Hypercar grid is very high. Toyota is where we expected them to be, they are very strong and Ferrari also showed great performances during the first race,so I think that they are the teams that we must keep in sight. It’s one thing to perform better on a track but the other competitors can also be better. We already did some testing in Portimão so it should help us.
“After the problems we faced in Sebring we are even more motivated to find solutions and to improve the reliability and the performance of the PEUGEOT 9X8. We are a solid team, and we do all we can to make sure that everything goes well. If race after race we are getting better and if we stay united as a team, that’s all that matters to me. It is also why we keep working so hard and stay motivated.”
Nico Müller – PEUGEOT #94:
“This track is so different from the one in Sebring. It’s a circuit that we know, we already went testing there with the 9X8 so we will be better prepared for the race weekend and I think that the lay out will suit our car better. I think that we can take one step forward and I expect a slightly better weekend that in Sebring.
“Sebring was hard for everybody; we were hoping for a better start of the season with a more promising result. But the team is really motivated to show that we have a solid base and that we can quickly get a good result. We can feel that the whole team is looking forward to racing again and that we want to give our maximum for this second round.”