Peugeot will enter the World Endurance Championship (WEC) in 2022 under the series’ new Hypercar regulations.
The brand will partner with Swiss privateers Rebellion Racing, who compete in the outgoing LMP1 category, but the new team will work out of the PSA Group’s motorsport base at Versailles-Satory, near Paris.
Company bosses cited the reduced cost of the new cars and the use of hybrid powertrains as reasons for their decision to return to endurance racing. Peugeot’s last appearance in the category was in 2011, when it won the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (the WEC’s predecessor) with the diesel-powered 908.
According to Peugeot’s CEO Jean-Phillipe Imparato, the regulatory changes to the WEC align with the company’s plan to develop more electric vehicles and a new range of high-performance cars. The first model in this range will be the 508 Peugeot Sport Engineered, a hybrid sports saloon that is expected to enter production next year.
The announcement of Peugeot’s WEC entry comes a year after its withdrawal from the World Rallycross Championship, when Imparato cited the series’ lack of clarity over its move towards electrification as a factor in the company’s decision. In the same year, Peugeot also ended its participation in cross-country events such as the Dakar Rally, while in 2019 fellow PSA Group member Citroen announced it was pulling out of the World Rally Championship. That leaves DS Automobiles’ participation in Formula E as the PSA Group’s only other major motorsport commitment involving a manufacturer-backed team.