TUESDAY 14TH JUNE 2005
Peugeot Sport has announced that following their decision to withdraw from the FIA World Rally Championship at the end of this season, they will now shift their focus to sports car racing, and more specificially winning the Le Mans 24 Hours.
As such Peugeot plan to develop an HDi diesel-powered car equipped with a diesel particulate filter system [DPFS].
Peugeot aim to have the new car running for the first time at the end of 2006, with a view to racing it in 2007.
As well as the Le Mans 24 Hours Peugeot will also take part in the five rounds that make up the Le Mans Endurance Series [LMES] - namely those at Spa, Monza, Silverstone, the Nurburgring and Istanbul.
An official statement from the French manufacturer read:
"When it first announced its intention to withdraw from the World Rally Championship at the end of 2005, Peugeot underlined its determination to pursue its policy of competing at the highest level and has decided on an innovative objective: victory in the celebrated Le Mans 24 Hours with a diesel-powered car.
"The Le Mans 24 Hours has always stood out as a pitiless test-bed when it comes to validating technological breakthroughs that can be carried over to road cars. It is also a race that enjoys outstanding media coverage and last year's event, which attracted a crowd of more than 200,000 spectators, was broadcast to 228 million television viewers worldwide.
"Once the programme's feasibility has been confirmed in the early part of 2006, Peugeot Sport will begin development work on the chassis and engine in close collaboration with PSA Peugeot Citroen's engineering department, the expertise of which in the realm of diesel technology is universally recognised."
"This is an extremely stimulating new challenge and I am convinced it will generate considerable interest throughout our staff and across our sales networks. I hope this ambitious yet completely achievable project will provide us with a fresh opportunity to demonstrate our ability to win," declared Frederic Saint-Geours, managing director of Automobiles Peugeot.
Jamie Davies leads Audi UK Team Veloqx team-mate Allan McNish at the start of the 2004 Le Mans 24 Hours