Ahead of the opening practice sessions for the Le Mans 24 Hours, Peugeot has filed a protest with the ACO questioning the legality of the Audi R15.
The protest is related to the front bodywork on the car, with Peugeot stating that it believes certain parts of the design constitute illegal aerodynamic aids.
As a result, the team has now lodged a protest with the race director against Audi for 'non-compliance of the ACO's 2009 technical regulations'.
“It would indeed seem that two features of the Audi R15 – in the configuration in which it was shown at technical scrutineering for the 2009 Le Mans 24 Hours on June 8 – do not comply with Article 3.6.2 of the current technical regulations,” a statement read. “[These are] the flap which links the two front wings and the appendages fixed to the inner surface of the front wings.
“These appendages and this flap effectively form part of the bodywork and their sole purpose is to generate downforce. These bodywork parts are considered to be aerodynamic elements.
“Since they do not appear on the list of aerodynamic elements authorised by Article 3.6.2, they are consequently not permitted.”
Peugeot team boss Olivier Quesnel confirmed that the team was prepared to take its protest to the FIA if needed, having raised the issue of the Audi's front bodywork during the Sebring 12 Hours.
"Our protest dossier was already ready at the time, but the Automobile Club de l'Ouest made assurances that it would take the necessary steps ahead of the Le Mans 24 Hours," he said. "I insist on the fact that our approach is constructive and not aggressive. It seeks to clarify what is an unclear situation with a view to obtaining clear, precise regulations in order to prepare for the future.
“All competitors need stable, firm regulations that apply to everyone, with a strong regulatory body capable of taking decisions. We intend to take this matter to its conclusion, not with the intention of weakening endurance racing but of making it stronger. Should our protest not be upheld by the sporting stewards, we will lodge an appeal with motor sport's supreme governing body, the FIA.
"Now that this procedure is underway, all our energy is now focused entirely on our priority objective for 2009, which is to try to win the Le Mans 24 Hours. May the racing begin."