Peugeot has announced it will enter the FIA World Endurance Championship’s new Hypercar class from 2022.

The WEC is set for a new regulation overhaul for its top class tier in time for the 2020-21 season as a replacement for the current LMP1 prototypes.

A short statement issued by Peugeot’s parent company PSA on Wednesday signalled its intention to return to the top flight of endurance racing - including the 24 Hours of Le Mans - with its own hybrid-powered Hypercar programme beginning in 2022.

Peugeot, which last won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2009, is now set to return to sportscar racing for the first time since its withdrawal in 2012.

The French marque said further details about its WEC project will be announced in “early 2020”, with reports linking Peugeot to a collaboration entry with ORECA and Rebellion

Peugeot joins Aston Martin and Toyota in announcing plans to enter the championship under the new Hypercar regulations, while McLaren is considering possible involvement as part of its expansion of its racing programmes alongside Formula 1.

McLaren has already confirmed a return to IndyCar for next season in a tie up with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, while a move to WEC remains on the British outfit’s radar.

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown offered an update on the situation in August, revealing the Woking squad is close to making a final decision on a potential entry in 2021.

The news of Peugeot’s plan to join WEC comes as a boost to the championship following the withdrawals of Porsche and Audi in recent years to focus on Formula E.

ACO president Pierre Fillon commented: “Today’s announcement is exciting for two reasons. It symbolises both the arrival of a new competitor in the Hypercar category which will come into being from the start of next season, as well as the return of a leading brand in Endurance racing.

"Peugeot has made history in terms of endurance racing and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, winning the event certainly, but also always producing spectacular machines, particularly appreciated by spectators. I can’t wait to see the French racing car that will take over from the winning 905 and 908."

Gérard Neveu, CEO of the WEC, added: “What great news this is for everyone involved in endurance racing.

"We are confident that their intention to compete in our new Hypercar category, alongside Aston Martin and Toyota, will encourage more manufacturers to commit to endurance racing.  We are so happy and honoured to welcome back a competitor and marque with such a great history of success as Peugeot has.”

 

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