Peugeot Sport boss Bruno Famin has said he is 'optimistic' that the 208 T16 will be on the pace when the R5-specification machine makes its FIA European Rally Championship debut next season.

The new-generation challenger was used as a course car on the Geko Ypres Rally ahead of its planned homologation on 1 January 2014.

"The car is almost for sale now," said Famin. "We still have quite a lot of work to do but we have the time to finalise everything in absolute performance and reliability. We are optimistic but of course optimism is one thing but the race is another thing."

Peugeot's 208 T16 will be available for customer use only with no factory team planned.

"There will be only one specification of car, the best one, and everyone will have the best one," added Famin. "We will help all our customers in the same way, working on the set-up and giving this information to everybody."

Meanwhile, FIA president Jean Todt was an interested visitor to round ten of the FIA European Rally Championship in Croatia last week.

Todt visited the service park in host town Porec and also followed the action as the battle for victory on the Croatia Rally drew to a close.

"I'm very happy that Eurosport Events is the promoter for the European Rally Championship," Todt told the Inside ERC programme. "And I'm very pleased to be here in Croatia. We attended the FIA World Council in Dubrovnik [on Friday last week]. It gave me the opportunity to refresh myself and to enjoy the rally atmosphere. Indeed, there is a new breeze in the European championship.

"Sometimes there is a big fight, ending with a battle for seconds on the last stage. Even more important, I noticed that the public is very enthusiastic and that's very important for motorsport and its development.

"There are also very attractive rallies in the European championship and there is the new R5 category that several car manufacturers are interested in.

"That will make the rallies even more affordable."



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