Le Mans Peugeot withdraws from Le Mans with immediate effect


Staff Member
I don't know what to say.
With immediate effect, Peugeot has ended its Le Mans programme and all other endurance racing participation.

"This decision has been taken in the context of a difficult economic environment in Europe," Peugeot said in a statement on Wednesday. "Peugeot has chosen to concentrate resources on its sales performance in 2012."

That's going to make this year's Le Mans a waste of time I would have thought.

The timing is dreadful too; they have had months to announce this, so why delay it until now?

Oh good - more Euro snot-boxes cluttering up our highways instead of majestic racing machines battling with Audi. How typically French, to ignore the brand-enhancing opportunities of a premier racing pedigree in favour of churning out crappy little cars for girls and old people to pootle about in.
The 205 GTI seems but a distant memory now...
Toyota are currently testing their LMP1 and will provide some sort of opposition for Audi.

If they take on some ex-Peugeot drivers (Sarrazin, Davidson), even more so.
Most of the partizan locals will have bought their Le Mans tickets already too. Shame.

I take it since this is a financial PSA group decision that Loeb's hasn't had his Citroen taken away from him after shakedown?
No, I thought not...
Will Peugeot make some chassis available for privateer entries, perhaps?

ORECA, who have been Peugeot's favoured privateers, are working with Toyota now. The Peugeot works team was based around the old Saulnier Racing team - I don't know if Serge Saulnier is still involved or whether the team can reconstitute itself without factory money, but it might be a possibility I suppose.
Actually, having looked into it more deeply I should correct myself, Saulnier Racing was bought out and is now competing as OAK Racing.

Raising the budget to run an LMP car competitively from commercial sponsorship alone will be very difficult I fear.
An update...

AUTOSPORT understands that the current Euro-zone crisis was a key factor in Peugeot's decision, with France having recently also suffered a credit rating downgrade.

PSA - Peugeot's parent company - also announced last week that it suffered a 6.1 per cent decline in sales over the past year in Europe and expected that trend to continue this year.

Peugeot's Sport department has not been closed as part of today's announced changes – which according to the company have been made to ensure the successful launch of its new 208 and hybrid road car ranges – and it is understood that the door has been left open to future racing programmes should funds once again become available in 2013.
I am really disappointed to hear that Pug has withdrawn. Hopefully Brogan's update is right and they will return next year.

Maybe Joest can resurrect the Bentley Speed 8 to at least give the illusion of Audi having competition (ah well, I can dream),
It's a conspiracy. Someone at BBCBSkyB read the posts on Clip that suggested watching more Le Mans series events rather than buy Sky or watch downgraded crap Beeb coverage. ;)
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