A mixture of topflight talent, from ex-F1 drivers to Le Mans class winners, will join Peugeot Sport as they aim to take the honours in 2022 in the FIA World Endurance Championship Hypercar category
Loic Duval returns to the marque having raced for the semi-works ORECA team three times across the 2011 and 2012 seasons. “I feel I have an unfinished job with Peugeot,” said the Frenchman, adding “I was able to race with them back in the day and I am really looking forward to winning it (Le Mans) together.”
Alongside a 5th place at Le Mans, Duval won the 12 Hours of Sebring as part of the American Le Mans Series. He was subsequently signed by Audi for the same events before joining the team full time in 2013, going on to win Le Mans in the same year.
Duval is joined by fellow compatriot and two-time Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne. Alongside his Formula E commitments, Vergne has been gaining valuable endurance racing experience with the TDS-run G-Drive Racing team. Vergne, who drove for Toro Rosso F1 in 2012-14, said: “I think for the history it will be cool to have Peugeot, a French car manufacturer, coming to Le Mans, and me as a French driver – I think it will be quite magical feeling.”
James Rossiter, former F1 test driver for BAR Honda and Force India, joins the team as test and reserve driver. The Brit has had some LMP1 experience over the years with the ByKolles privateer outfit but has made his career in Japan, racing in the Super GT championship and the Super Formula single seater category.
Fellow Ex-Force India F! driver and LMP2 Le Mans winner Paul Di Resta will step away from the United Autosports team in a bid to take the overall honours in 2022. In 2018, Di Resta joined United Autosports where he competed in the Asian Le Mans Series, winning the championship with co-driver Phil Hanson. The pair later took the class victory at Le Mans with the addition of Filipe Albuquerque in 2020.
After 7 years in F1, Danish driver Kevin Magnussen will follow in his father’s footsteps by competing in the World Endurance Championship. Competing in sports cars for the first time this year with Chip Ganassi Racing in the IMSA SportsCar Championship, Magnussen said, “I don’t think it’s difficult to be motivated. Peugeot had a good record at Le Mans: my ambition is to be successful and win it.”
Magnussen’s father, Jan, has been racing in sports cars for over 20 years, winning his class at Le Mans on four occasions and being crowned GTLM champion in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2017 and 2018.
“We looked at all endurance racing championships that have been organised over the past five years. We didn’t just take individual results into consideration,” said Olivier Jansonnie, WEC Technical Director at Peugeot Sport, adding: “We also examined the speed, consistency and reliability of a long list of drivers, because we were looking for a line-up that meshes together well, with a mix of promising youngsters and experienced campaigners with proven development skills, especially in the field of hybrids.”
Young guns Gustavo Menezes and Mikkel Jensen complete Peugeot’s strong line-up. At 26, Jensen has been signed after only a single season in LMP2 with G-Drive. Also, at 26, Menezes will have already had a year to get to grips with Hypercar machinery by the time the 2022 season arrives. Menezes was one of seven drivers to be named by Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus for the upcoming 2021 season.
The team will start their extensive testing program this year before the cars competitive debut at the start of the 2022 season.