The Automobile Club de l'Ouest says the future of sportscar racing still promises to be 'more prestigious than ever' despite Peugeot's sudden withdrawal from the discipline.
The French manufacturer announced on Wednesday that it would call an immediate halt to its LMP1 sportscar programme in the face of economic pressure and France's credit rating downgrade.
Wednesday was also the FIA entry deadline for the World Endurance Championship, dealing a major blow to the newly-established series.
Despite the withdrawal, the ACO - organising body for the Le Mans 24 Hours and promoter of the WEC - said in a statement that the number of entries lodged for the championship is proof of sportscars' 'health' and 'dynamism'.
"The Automobile Club de l'Ouest deeply regrets the departure of the French manufacturer," it said in an official statement. "Nevertheless with the creation of the new FIA World Endurance Championship, the future of the discipline promises [to be] more prestigious than ever.
"The grids of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA World Endurance Championship 2012 promise to be well filled. Many entries have been registered, some from major manufacturers, proof that automobile endurance racing is healthy and dynamic."
FIA president Jean Todt's reaction was more reticent, saying that in times of economic hardship it was more important than ever to express commitment to the sport.
"To lose such a strong player like Peugeot is bad news, indicating what a tough period the automotive industry is going through, and this group in particular," Todt conceded.
"I believe that it is especially true that in tough times one should find ways of expressing full commitment, rather than pulling out.
"But we can only respect their choice and hope that they can come back soon at the highest level of motorsport."
The list of competitors competing in Le Mans and the WEC will be revealed on February 2.
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