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Pescarolo set for WEC return with Peugeot Hypercar in 2024

The iconic Pescarolo name is on course to return to sportscar racing in the World Endurance Championship in 2024 as the entrant of at least one Peugeot 9X8.

Jean-Christophe Bouillion/Simon Pagenaud/Benoit Treluyer Pescarolo Peugeot 908 HDi

The new owners of two-time Le Mans 24 Hours runner-up Pescarolo Sport, the team established in 2000 by four-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Henri Pescarolo, have concluded a deal to join forces with Peugeot for next year’s WEC.

Either one or two 9X8 Le Mans Hypercars will be run from the factory under the banner of Pescarolo Sport, the rights to which were acquired by current owner Jocelyn Pedrono in 2016.

The move announced on Thursday by the team in a brief statement on Twitter was confirmed by Peugeot.

“Pescarolo Sport contacted us a few months ago now and after some discussion, Pescarolo Sport has decided to build a WEC programme with a Peugeot 9X8,” a Peugeot spokesperson said.

“We are very proud that Pescarolo Sport chose our Hypercar.

“The project is evolving quite quickly with carefully selected partners and an experienced team.

“We will be ready to provide them with a 9X8 and the technical support necessary in the hope that their programme will take shape for 2024.”

Former Pescarolo driver Bruce Jouanny, who is working with Pedrono on the project, explained that negotiations with sponsors and partners to make the WEC programme a reality are already at an advanced stage.

“We would not have made the announcement and received the validation of Jean-Marc Finot [boss of Peugeot Sport] if the project was not going ahead,” Jouanny told Autosport.

Peugeot entered the WEC mid-way through last year ahead of its first full season campaign in 2023 with the 9X8 Le Mans Hypercar

Peugeot entered the WEC mid-way through last year ahead of its first full season campaign in 2023 with the 9X8 Le Mans Hypercar

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

“We are finalising the biggest part of the budget right now as the result of talks that have been going on for the past year and a half.”

Jouanny, who had existing business links with Pedrono before becoming involved in the relaunch of Pescarolo Sport, explained that the team would be run alongside the factory operation from Peugeot Sport’s headquarters at Satory on the outskirts of Paris.

“They will be looking after the technical side from A to Z; it’s a lot easier at this stage rather than setting up the technical structure to run a 9X8,” he explained.

“Our input is about putting the budget together, making sure that the Pescarolo spirit is maintained and choosing the drivers.”

It is undecided, Jouanny revealed, whether Pescarolo Sport will field one or two Peugeots in the Hypercar class.

“It would be easier to run one car and run one car properly, but we are aiming high,” he said.

Jouanny, who raced for Pescarolo Sport at Le Mans in 2009, revealed that Pedrono wants him to drive when the team returns, but he explained that he is more likely to undertake a sporting role.

Pedrono owns a company called ITM that runs a group of graduate schools focused on the automotive industry, one of which is in Le Mans.

He secured the rights to the Pescarolo Sport name in 2016 from the Sora Group, which had bought out Henri Pescarolo in 2009.

Jouanny previously raced a Pescarolo-Judd 01 at Le Mans in 2009

Jouanny previously raced a Pescarolo-Judd 01 at Le Mans in 2009

Photo by: Kevin Wood / Motorsport Images

Pescarolo remained involved with the team that season when its attack on Le Mans included running a privateer Peugeot 908 HDi on loan from the factory, before Sora suspended its racing activities the following year.

Henri Pescarolo returned to team ownership for a brief period in 2011-12 under the name Pescarolo Team.

Perdono announced plans in 2017 for one-make series with a Chevrolet-powered prototype known as the Pescarolo 04-LM that failed to come to fruition.

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