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Peugeot won't replace Vergne, Vandoorne for Spa WEC amid Formula E clash

Peugeot will run just two drivers in both its new 9X8 2024 Le Mans Hypercars at the Spa round of the World Endurance Championship next month.

#94 Peugeot Totalenergies Peugeot 9X8: Paul Di Resta, Loic Duval, Stoffel Vandoorne, #93 Peugeot Totalenergies Peugeot 9X8: Mikkel Jensen, Nico Muller, Jean-Eric Vergne and Malthe Jakobsen, Peugeot

Photo by: Peugeot Sport

The French manufacturer has not nominated a replacement for either Jean-Eric Vergne or Stoffel Vandoorne, who will be competing with Peugeot sister marque DS and Penske in the clashing Berlin round of the Formula E World Championship on the weekend of 11/12 May.

It means Nico Muller and Mikkel Jensen will race the #93 Peugeot as a duo and Paul di Resta and Loic Duval likewise in the #94 Hypercar class entry.

Peugeot has passed up on the opportunity to give Malthe Jakobsen, who was signed as the WEC team’s junior driver last May, a first race outing in the 9X8.

Interview: The next Danish Le Mans hope seeking to follow in Kristensen's footsteps

It was not considering anyone else except the 20-year-old Dane for Spa, which meant that one of the 9X8s was always going to have two drivers in the absence of Vergne and Vandoorne.

Jean-Marc Finot, who is motorsport boss of Peugeot and all the Stellantis group brands, said at the Qatar WEC season-opener in March that he was “not looking outside of the Peugeot family” to fill the vacant seats.

The confirmation of Peugeot’s two-driver plan came with the release of the entry list for the Spa 6 Hours on 11 May on Wednesday.

Jota Porsche driver Norman Nato and Iron Lynx Lamborghini’s Edoardo Mortara will also miss Spa as planned to fulfil their FE commitments with Andretti and Mahindra respectively.

Nato will not be replaced alongside Will Stevens and Callum Ilott in the #12 Porsche 963 LMDh as already confirmed.

#93 Peugeot Totalenergies Peugeot 9X8: Mikkel Jensen, Nico Muller, Jean-Eric Vergne

#93 Peugeot Totalenergies Peugeot 9X8: Mikkel Jensen, Nico Muller, Jean-Eric Vergne

Photo by: Peugeot Sport

Long-time Lambo factory driver Andrea Caldarelli will swap over from the Iron Lynx IMSA SportsCar Championship programme in three of the endurance rounds to join Mirko Bortolotti and Daniil Kvyat in the solo WEC SC63 LMDh.

Alpine has nominated Ferdinand Habsburg for its #35 A424 in the expectation that he will have recovered from the back injuries sustained in a crash in testing last month.

Philippe Sinault, boss of the Signatech team that runs the factory Alpines, stated last weekend at the Imola WEC round that he was “expecting good news” from Habsburg this week.

But it is understood that the Austrian has yet to receive the sign-off from doctors to get back in a racing car.

Harry Tincknell is listed in the Proton Competition Porsche 963 LMDh, but is more likely to be in Laguna Seca fulfilling his obligations in the IMSA series as part of Ford’s GT Daytona Pro programme with the Mustang GT3.

Larry Holt, whose Multimatic organisation masterminds Ford’s GT3 activities, said at Imola that it is likely that this drive will take precedence for Tincknell.

Toyota Hypercar class reserve driver Ritomo Miyata will drive the #78 Auto Sport Promotion Lexus RC F GT3 in place of Kelvin van der Linde.

The South African will racing for the Abt Cupra FE squad in Berlin instead of Nico Muller in his capacity as reserve driver for the German team.

#78 Akkodis ASP Team Lexus RC F LMGT3: Arnold Robin, Timur Boguslavskiy, Kelvin Van Der Linde

#78 Akkodis ASP Team Lexus RC F LMGT3: Arnold Robin, Timur Boguslavskiy, Kelvin Van Der Linde

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Miyata will be making his second race appearance in one of Toyota sister marque Lexus’s GT3 cars after contesting the Daytona 24 Hours IMSA round with the Vasser Sullivan squad.

Iron Dames Lamborghini driver Doriane Pin will miss the Spa WEC race to begin her Formula Renault Regional Championship by Alpine campaign at Hockenheim with the same team.

She will be replaced in the all-female line-up in the Iron Lynx-run Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2 by Rahel Frey, who was part of the team’s WEC line-up alongside Sarah Bovy and Michelle Gatting in 2021-23.

Pin will return to the Iron Dames Lambo for the Le Mans 24 Hours WEC round in June before concentrating on her single-seater commitments in FRECA and F1 Academy.

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