Team Peugeot TotalEnergies and Alpine Elf Endurance Team enjoy the party at the temple of speed!
Monza, Italy, July 11th 2023 - The 6 Hours of Monza, round five of the FIA World Endurance Championship, marked the first anniversary of Team Peugeot TotalEnergies’ competitive debut in the WEC’s top category. One year on and it is plain to see that the French team, building on a very promising outing at last month’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, continues to go from strength to strength.
The No. 93 Peugeot 9X8’s fastest time in the third free practice session certainly suggested the team was in for a good weekend, as did its performance in qualifying, finishing in fourth (just three tenths shy of pole position) and seventh place. Cheered on by the huge crowd (more than 65,000 over the weekend), the No. 93 Peugeot 9X8 driven by Mikkel Jensen, Jean-Eric Vergne and Paul Di Resta produced a flawless performance in the race itself – despite the stifling heat – to secure a superb third place, the team’s first podium since making its debut in the Hypercar class a year ago.
Meanwhile, the No. 94 Peugeot 9X8 finished in eleventh position. “The outcome is not a total surprise when you look at the pace we had in free practice,” analysed Olivier Jansonnie, Peugeot Sport Technical Director. “We also knew that we would need to have a near perfect race but that’s exactly what we had. The no. 93 car finished on the podium but it was a real team effort. The no. 94 car was also very competitive and enabled us to acquire information that proved useful for the entire Team Peugeot Sport. It might well have finished on or close to the podium had we not had the technical issue, something that reiterates just how difficult this class is. We’re back in Monza a year after making what was a very tough debut here. We’ve worked really hard to get this result, which is a real boost for the team and shows that we are making progress. From a sporting perspective, we still have two places to make up but there are two races left this year and that will now be our new target.”
It was a successful weekend all-round for TotalEnergies-backed teams with Alpine Elf Endurance Team also producing an impressive performance in Italy. Whilst securing the fastest race lap in its class, the no. 36 Alpine A470 driven by Julien Canal, Charles Milesi and Matthieu Vaxivière fought back from ninth place to finish as runners-up and claim the team’s first podium finish since returning to LMP2. A result that augurs well for the next round of the championship, which will be held in Fuji, Japan on 8 September, after the summer break.
This first podium finish takes Mikkel Jensen, Jean-Eric Vergne and Paul Di Resta up to seventh in the drivers’ standings whilst Peugeot moves closer to Porsche in the battle for fourth place in the manufacturers’ championship. In the LMP2 class, Julien Canal, Charles Milesi and Matthieu Vaxivière move up to fifth position, as does the Alpine ELF Endurance Team in the teams’ standings.