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12/09/2023 News

Team Peugeot TotalEnergies and Alpine ELF Endurance Team return to action

Fuji, Japan, September 12th 2023 - The FIA World Endurance Championship resumed after the summer break in Fuji, Japan, the meeting eventually going ahead as the Yun-Yeung typhoon was downgraded into a less threatening tropical storm.

Peugeot TotalEnergies and Alpine ELF Endurance Team, both having finished on the podium in their classes last time out in Monza (Italy), were determined to confirm their good form at this, the sixth round of the season. Despite their best efforts, the Peugeot 9X8 drivers – joined in Japan by Stoffel Vandoorne following the injury suffered by Nico Müller – were unable to qualify any higher than seventh and eighth up against a very competitive field. The team could nonetheless take some satisfaction from the unwavering reliability shown by the French prototypes throughout the six hours of racing.

“It was a tough race for us in terms of pace, something we had already noted in free practice,” analysed Olivier Jansonnie, Peugeot Sport Technical Director. “We were however surprised by the performance of Porsche, who we were not expecting to be at that level. They had a very good race. We enjoyed a trouble-free race and managed to get both cars to the end, which is pleasing. We now have to find some pace, for example in sector 3 we were behind the others, which prevented us from challenging at the front at the end of the race. We’re going to keep working for the Bahrain round. We still have a test session where we can work on improving the performance and make progress before the next race.” Meanwhile, Alpine ELF Endurance Team was determined to get among the frontrunners in the LMP2 class. Once again, despite some difficulties in qualifying, the drivers showed great fighting spirit to try and grab a podium place. In the end, Charles Milesi, Julien Canal and Matthieu Vaxivière secured the team’s second consecutive top-five result, whilst their team-mates Andre Negrão, Memo Rojas and Olli Caldwell had a tougher time of it, their run of four races in the points coming to an end in Fuji. Their attention has already shifted to the 8 Hours of Bahrain, due to be held on 4 November, at what will be the final round of the season.

Championship update

Mikkel Jensen, Jean-Eric Vergne and Paul Di Resta now lie eighth in the drivers’ standings whilst Peugeot remains fifth in the manufacturers’ championship. In the LMP2 class, Julien Canal, Charles Milesi and Matthieu Vaxivière are sixth, whilst Alpine ELF Endurance Team is one place better in the teams’ standings.