In a brief post yesterday we speculated that Peugeot may pull out of the full season of the 2012 FIA sanction World Endurance Championship (WEC) however we never imagined that they would pull out completely from all endurance racing. We are deeply saddened by this news as it has been truly exhilarating to watch Audi and Peugeot battle it out over the past several years. Having seen this battle in person at the last few 24 hours of Le Mans and Petit Le Mans, it will be sad to watch the battle continue without them. Thankfully for the sake of competition there are new entrants in the field including Toyota and Pescarola who we hope to bring a worth fight to the team from Audi Sport.
Cheers to Peugeot for a hard fought battle over the past several years. We tip our hat to you and hope to see you out on the Circuit de la Sarthe racing again soon.
Here is the official ACO response:
The Automobile Club de l’Ouest has noted Automobiles Peugeot’s decision to shut down its endurance racing programme. As creator and organizer of the Le Mans 24 Hours and promoter of the FIA World Endurance Championship, the ACO deeply regrets this decision.
Peugeot has officially announced that it is stopping its race programme after five years competing in the Le Mans 24 Hours, crowned with victory in 2009, and two Intercontinental Le Mans Cup titles.The Automobile Club de l’Ouest deeply regrets the departure of the French manufacturer just at the moment when, with the creation of the new FIA World Endurance Championship, the future of endurance racing looks more prestigious than ever. Despite this, the 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours and the FIA World Endurance Championship have attracted star-studded fields. Today, Wednesday 18th January, is the closing date for entries for the two competitions. A host of entries, including those from numerous major manufacturers faithful to Le Mans, has been sent in, proof of the growing dynamism of endurance racing. The list of entries for the 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours and the FIA World Endurance Championship will be announced on 2nd February.
Jean-Claude Plassart, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest: “It’s a big disappointment for the Le Mans 24 Hours, and for the FIA World Endurance Championship starting in 2012, which was created at the request of the manufacturers, in particular Peugeot. There’s no doubt that the hundreds of thousands of fans who flock to Le Mans every year and the millions of viewers who follow the race on TV will regret the French make’s absence.”