Peugeot Fuji WEC podium was doable with out oil leak points

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Each Oliver Jansonnie, technical director of the 9X8 Le Mans Hypercar undertaking, and driver James Rossiter are assured that Peugeot had the tempo to compete with the third-placed Alpine A480 via the Fuji 6 Hours.

Rossiter, who ran third forward of the Alpine within the second stint of the race, instructed “I’m assured we might have made an excellent combat of it with out the issue.

“I’m positive we might have managed a podium, or a minimum of had a combat to the top.

“Andre Negrao [in the Alpine] got here again at me a bit in the course of my second stint, however I knew I had sufficient left within the tyres to push a bit extra.”

Jansonnie added: “I believe we might have had a pleasant combat; the tempo earlier than this situation was fairly good.

“The race tempo was really actually good, [but] we’re nonetheless lacking a bit of bit.”

Rossiter moved the #94 Peugeot 9X8 he shared with Loic Duval and Gustavo Menezes as much as third forward of the Alpine throughout the first spherical of gasoline stops and was capable of initially enhance a slim lead over Negrao.

The Peugeot dropped again to fourth behind the automobile Negrao shared with Nicolas Lapierre and Matthieu Vaxiviere throughout the second pitstop cycle after Rossiter was pushed off observe by a GTE Am automobile on its in-lap and misplaced roughly three seconds.

Lapierre was faster than Duval on recent Michelins and was 15s in entrance when the Peugeot driver introduced the 9X8 into the pits with oil smoke trailing from the again of the automobile after two and a half hours.

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The leak was brought on by an issue with a plug within the oil system that Jansonnie described as “nothing dramatic however the penalties had been fairly massive”.

The issue value the #94 20 minutes within the pits, that means it might end no higher than twentieth, 15 laps in arrears of the Toyota GR010 Hybrids that completed 1-2.

The #93 Peugeot shared by Jean-Eric Vergne, Mikkel Jensen and Paul di Resta solely misplaced seven and a half minutes when it was hit by the identical drawback within the fourth hour and was capable of get better to fourth, albeit seven laps behind the Toyotas.

#93 Peugeot Totalenergies Peugeot 9X8: Paul Di Resta, Mikkel Jensen, Jean-Eric Vergne

#93 Peugeot Totalenergies Peugeot 9X8: Paul Di Resta, Mikkel Jensen, Jean-Eric Vergne

Photograph by: JEP / Motorsport Photographs

“Sadly it was the identical drawback,” stated Jansonnie. “We had been form of anticipating it on the second automobile, so when it occurred we had been capable of react [quicker].”

Jansonnie confirmed that the issue had by no means occurred throughout testing or over the course of the automobile’s debut on the Monza WEC spherical in July.

The in-house Peugeot Sport crew believes it made appreciable progress within the two months between Monza and Fuji, which included a pair of multi-day checks.

“We have now resolved all of the reliability-related points we skilled at our first race, and the 2 days of observe at Fuji, together with the primary two hours of the race itself handed off with out incident,” stated Jansonnie.

“If we proceed progressing at this charge forward of Bahrain [the 2022 WEC finale in November], it is going to be extraordinarily optimistic.”

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How briskly was Peugeot?

The 2 Peugeot 9X8s weren’t far off the tempo at Fuji relative to the second-placed Toyota pushed by Kamui Kobayashi, Jose Maria Lopez and Mike Conway.

Utilizing a 100-lap common the #93 automobile was solely 0.049s a lap slower than the #7 Toyota and 0.006s forward of the Alpine.

Peugeot’s #94 automobile was an additional 0.150s again over the total six hours of the race, which ran with out interruption from yellow-flag warning intervals.

The #93 automobile, nonetheless, by no means gave the impression to be ready to problem for a podium, regardless of ending up because the sooner of the 2 9X8s on the averages.

Vergne struggled together with his tyres over the opening two stints, haemorrhaging time and ending up 40s behind the Alpine when he handed over to Jensen.

Jansonnie would solely affirm that Vergne’s points had been tyre-related however wouldn’t elaborate.

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