• Tim Fullbrook

Peugeot stick to wingless 9X8 design, confirm Sebring absence

Comments from testing show Peugeot are confident in wingless philosophy.

Peugeot Sport have released an album of images showing the 9X8 Hypercar testing at Aragon in December, most notably without a rear wing.

The French marque continue to develop the car to the highly-debated aerodynamic philosophy which sees the absence of a traditional rear assembly.

In the statement released today Peugeot confirmed their confidence in the decision to pursue this reading of the regulations, and that they believe further testing pre-homologation will only strengthen their decision.

“This configuration is permitted by the ACO/FIA hypercar regulations,” says Olivier Jansonnie, the Technical Director of PEUGEOT Sport’s WEC programme. "Our calculations and wind tunnel work have confirmed the pertinence of our decision to run without a rear wing. Along with the developments and settings this option calls for, we expect it to be validated as we test at different circuits with differing characteristics.”

The rear section of the car does appear to have had some restructuring from the launch version presented in July 2021. Two pyramid winglets have been added above the rear corners, a middle ground potentially between the two extremes.

In the statement release Peugeot emphasise that they will not be applying for homologation until they have reached a finalised design.

Peugeot Sport also confirmed that the 9X8 will not be available to compete in the 2022 WEC Season opener at Sebring on the 18th March, with Stellantis Motorsport Director Jean-Marc Finot citing "readiness" as their priority. “The 9X8 will make its race debut based on its level of readiness, reliability and competitiveness as agreed with the championship’s organisers who we will keep regularly updated as our development programme progresses. "We could have opted for attending selected races only without committing to the season. That would have been possible but less coherent. "Instead, we have chosen an approach that will enable the team to be fully immersed in the discipline, resulting in much closer collaboration with the organisers even if the 9X8 doesn’t contest every race as our development work and the homologation process continue.” In light of recent comments from the WEC we can expect to see the 9X8 debut at the Spa 6h. That reduces the Hypercar entry for the opening round of the season to four cars, two Toyota GR010s, the full-season Glickenhaus SCG007 and the Alpine A480 grandfathered LMP1.

You can read the full press release from Peugeot here.

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