Peugeot #93 Disqualified From Qatar 1812km

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Credit: Julien Delfosse / DPPI

Peugeot TotalEnergies car #93 have been disqualified from the Qatar 1812km. In a press release, the French team revealed the reason why their #93 Peugeot 9X8 suddenly lost power in the final moments of the opening round of the 2024 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), rendering it unable to make it back to the pits under its own steam after the chequered flag.

According to Peugeot’s press release, the sudden loss of power was due to the car running out of fuel. As a result, the car could only limp around on hybrid electric power alone, something which teams are only allowed to do if they pit at the end of that lap. The car crossed the line in 7th place, but, as they failed to pit, the car was disqualified.

The #93 Peugeot leading the race ahead of the #50 Ferrari. Credit: Marius Hecker / DPPI

The #93 Peugeot of Mikkel Jensen, Jean-Eric Vergne and Nico Müller had put on a spectacular performance for the majority of the race. On lap 16 of the 325 lap race, Müller made a superb move around the outside of turn 1 on the leading Ferrari 499P to take the lead of the race. He successfully defended the lead from the faster #6 Porsche Penske Motorsport, which would eventually go on to win the race, until lap 54.

Peugeot managed to stay within roughly 30 seconds of the lead Porsche for the majority of the race. Only towards the end of the race did a significant margin begin to appear between the two. The #93 was being hunted by the #12 Hertz Team JOTA Porsche and the #5 Porsche with Matt Campbell at the wheel, the man who had put that car on pole. With two laps to go, less than 3 seconds separated the three cars.

The final outing for the wingless Peugeot 9X8 ended in disaster. Credit: Julien Delfosse / DPPI

Suddenly, on lap 334 out of 335, Vergne slowed down in the Peugeot. It looked like a sudden loss of power had afflicted the #93 car, cruelly denying it a podium. The car limped across the line to finish 7th on the overall standings. However, due to Vergne crossing the line under electric power only and not making it back to parc fermé, after 10 hours of almost flawless racing, the #93 car was disqualified.

Müller, the man who had taken the car from 6th to 1st in his opening stint, was understandably devastated. “It’s just unbelievable, to run out of fuel on the final lap, undoubtedly due to some issue during the last refuelling pit stop” he said, adding “It’s a hard one to take, as we really deserved to finish second today.”

The gorgeous curves of the wingless rear end of the Peugeot 9X8. Credit: Julien Delfosse / DPPI

The result is doubly hard to swallow, as it was shaping up to be a perfect farewell to the 2023 Peugeot 9X8. Peugeot will debut the 2024 version of the car at the upcoming 6 Hours of Imola. After completing a distance of 30,970km in its life, to have a final podium denied in such cruel fashion is particularly devastating.

The potential of the car is there. Peugeot must surely be hoping that their rotten luck doesn’t follow them into the new year.

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Lifelong fan of motor sport, covering the FIA World Rallycross Championship and the FIA WEC, the shortest and longest races covered by the FIA!
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