In 2023, Peugeot Sport will return to the FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC). On January 14th and 15th, 2023, Le Mans Virtual will be its first e-sports event. And that will be less than six months before the Le Mans 24 Hours in June 2023, which is the race that made Peugeot Sport famous in this field. The program at Le Mans Virtual is also all about Le Mans. Last year, Peugeot started a new chapter in its history of endurance racing in general and at Le Mans in particular when the Peugeot 9X8 racing car entered by the Peugeot TotalEnergies team was moved up to the FIA WEC Hypercar class in the summer of 2022.
After missing the 24 Hours of Le Mans for 12 years, the French carmaker is excited to return to the sport's most famous race this year. It hopes to build on its success in 1992, 1993, and 2009, when it won the race.
The commitment of Peugeot to endurance racing, which started at Le Mans in 1926, will soon take the form of an ambitious program in the world of e-sports, which is growing quickly.
On January 14 and 15, the Le Mans Virtual Series will end with the third 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual race (LMVS). It comes after the races went well during the break from 2020 to 2022.
Peugeot built a car for the LMP class. One of the two groups in the virtual rally is the LMP class.
Two sim experts and two professional drivers make up the first Peugeot crew in esports history. Gustavo Menezes, a 28-year-old American who drives the #94 Peugeot 9X8 Hypercar, and Malthe Jakobsen, an 18-year-old Dane who was a rookie test driver for the Peugeot TotalEnergies team at the Bahrain 8 Hours in November, will join Maxime Brient, 24, and Valentin Mandernach, also from France (18, French iRacing champion 2021). Maxime Brient also drives DS Penske's FIA Formula E World Championship simulator, which strengthens the link between real motorsport and e-sports.
Peugeot has decided to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans from Satory, near Paris, where the motorsport centers and workshops of the Stellantis Group brands are located. Peugeot Sport has a lot of manufacturers, real teams, and well-known drivers from the worlds of endurance racing and Formula 1 as competitors.
Both professional and amateur racing simulators use the Le Mans 24 Hours The rFactor2 platform.
Stellantis set up an in-house talent scout, and Peugeot 9X8 engineer Kevin Lacour stood out. He finished just behind some of the best pro drivers and has now been hired to join Peugeot's E-Spot Team with other top sim racers.
Peugeot has decided to take a unique and ambitious approach to e-sports and sim racing. The goal is to connect the brand to the real world and build a younger group of people who care about the brand's history and people. Motorsport should also be easier to get into so that younger people can learn about the auto industry and motorsport differently.