Peugeot has unveiled the full, seven-man driver line-up for its return to endurance racing.
The French manufacturer has signed Kevin Magnussen, Jean-Eric Vergne, Paul di Resta, Gustavo Menezes, Mikkel Jensen and Loic Duval, with James Rossiter completing the squad as reserve and simulator driver.
“The quality of the relationship between everybody involved in the project is fundamental,” said Jean-Marc Finot, Director at Stellantis Motorsport. “Over and above their individual racing skills, the main criteria we took into account when assessing and talking with drivers were the ties they have with each other, their mind-set and their ability to work together to motivate and help take the team forward, because the human factor plays such a big part in endurance racing. We also wanted to establish that they saw their commitment with us as a priority and not just a line on their CV.”
Magnussen, Vergne and Di Resta, all former Formula One drivers, make their top class debut in the FIA World Endurance Championship, as does Jensen.
Magnussen comes off the back of a multi-year tenure with Haas and recently made his sportscar debut with Chip Ganassi Racing in the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Vergne, meanwhile, came close to racing for Toyota in LMP1, but has since raced successfully in LMP2 machinery and became a double Formula E champion. Di Resta comes off the back of a Le Mans win in LMP2 with United Autosports.
Up-and-comer Jensen steps up to Hypercar after competing successfully in both LMP3 and LMP2 and also has plenty of experience in GT3 machinery, racing for BMW.
For Menezes, the signing means he is now the first driver to be signed to two different Hypercar squads, as he is also set to join Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus for the 2021 season. He previously raced for Alpine in LMP2, as well as Rebellion in LMP1, taking multiple race wins.
Finally, Duval is the most experienced driver in the team at 38 years old. The Frenchman also is the only one to win Le Mans overall, as well as taking a WEC title in 2013.
“We looked at all the endurance racing championships that have been organised over the past five years,” observes Olivier Jansonnie, WEC Technical Director at Peugeot Sport. “We didn’t just take individual results into consideration.
“We also examined the speed, consistency and reliability of a long list of drivers because we are looking for a line-up that meshes together well, with an eclectic mix of upcoming youngsters and experienced campaigners with proven development skills, especially in the field of hybrid power trains.”