Peugeot Sport has admitted facing difficulties with tyre management and race pace at the 8 Hours of Bahrain season finale, after they finished eighth and ninth.
The Bahrain season finale featured no safety car disruption throughout the eight-hour duration, in which the race began in daylight and finished in the night.
After qualifying on the fifth and sixth rows of the grid, Peugeot were not able to showcase one-lap qualifying strength over their rivals, thus they started and finished the race towards the back of the Hypercar field.
“This 8-hour race did not have any impactful events,” said Olivier Jansonnie, Peugeot’s technical director.
“No safety car, only two full course yellow, so not a lot of action on track which is a little bit disappointing.
“The results are then all linked to the race performances of the cars.
“We fought at different levels, unfortunately not at the front but that’s what we were expecting.
“On the other hand, we did not make any mistakes which is positive, and the team showed great efficiency during the pitstops.”
The #93 qualified ahead of the #94, and ahead of the #4 Vanwall team.
First corner dramas took place moments after lights out, however both Peugeot 9X8s were not involved in any of the Turn 1 incidents.
Nevertheless, they were not able to fight against the Porsche Penske entrants who were their main rivals.
The #93 faced the main dramas that Peugeot encountered, with Jean Eric Vergne penalised with a drive-through penalty for speeding under the first full course yellow, and the unintentional contact from Luis Perez Companc’s #83 Richard Mille Ferrari 488 GTE into Paul Di Resta’s #93 at T12.
Despite their smooth reliability narrative, Peugeot were unable to competitively overhaul the tyre management and race pace of their surrounding rivals.
Mikkel Jensen, driver of the Peugeot #93, commented: “It was a tough weekend and a tough race. It was all about tyre management and we did not really have the performance.
“I think we still learnt a lot; we found and tried some things during the race, which is positive. My last stint was better than the first as I managed it better.”
Loic Duval, from the #94, added: “In general, I had a good first double stint. During my first stint, the tyre degradation was a bit too important, but this is because I spent a lot of time behind the Cadillac.
“My second stint was quite good, consistent. We made progress compared to the free practices which means that we went in the right direction.
“My last stint was a bit frustrating as I was caught in the leading wagon, and I lost a bit of performance.”
Ultimately at the Sakhir International Circuit, tyre management is a key factor with the sand granules and heavy braking zones characterising the venue.
During an eight-hour race, Peugeot did not face reliability woes which were seen previously, but they were not able to follow up their maiden podium at Monza.