Could Peugeot Return To Endurance Racing And Fill Audi’s Void?

After Audi’s swift departure from the World Endurance Championship, Peugeot is being asked to re-join the endurance racing grid.

Automotive News Europe reports that the sport is lobbying the French marque to enter the sport now that the grid only consists of Toyota and Porsche.

According to a source at an existing WEC team, “There is a lot of lobbying going on to convince Peugeot to return to Le Mans racing, and the word is it is thinking about investing 80 to 90 million euros. But if that’s the case, I don’t think it would be enough. You need closer to 150 million euros — half of which is for the personnel alone– to really be competitive.”

Peugeot left the sport in 2012 after years of impressive results at the Le Mans 24 Hours. They included finishing 2,3,4 and 5 at the 2011 event, a 1-2 finish in 2009, 2nd and 3rd in 2008 and 2nd in 2007. At the time, Audi and Peugeot engaged in some truly amazing battles.

Speaking at the 6 Hours of Bahrain, Porsche team principal Andreas Seidl said “Our personal preference is to attract a new manufacturer. For sure it’s not ideal that we lose cars now on the grid, especially a manufacturer such as Audi with all the heritage and history. But we also saw with Peugeot and Audi in the past that even that battle was quite intense and quite attractive.”

A spokesman for the French brand says that a return to endurance racing could only happen if its financials recovered, if it could keep development costs down and that it would have enough time to prepare a return considering Porsche’s and Toyota’s head starts.