Porsche and Peugeot reveal Hypercar contenders

Porsche and Peugeot have lifted the lid on their much-vaunted contenders for the Hypercar class of the FIA World Endurance Championship.

New Porsche LMDh during testing
Image (c) Porsche Motorsport

Porsche on track for the first time

Porsche’s new prototype, which has been built according to LMDh regulations, has successfully completed a shakedown. Frédéric Makowiecki handled driving duties at the manufacturer’s private testing facility in Weissach.

The car was built in partnership with chassis designer Multimatic and will make its competitive debut in IMSA and WEC racing in 2023. The German manufacturer will enter two-car programmes in each series, all four of which will be run by US team Penske.

“To be honest, it was a very positive roll-out,” said Makowiecki. “We could do some laps and discovered that the car is working as expected. Now we have a good starting point to go forward.”

Peugeot 9x8 during testing
Image (c) Peugeot Team Totalenergies

Peugeot hypercar testing in Aragon

Peugeot marked the appearance of its 9×8 on the 2022 WEC entry list by revealing the first on-track footage of the car. Contrary to rumours, the hotly anticipated hypercar still features its distinctive wingless design

In a press release, the team underlined that it remained on schedule with the development of the new-for-2022 car. However, Jean-Marc Finot, Motorsport Director at [Peugeot parent company] Stellantis, confirmed that the team would not be participating at the opening round of the 2022 season in Sebring.

Frederic Lequien, CEO of WEC organisers LMEM, has state that Team Peugeot TotalEnergies will need to attend at least one WEC race if it wishes to compete at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June. The only opportunity for Peugeot to do so would be at the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps from 5 to 7 May.

Render of the ByKolles/Vanwall Hypercar entry
Image (c) Vanwall Racing

First images of ByKolles Vanwall hypercar emerge

Another potential hypercar competitor, ByKolles Vanwall, was left disappointed as the 2022 WEC entry list was published without it being included. However, the team appear to be ploughing on with their hypercar challenger – posting a video of the new car starting up for the first time as well as some images.

The team, based in Greding, Germany, have secured the rights to run their car as a Vanwall – a major name in the early days of Formula 1. The arrangement comes as the hypercar regulations require a link between Hypercar class competitors and a manufacturer of road cars.