Peugeot’s history in Le Mans can be split into three chapters: First, there was the era of pioneers in the 1920s, then came the 1990s when the French family-owned brand won its first Grand Prix d’Endurance on home soil in 1992 and 1993 with the mighty 905, and finally in the third millennium the Sochaux-based constructor brought a (temporary) halt to Audi’s hegemony in 2009 with the diesel-powered 908.
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The last hero of this trilogy is the Peugeot 908 that brought the fight to Audi’s seemingly undefeatable prototypes resulting in a series of great confrontations around the globe, particularly in Le Mans where the Peugeot-Audi rivalry is now one of the most remarkable duels in the history of the French endurance race.
In five participations between 2007 and 2011, the 908 achieved its main goal in 2009 with a brilliant 1-2 in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Often quicker than its German opponent in pace, the 908 suffered at times from reliability problems, especially in the 2010 edition when three of the four cars saw their engines burn with victory at grasp.
Yet, the 908 has an astonishing prize list of wins everywhere in the world on eleven different tracks (Le Mans, Monza, Valencia, Nürburgring, Spa, Silverstone, Portimão, Interlagos, Sebring, Road Atlanta and Zhuhai). In 2022, Peugeot together with Rebellion will return to Le Mans in the new hypercar class. The new car will be revealed the 8 February.
Photos by Daniele Paglino and Erwan Seite.
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