Peugeot confirms Vandoorne to stand in for Muller in Fuji

Peugeot confirms Vandoorne to stand in for Muller in Fuji

Peugeot reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne is scheduled to stand in for Nico Muller at the FIA WEC 6 Hours of Fuji next month in the #94 Peugeot 9X8.

Nico Muller, who is injured, will be replaced by reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne in the No. 94 Peugeot 9X8 lineup at the 6 Hours of Fuji.

In a post on social media, Muller explained that he will sit out the championship’s sixth round at Fuji Speedway as he recovers from a collarbone injury.

“During summer break, I sustained an injury on my left collarbone,” said Muller in a statement on social media. “It’s been perfectly treated by specialists and I am already fully in the phase of rehabilitation.

“In consultation with the doctors & my Team Peugeot Total Energies – in order to allow optimal healing – I decided to refrain from participating in the next WEC round in Fuji.

“Even though I am very disappointed by having to sit out the one race, I am fully committed to be back stronger than ever!

“Thanks to the doctors, my family, my teams, my partners & you guys for your support!”

Vandoorne will compete in his first FIA WEC race at the 6 Hours of Fuji in Japan since the conclusion of his 2021 LMP2 season with JOTA Sport and his first in the premier division since the 2018–19 season, when he made two appearances with SMP Racing aboard the BR1 AER LMP1.

Vandoorne also joined Meyer Shank Racing for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in 2019, and that was his final time driving a top-tier prototype in sports car racing.

This will be Vandoorne’s debut race with the French manufacturer, and he will be driving alongside Gustavo Menezes and Loic Duval in the six-hour race at Fuji Speedway.

The Belgian, who has won a Formula E championship before, tested the 9X8 ahead of the weekend in Fuji as part of his job with the team.

He was also scheduled to participate in Bahrain’s 2022 FIA WEC Rookie Test, but owing to an appendicitis infection, he was unable to travel and had to wait until February of this year to experience driving the French Hypercar.

The technical director of Peugeot Sport, Olivier Jansonnie, claims that he has great confidence in Vandoorne’s capacity to fill in when necessary.

“Unfortunately, Nico won’t be able to race for this round and we wish him a speedy recovery,” Jansonnie said. “Stoffel Vandoorne has all our trust, and we know that he will be able to step in quickly and give his maximum.

“We are entering the last part of the season and our aim will be to be 100% reliable for the last two races and fight at the front with both our Peugeot 9X8.

“We will get ready as best as we can for these two races, trying to be consistent in our performance and race results.”

Vandoorne is not the only driver who received a last-minute call-up to participate at Fuji.

Tom Blomqvist will be replaced by Ben Hanley in the #23 United LMP2 seat for the event. The event’s entry list has been changed to reflect this transition, which has been officially confirmed.

The British driver is scheduled to compete in the final two IndyCar events of the 2023 campaign at Portland Laguna Seca before his newly-announced full-season participation in the IndyCar championship with Meyer Shank Racing in 2024.

In addition, Andrea Caldarelli, Doriane Pin, and Danill Kvyat have been confirmed as part of #63 PREMA ORECA. After competing in the 6 Hours of Monza last month, the Italian 2024 Lamborghini Hypercar driver will make his second consecutive start this time.

September 10 is the scheduled date for the 2023 FIA WEC Six Hours of Fuji.

Leave a Reply