Conrod failure has been identified as the cause of the three engine blow-ups that thwarted Peugeot’s bid at the Le Mans 24 Hours last month.
Peugeot has revealed that the latest version of its turbodiesel V12 was running new conrods for this year and that each of the three cars that survived into the second half of the race suffered a similar failure. Analysis has shown these breakages resulted in the engine being stressed beyond the levels simulated during pre-event testing and on the bench.
Peugeot Sport technical director Bruno Famin said there were two reasons for this: high grip levels that resulted in the Peugeots running at full throttle for longer than expected, and cool conditions and minimal debris accumulation in the cooling system that aided combustion which “remained extremely efﬁcient”.
“There was nothing to suggest that we were closer to the limit than we had imagined,” said Famin. “As it turned out, the race conditions tipped us the wrong side of that limit.”