Peugeot signs rising star Jakobsen as WEC junior driver

The 19-year-old Dane has been brought into the French manufacturer’s line-up after a try-out in one of the Peugeot 9X8s at last year’s official WEC rookie test in Bahrain. 

The test followed Jakobsen sealing the European Le Mans Series LMP3 class title in 2022 with the Cool Racing squad with which he has subsequently graduated to LMP2 in the Asian and the European Le Mans Series this year.

Jakobsen will join Peugeot for its test programme over the remainder of the year and drive its simulator while continuing to race for Cool in the pro/am P2 sub-class, the manufacturer said in statement. 

Peugeot CEO Linda Jackson said that the marque has “ambitious plans for Malthe for the future.”

She explained that she was enthusiastic when Peugeot Sport boss Jean-Marc Finot and 9X8 technical director Olivier Jansonnie told her that Jakobsen would be taking part in the rookie test at the wheel of a Peugeot.

“Peugeot is forward-looking and identifying young drivers and rising stars has always been a priority for us for many years,” she said. 

“Malthe proved to be a quick young driver with all the required skills and qualities.”

Malt? Jakobsen, Peugeot Totalenergies Peugeot 9X8

Malt? Jakobsen, Peugeot Totalenergies Peugeot 9X8

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Jakobsen described himself as “super-happy and proud to be able to be part of the Peugeot family”.

“I hope that we will be able to build something really strong together and have a good relationship in the future,” he continued. 

“Hopefully we will reach some of our goals together within the sport.”

Jakobsen joins the six-strong line-up of race drivers in the two Peugeot 9X8s: Paul di Resta, Jean-Eric Vergne and Mikkel Jensen, and Loic Duval, Nico Muller and Gustavo Menezes. 

Peugeot originally named seven drivers for its WEC squad ahead of its 2022 campaign, which started at the Monza round in July. 

James Rossiter was listed as reserve, test and simulator driver, before being promoted to a race seat when Kevin Magnussen opted to return to Formula 1 with Haas in March last year. 

The Briton raced at Monza and then Fuji before long-time Audi driver Nico Muller was recruited and replaced him for the season finale at Bahrain in November. 

Rossiter called time on his racing career to become team principal of Peugeot sister brand Maserati’s Formula E squad.

Jakobsen impressed on his run with Peugeot at the WEC rookie test, the day after the Bahrain 8 Hours. 

He lapped within a second of Muller in the morning session, before ending up only a tenth behind Mikkel Jensen during a longer run in the afternoon. 

Jakobsen finished second in the Asian LMS with Cool in February, winning one of the four races aboard an ORECA-Gibson 07 with Alexandre Coigny on the way to second in the points. 

He is sharing an ORECA with Coigny and team boss Nicolas Lapierre in the 2023 ELMS.

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