Peugeot pulls out of Le Mans, other endurance racing
One of the dominant carmakers in endurance racing, Peugeot of France, said Wednesday it was pulling out of this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans (link in French) and other events.
Exotic, diesel-powered prototype cars made by Peugeot and Audi had waged pitched battles for supremacy in the sport in recent years. But Peugeot said it was departing "against the backdrop of the challenging economic environment" combined with "a particularly busy year" for its new car launches.
A Peugeot won the 24 Hours of Le Mans -- held in Le Mans, France -- in 2009, and last year Peugeot teams took positions 2 through 5 behind the winning Audi. A Peugeot also won last year's 12 Hours of Sebring race in Florida in the American Le Mans Series top-tier LMP1 class.
Peugeot's departure "comes as a real disappointment" but "will take little -- if any -- luster off" this year's race scheduled March 14, ALMS President Scott Atherton said in a statement.
The carmaker, part of PSA Peugeot Citroen, has struggled in recent months amid sluggish sales and has been reducing costs, partly with thousands of job cuts.
-- Jim Peltz
Photo: A pair of Peugeot 908s last April 24 during testing for the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurace race in Le Mans, France. Credit: Jean-Francois Monier / AFP/Getty Images