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Peugeot withdraws from 24 Hours of Le Mans

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Peugeot won't be at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2012 (Getty)

Peugeot, a major player in sports car endurance racing, has announced that it has pulled out of racing this season for financial reasons.

The French company is Europe's second biggest carmaker.

From Reuters via Yahoo! Eurosport:

"This decision has been taken in the context of a difficult economic environment in Europe," the French carmaker said in a statement on the company website. "Peugeot has chosen to concentrate resources on its sales performance in 2012."

Peugeot last won Le Mans in 2009, with their diesel cars finishing second, third, fourth and fifth behind the number two Audi last year.

Yes, Audi has been dominant at the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans, winning 10 of the last 12, but in NASCAR terms, this is as impactful as Chevy, Ford or Toyota pulling out of the sport. (Toyota is actually returning to the 24 Hours this year.)

Peugeot had returned to the series in 2007 and its departure leaves Audi as the main automaker in the renewed World Endurance Championship, as the two were set to be main rivals for the WEC title. Peugeot saw sales decrease by 6.1 percent in 2011

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