Racing, and winning, is good for the brand, but it takes up a lot of resources, which is not abundant in lean times. So many manufacturers have pulled the plug on racing recently, and this time it’s Peugeot announcing that it will end its endurance racing programme with immediate effect.

This means that Peugeot will cease to challenge Audi in sportscar racing, something the French manufacturer has been doing very well. Peugeot ran variants of its diesel 908 prototype in the famous Le Mans 24 Hours and the Le Mans series since 2007. The lion’s finest hour was the Le Mans victory in 2009. Last year, Peugeot won the inaugural Intercontinental Le Mans Cup title.

“This decision has been taken in the context of a difficult economic environment in Europe. Peugeot has chosen to concentrate resources on its sales performance in 2012,” Peugeot said in a statement yesterday.

Peugeot’s decision means that this year’s World Endurance Championship will be a lonely affair. Looking further ahead, Toyota has a new LMP1 programme and Porsche is set to join the sport.