Friday 29 April 2011

Into the final straight

Into the final straight

image There’ll be more than a hint of this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans lingering in the air at Spa-Francorchamps! Although the Belgian track bears little resemblance to Le Mans, the second round of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup will serve as a dress rehearsal for the year’s most important race. For the first time this season, the Team Peugeot Total line-up will feature all three official Peugeot 908s and its nine works drivers.

Le Mans moves into sight

This year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans is on everyone’s mind now. With six weeks to go to this major event, the test day held on 24 April offered Team Peugeot Total the chance to acquire the data necessary to arrive at Le Mans with optimised race cars. The second race on the ILMC calendar is traditionally seen as an opportunity to fine-tune the team’s preparations. The three Peugeot 908s and the nine drivers therefore have two targets: prepare for Le Mans without taking any risks and pick up ILMC points, as reiterated by Olivier Quesnel, Peugeot Sport Director. “The ILMC season got underway with a podium spot at Sebring, after an intense 12-hour race. The conditions were perfect to prepare for our main target of the year, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Since then, the cars have had a lot of track time in private testing. The test day really got us into the mood at Le Mans; competing in this race at Spa-Francorchamps is the best way of checking that our racing reflexes are well and truly in place. The entire team will be at the event. We will be working in the same conditions that we’ll have in Le Mans. The ILMC is an important goal for us; however, we not going to go after the race win at any cost, just a few weeks away from Le Mans. Above all, we need to make it to the end of the 1,000 kilometres of Spa-Francorchamps with all three cars intact and a host of additional information. If we manage that, Peugeot will undoubtedly come away with a serious haul of points. » image

A sensational racetrack

Unbeaten here since 2007, Team Peugeot Total were especially successful in 2010, recording a one-two at the 1,000 kilometres of Spa-Francorchamps, the race won by Sébastien Bourdais, Simon Pagenaud and Pedro Lamy, followed by Franck Montagny and Stéphane Sarrazin in second. The 2011 official driver line-ups are identical to 2010:
Peugeot 908 No.7 (blue rear-view mirrors): Anthony Davidson, Marc Gené and Alexander Wurz
Peugeot 908 No.8 (white rear-view mirrors): Nicolas Minassian, Franck Montagny and Stéphane Sarrazin
Peugeot 908 No.9 (red rear-view mirrors): Sébastien Bourdais, Pedro Lamy and Simon Pagenaud
In addition to these three official cars, there is a fourth Peugeot run by Team Oreca. The 908 HDi FAP 2010, in 2011 configuration, is the current championship leader thanks to the race win at Sebring, with the driver team Lapierre-Duval-Panis.

Technical configuration

The Spa-Francorchamps track is one that is very much appreciated by drivers, because it is unique and very demanding in terms of driving", explains Bruno Famin, Peugeot Sport’s Technical Director. “However, we know from experience that it is totally unlike Le Mans in terms of set-up. The track surface is different and the constraints are not the same. We are nonetheless going to adopt a configuration close to the one we’ll use at Le Mans. After the test day, we have a large portion of the data necessary to prepare for Le Mans. We are treating the Spa-Francorchamps round more like a dress rehearsal geared towards fine-tuning the organisation and getting into a racing mindset, where there is no room for error. The line-up will be more or less the same as at Le Mans. We are entering our three cars. After its long endurance runs of over 7,000 kilometres, the No.7 car has been reconditioned whereas the Nos. 8 and 9 cars will have the technical configuration used at the test day. After all the practice sessions that we have done so far, it’ll be nice for everyone to enjoy the racing atmosphere again, and arrive at the 24 Hours of Le Mans prepared, ready to race.” image

Follow all the action from the 1,000 kilometres of Spa-Francorchamps: Web TV
To follow all the action from the 1,000 kilometres of Spa-Francorchamps, with the race due to start on Saturday 7 May at 2pm, Peugeot Sport will be setting up its Web TV service, visible on the website: You can enjoy an insider’s view, with onboard camera footage, coverage from the Peugeot pits and of the race itself.

But that's not all:

Peugeot Sport iPhone app

Schedule for the 1,000 kilometres of Spa-Francorchamps

Thursday 5 May 2011
12.20pm – 1.20pm: Free practice
2.45pm – 3.10pm: Press meeting at the Peugeot Sport hospitality area
4.55pm – 5.55pm: Free practice
Friday 6 May 2011
11.50am – 12.50pm: Free practice
4.20pm – 4.40pm: LMP1/LMP2 qualifying

Saturday 7 May 2011
9.55am – 10.15am: Warm up
2pm – 8pm: 1,000 kilometres of Spa-Francorchamps

ILMC standings before Spa:

Manufacturers :
1. Peugeot, 27 points
2. Audi, 17 points

Teams :
1. Team Oreca Matmut, 15 points
2. Team Peugeot Total, 12 points
3. Audi Sport Team Joest, 9 points
4. Rebellion Racing, 6 points

Peugeot in Belgium
With sales of 188,027 cars in the first quarter of 2011, Peugeot Belgium is the third-best selling brand in Belgium, with a market share of 9.4%. Peugeot has 240 sales outlets in Belgium. The main best-selling Peugeot models in the country are 207, Partner, Tepee, 308, 3008 and 5008. The new 508 has been on sale since the end of March.

Info and Fotos: Peugeot Sport/For acreditated and autorized media press.

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