Sébastien Bourdais and Simon Pagenaud combined performance, consistency and reliability to guide their Peugeot 908 no.7 to victory in the 6 Hours of Silverstone, after yet another sensationally fast race. This third race win of the season for Team Peugeot Total, combined with the eighth place claimed by Franck Montagny and Stéphane Sarrazin (Peugeot no.8) takes Peugeot one step closer to a second consecutive Manufacturers’ title.
|Peugeot controlled proceedings at Silverstone, taking a third race win in ILMC after having secured a third pole position of the season, demonstrating once again the performance level of the Peugeot 908s. On such a quick track and with 48 competitors racing, it was essential to avoid the slightest incident in order to ensure both cars made it to the end of the race, Team Peugeot Total’s first goal. Unfortunately, at the start of the race, the Peugeot no.8’s hopes of victory faded when Franck Montagny clashed with a backmarker. He had to come into the pits to change the upper front left wishbone and the splitter. The team reacted quickly and the stop only cost nine laps. From that point, Montagny and Sarrazin’s race turned into a long fight to make up ground, which eventually saw them finish eighth. Sébastien Bourdais and Simon Pagenaud refused to be intimidated by their direct rival. Without making the slightest error, the two men only pitted to change tyres and fill up with fuel. Reliable and quick, Bourdais and Pagenaud won in style at the end of a six-hour sprint.
|Starting from pole position, Sébastien Bourdais led the 48-strong field at the start. The Peugeot 7 took the first corner ahead of Allan McNisch (Audi 2), Franck Montagny (Peugeot 8) and Timo Bernhard (Audi 1). The four drivers lapped at a similar pace and caught up with the first of the backmarkers after ten minutes of the race. It was at this point that Allan McNisch made his first attack and grabbed the lead. Only Sébastien Bourdais managed to stay with him, ready to grab the slightest opportunity. The sprint was already underway, but at 11.52 Franck Montagny clashed with another car and ran off into a tyre wall, ending up in the gravel. The Peugeot no.8 driver managed to get back to the pits, but repairs cost the car nine laps. At the front, Sébastien Bourdais kept up the pressure and managed to move back into the lead. The top three remained in contact until the Audi 2 ran into a slower car. A series of incidents ensued and the safety car was brought out at 12.21pm. When the race resumed at 12.34pm, Sébastien Bourdais, who had refuelled during the safety car period, remained in front. Timo Bernhard then managed to find a way past, before Sébastien Bourdais took the lead back again. The battle was intense, but the French driver managed to come out on top.
|Once in front, Sébastien Bourdais gradually extended his lead. When he next handed over to his team-mate, Simon Pagenaud, the Peugeot no.7 had a 37-second lead over its nearest rival, which came in to the pits to refuel at the same time. “The start of the race was closer to a sprint than an endurance race” analysed Sébastien Bourdais. “There was some oil on the track at the start, so it was quite tricky and I was almost relieved when McNisch went past me! He eased off a little and I took advantage. After the safety car period, I had a tussle with Timo Bernhard. We attacked each other on several occasions, depending on the traffic. It was an incident-packed stint!” Simon Pagenaud continued where his team-mate left off, but Anthony Davidson’s replacement lost a little ground to his main rival. At the mid-way point, the positions changed when Simon Pagenaud conceded first place. Further back, Stéphane Sarrazin (15th) was now driving the number 8 car and continuing to move up through the field. At 2.56pm, the two leaders pitted once again at the same time and the Audi 1 came back out with roughly a five-second lead over the Peugeot no.7, driven by Sébastien Bourdais. The length of the stints is same for the leaders: 26 laps. The outcome of the battle remained unclear until 3.46pm when the Audi 1 was pushed into its pit garage for repairs. With 1hr 45min to go, the Peugeot number 7 led the race, some 1’31’’ ahead of the Audi 1.
|Sébastien Bourdais, credited with the fastest race lap, and Simon Pagenaud adopted a consistent pace and pursued an effective strategy to the end, managing to avoid any pitfalls. Simon Pagenaud finished off the job perfectly to give the Peugeot 908 its third race win of the season, after Spa-Francorchamps and Imola. The end of the Peugeot no.8’s race also went very well. Stéphane Sarrazin and Franck Montagny took it in turns to maintain a good pace, enabling them to get back up to 8th place overall, which earned Peugeot some important points for the Manufacturers’ standings.