Monday 14 May 2012

Peugeot Sport: Nürburgring 24 hours: “The” race of the year

VLN : 2 RCZ at the 24 Hours of Nürburgring (May, 19)
image After winning the first 3 races in the SP2T category of the german Endurance Championship (VLN), the 2 RCZ of the the Team Peugeot RCZ Nokia are ready to race in the biggest challenge of the year : the Nürburgring 24 Hours.


At the beginning of the project started at the end of 2009, the objective was to accompany the launch of the RCZ coupé in spring 2010 and to assure its promotion through an appropriate sporting project. Peugeot’s management quickly gave the green light for development of the RCZ HDi FAP, combining the spirit of a competition vehicle while still keeping close to the production vehicle. From its first event at the mythical Nürburgring 24 hour race, the RCZ HDi FAP, carrying the number 200, won its first victory, showing straight away the measure of its competitiveness and reliability on such a demanding track. image

In 2011, the adventure continued with the advantage of having more time to develop the vehicle, prepare for the season and build on what was learnt from the previous season. At heart, the team wanted to win the big event of the Nürburgring 24 hour race for the second time in succession, but also to win the title for the Diesel category in the VLN Endurance Championship. The team of Bohrer / Caillet / Nett achieved their objectives in full with 7 wins and 3 second places in the VLN. image

2012: The new technical situation

New season, new project, the same ambitions. The motivation of TEAM PEUGEOT RCZ NOKIA was increased greatly this year by the different technical choices which will allow the RCZ to compete in the SP2T category (petrol turbo engines of less than 1600 cc) and try to win the title and the big event. Olivier Perez – General Manager of the team explains that “we have won the Nürburgring 24 hour race twice, at the same time winning the VLN in the Diesel category. It would be difficult to do better and we have decided now to identify a new challenge”. image

This new challenge will involve a new RCZ. A petrol engine will now be used, this engine developing 260 horsepower, driving through an electronically controlled sequential gearbox and giving new perspectives of power for the drivers. The suspension has been modified, an additional fuel tank allows 100 litres of fuel to be carried and a modification has been made to the aerodynamics of the vehicle. This choice of technology allows among other things an overall weight reduction of 120 kg and so a more even weight distribution. Olivier Perez adds “we have never stopped developing the vehicle since the genesis of the programme, and today, the choices we are making allow us to take a big step in terms of power and behaviour of the vehicles”. image

TEAM PEUGEOT RCZ NOKIA now uses as a basis the RCZ developed by Peugeot Sport at Vélizy (France). For 2 years, Peugeot Sport has been developing a petrol RCZ intended for circuit racing and more particularly for sprint racing, for a marque-specific competition: the RCZ Racing Cup, which will start in spring 2012 in France and in Italy. This year, Peugeot Sport is offering an “endurance” kit, which is a reversible adaptation of the “sprint” version and so allows competition in different types of event. “Once Peugeot Sport had confirmed to us that a specific endurance development would be assured this winter around this RCZ Racing Cup, it was entirely coherent and legitimate to choose this new car for our commitment to the VLN Endurance Championship and the Nürburgring 24 hour race in 2012” explains Olivier Perez. image

Nürburgring 24 hours: “The” race of the year

The Nürburgring 24 hour race is an incredible, merciless test, and even though TEAM PEUGEOT RCZ NOKIA has already achieved the Holy Grail twice, on each of the two occasions when it has participated in the Diesel category, the teams know that Nordschleife always has surprises in store. This superb circuit of 25.378 km is not just the longest circuit in the world, it can accept 230 cars on the track, it offers quite an extraordinary spectacle to the usual 240,000 paying spectators. It is the race of all the superlatives, the most attractive, which should be used to make the marque’s colours glow and fight against the numerous manufacturers present. image

From a technical point of view, this circuit is similar to long special rally stage being in the shape of a loop. Important features are the changes in level, the diversity of the 77 slow and fast corners, some blind, with numerous bumps and sometimes jumps. The road surface is not very abrasive and comprises different types of surface from asphalt to concrete of varying smoothness. It is a high speed race run at an average of 150 km/h. This race respects and rewards the best prepared.

Peugeot Sport.

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