Apr 09 - Jun 09  : Peugeot Wins Le Mans

14 06 2009Peugeot Wins Le Mans

Peugeot Wins Le Mans

The Peugeot 908 HDi FAP comes first and second at the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2009

Australia's David Brabham Wins Le Mans 24 Hours with Peugeot

Australian David Brabham has won the world’s most famous motor race, the Le Mans 24 Hours, leading home a resounding one-two for Peugeot.

The 43 year-old Australian combined with team mates Alexander Wurz (Austria) and Marc Gene (Spain) to score Peugeot’s first win in the classic endurance test since 1993.

It was the youngest Brabham’s 16th attempt at the great race and comes in the year celebrating the 50th anniversary of his famous father Sir Jack Brabham’s first Grand Prix victory.

It also replicates the efforts of his brother Geoff, who was the last Australian to taste victory at the Circuit de la Sarthe 16 years ago – coincidentally the last time Peugeot won at Le Mans.

The win was the Team Peugeot Total’s first in the Le Mans 24 Hours with the diesel-powered 908 HDi FAP, which first entered the event in 2007.

The result takes the firm's Le Mans score to three wins following its previous triumphs in 1992 and 1993.

With the exception of a short instant early in the race on Saturday afternoon, Peugeot led from flag to flag; initially with the No.8 car of Stéphane Sarrazin, Franck Montagny and Sébastien Bourdais, then with the No.9 car of Gené, Wurz and Brabham, which inherited top spot after around five hours, before going on to defend its advantage until the finish.

The No.7 car of Nicolas Minassian, Pedro Lamy and Christian Klien rounded off Peugeot's weekend by completing the race in sixth spot after fighting back from a pitlane incident early in the race.

The No.9 car’s winning distance of 382 laps around the 13.6km circuit (5206km) is a race record and all three factory Peugeots were running strongly after an entire day of racing.

“I think it might take a few days for this to sink in – it’s all quite unbelievable. What can I say?” beamed David Brabham.

"It's such a great feeling to have won.

“Peugeot Sport did a tremendous job; they really did.

“It's a great team – they gave us a 100 per cent reliable car and the three of us drove a faultless race.”

Alexander Wurz, the youngest driver ever to win the endurance classic in 1996, notched up his second success in La Sarthe.

"What made the difference? The fact that we kept it on the track without picking up any damage.

“We also had a great team behind us, and a phenomenal car. It's a fantastic feeling to have won in France in a French car."

"To have won a race this big is the best thing that has ever happened to me," said Marc Gené.

"I've never experienced anything like it. It really is a very emotional moment for me.”

Peugeot Sport Director, Olivier Quesnel believed the team faced a huge challenge ahead of the event.

“We were here as challengers, and our mission was to try to topple the favourites, and that is exactly what we did – essentially by steering clear of the different potential pitfalls in our path.

“It turned out to be a terrific race, and Peugeot Sport is a truly magnificent team.

“I am so proud of all the people who were involved in this project – this win is Peugeot Sport's win."

It was an all-round team effort from the Team Peugeot Total squad, with No.8 scoring pole position, No.7 claiming the fastest race lap, and No.9 winning the race.

Bruno Famin, Technical Director, Peugeot Sport, could not have been happier with the performance of the diesel V12 powered Peugeots.

"We didn't have any technical problems this weekend; just a few racing incidents which upset certain gameplans.

“The Peugeot 908 HDi FAP has demonstrated its reliability by winning against Audi which has been an invincible force here for practically a decade.

“This is the result of not just one, but four years' hard effort."

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