Jan 10 - Mar 10  : Peugeot Sport Announces Exciting 2010 Plans

23 02 2010Peugeot Sport Announces Exciting 2010 Plans

Peugeot at Le Mans 2010  

The Peugeot 908 HDi FAP sports car

Riding high on the back of last year's one-two finish at Le Mans, Peugeot Sport is aiming to repeat its achievements again in 2010.

In the fourth and final year of the 908’s career, Team Peugeot Total has pressed on with its development, getting back to work the very next day after the historic Le Mans win.

Test sessions and races at a variety of venues have been programmed in order to be as well prepared as possible for the 78th running of the Le Mans 24 Hours, a race which always throws up unique challenges, uncertainties and changes of fortune – all part of its legendary status.

However, even the most meticulous preparations cannot hope to reproduce the specific features and surprises this race invariably delivers.

Since its historic success in June, 2009, Peugeot will have racked up a total of eleven test sessions consisting of endurance runs, set-up work and two demanding warm-ups in the form of actual races.

Eleven drivers have been chosen to fly the Peugeot flag, running with race numbers 1, 2 and 3, the numbers which were previously the property of the make's much respected rival.

The 2009 winners will carry the Number 1 plate: Marc GENE (ESP), Alexander WURZ (AUT), plus a newcomer to the Peugeot Sport ranks, Anthony DAVIDSON (GBR), who replaces the unavailable David Brabham.

Marc and Alexander will be tackling their fourth Le Mans, the Austrian having won twice, in 1996 and 2009.

Anthony has contested the French race twice (2002 and 2009) and tested the 908 in a session at Le Castellet at the end of 2008.

In the N°2 908 HDi FAP, three French drivers Nicolas MINASSIAN, Franck MONTAGNY and Stéphane SARRAZIN, reform the trio that previously raced together for Oreca in 2002.

It’s worth noting that Stéphane has taken pole position for the last three years at Le Mans in the 908 HDi FAP.

The third crew is made up of local boy Sébastien BOURDAIS, who renews his partnership with his United States-based countryman Simon PAGENAUD and Portugal's Pedro LAMY.

Sébastien and Pedro had also been Le Mans team-mates back in 2007, at the wheel of the N°8 Peugeot.

Christian KLIEN will be the reserve driver for Team Peugeot Total, while Gregory GUILVERT, having impressed at a test in the 908 (his prize for winning the 2009 THP Spider Cup), takes on the role of test driver.

Peugeot’s first racing test comes in the shape of the full-on challenge of dealing with 12 hours of racing against the difficult track and heat at Sebring (Florida, USA), which marks the year's first appearance of the two Peugeot 908 HDi FAPs, shared by Davidson/Gene/Wurz (N°07) and Bourdais/Lamy/Minassian (N°08).

The second event is at Spa-Francorchamps in a round of the Le Mans Series, which will serve as a full dress rehearsal for the whole Peugeot Sport team, with three cars entered.

Eleven test sessions and two races should enable the team to prepare thoroughly for the 2010 Le Mans 24 Hours.

Peugeot Sport is also working on life after Le Mans and, at the moment, there are two further races on the calendar for the 908 HDi FAP: the Le Mans Series round at Silverstone in England, in September, then – assuming it is confirmed by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest – the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup race in
Shanghai, China.

For Peugeot Sport, the second half of the year is also the time to look to the future, specifically the immediate future and the new 2011 regulations, which signal the start of a new era for endurance racing.

Some of the new rules have already been announced, which means work has begun on a new car.

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