Peugeot confirms driver lineups
Although the six drivers who will compete in the Peugeot 908 HDi during its debut season were already known, we did not know which drivers would be paired together in the two cars. The French team has now confirmed its final lineups for the 2007 Le Mans Series and Le Mans 24 Hours. Right, Sebastien Bourdais tests the Peugeot 908 HDi at Paul Ricard, Photo by Peugeot Sport
After a series of test sessions with the new car and a physical training course in the Pyrenees, the team has confirmed that Pedro Lamy and Stephane Sarrazin will drive one of the two cars in the Le Mans Series while Marc Gene will partner Nicolas Minassian in the sister machine.
For the Le Mans 24 Hours, Champ Car title holder Sebastien Bourdais will join Lamy and Sarrazin, while former F1 champion Jacques Villeneuve partners Gene and Minassian.
"It didn't take long to realize that it would be difficult to split Pedro Lamy and Stephane Sarrazin," team manager Serge Saulnier explained. "They know each other from the time they have spent together in motor sport and they get on extremely well. To share their car in the Le Mans 24 Hours, we have chosen Sebastien Bourdais. His feedback concerning the 908 is quite similar to that of both Pedro and Stephane and his build is not unlike Stephane's.
"Marc Gene and Nicolas Minassian have a great deal in common too, beginning with their driving style of course. At Le Mans, they will be joined by Jacques Villeneuve. They know each other from Formula One and Nicolas even tested Jacques' title-winning car in 1997."
Peugeot Sport director Michel Barge admitted that it had been a easy process to select who was paired with who in the two cars and said that the two would start the season on an equal footing.
"In terms of both performance and their analysis of the car, all these drivers are of an extremely high caliber," he said. "Everyone in the team is getting to know each other and our technical staff is delighted with the drivers. The atmosphere is friendly and positive, and that's important for the progress of the team and the car.
"Choosing who drove with whom was based on simple criteria and the two cars are consequently on an equal footing with respect to the results we can expect."