First official airing of Peugeot LeMans challenger With a little less than a month to go before the 2007 Le Mans Series kicks off at Monza, Team Peugeot Total will travel with six of its seven drivers and a single 908 HDi FAP to Paul Ricard in the south of France for the official Le Mans Series test days on March 25-26.
Since its first shakedown run over military ground in Vélizy Villacoublay, near Paris, on December 31, 2006, and its official unveiling on January 10 at Mortefontaine, also near Paris, the 908 HDi FAP has taken part in five test sessions at Le Castellet and Valencia, Spain. The second car was completed at the end of February, with the third chassis set to follow a few weeks later. The timetable continues to be extremely tight therefore, which explains the team's absence from testing at Sebring and the presence of just one 908 HDi FAP at Paul Ricard for the Le Mans Series tests. "The schedule of the cars is particularly busy, as is the program that has been put together in the space of just one year," explains Peugeot Sport Director Michel Barge. "What with the test program, rebuilds, modifications and preparation work, we have a great deal to do in a short period of time. This in turn makes calls on our logistics and human resources that occasionally need to be adjusted to enable us to pursue the current development phase in good conditions.”
For Team Peugeot Total, the official test days at Paul Ricard will continue to focus on the reliability work that started two months ago. The 908 HDi FAP will not participate in the 24-hour test and will stop running at midnight before taking to the track again on Monday morning. "We have covered a little more than 4,500km since the car first ran," says Bruno Famin, Technical Director. "We haven't come across any serious troubles that have forced us back to the drawing board. As with any new car, however, we have had to sort out a certain number of small problems. This takes time and we have consequently placed the accent on reliability work and building up our understanding of the car.”
The single Peugeot 908 HDi FAP present at Paul Ricard will feature a new color scheme which could evolve further as a function of technical parameters and the arrival of new partners.
THE 908 HDi FAP DRIVERS
With the exception of Jacques Villeneuve, Peugeot Sport's entire 2007 line -up will be at Paul Ricard, namely Sébastien Bourdais, Marc Géné, Eric Hélary, Pedro Lamy, Nicolas Minassian and Stéphane Sarrazin.
Bourdais and Lamy will take turns at the wheel over the two days to familiarize themselves with the new car to ensure that all the drivers will have clocked up the same distance before forming the following crews:
Car N°7 (race engineer: Christian Deltombe) Marc Géné/Nicolas Minassian/Jacques Villeneuve
Car N°8 (race engineer: Christophe Besse) Pedro Lamy/Stéphane Sarrazin/Sébastien Bourdais "The objective of this first official outing will not be to seek performance or take on our rivals," points out Serge Saulnier, Team Manager. "Our aim is to continue to bed ourselves in and find our marks.” Peugeot Racing PR