PEUGEOT CELEBRATES ITS LE MANS TRIUMPH AT... LE MANS

Five months after its one-two finish in June's Le Mans 24 Hours, Peugeot Sport returns to the French circuit to celebrate its success at the 'Rencontres Peugeot Sport' weekend at Le Mans-Bugatti (November 5-8) where a packed programme has been put together for spectators.

It's been 10 years since the Peugeot Sport's 'Rencontres' calendar last visited Le Mans-Bugatti. This season, however, the venue has been included to host the 2009 season's final encounter, and the atmosphere is sure to be unique since the meeting comes just months after the Peugeot squad's one-two in La Sarthe.

Stephane Sarrazin, Franck Montagny and Nicolas Minassian will team up for a six-hour endurance race, not at the wheel of their usual 908 HDi FAP, but in a showroom-spec 207 RC running on standard tyres in the 207 Relay race which generally attracts a field of 50 cars. Their 207 will be easy to pick out since it will carry the number 908 and a livery based on that of the endurance prototypes! Their car was built at the Poissy factory which is a key player in the Rencontres Peugeot Sport series. Factory staff will look after the crew during the race, while the car will be tended by the mechanics who worked on the winning No.9908 at Le Mans.

Another star at the meeting will be France's 1998 soccer World Cup-winning goalkeeper Fabien Barthez who will compete in the THP Spider Cup. Although he has previous experience of the series, this will be his first visit to Le Mans. Other surprise guests are expected, notably from the world of French tennis, just days before the Paris-Bercy Open.

An extensive programme of entertainment will be laid on between the numerous races, including the appearance of last June's winning 908 HDi FAP which will perform a demonstration run complete with pit stop and driver change. Autograph signing sessions and competitions for spectators are planned, including a wheel-changing contest on a 207 RC Rallye, slot car races and XBOX 360 simulators in the paddock, where a 908 HDi FAP, an RCZ, a 5008, a 3008, a 308CC, a Spider THP GT4 and a 207 RC Rallye will all be on display. Last but not least, a range of merchandising will be available for sale, with a scale model of the Le Mans-winning car likely to be on the top of most shopping lists!

-credit: peugeot