TEAM PEUGEOT TOTAL TO CONTEST PETIT LE MANS

In addition to its bid to defend its Le Mans Series title, Peugeot Sport is already focusing its resources on its preparations for the 2009 Le Mans 24 Hours. To this end, an entry for October's Petit Le Mans race at Road Atlanta has been added to the 908 HDi FAP's programme.

Under the leadership of its Director Michel Barge, and following its memorable experience of June's Le Mans 24 Hours, Team Peugeot Total is currently focusing its attention on two objectives: the defence of its Le Mans Series title and its preparation for next year's French endurance classic which saw 908 HDi FAPs finish second, third and fifth this time round.

"Like any top sportsman who senses he or she has the ability, we are obviously disappointed to have so narrowly missed out on victory in June. Even so, we played a leading role in what proved to be a thrilling race and we can be proud of the tremendous, exemplary work our team has put in since the beginning of this project. Thanks to everyone's untiring efforts, we went to Le Mans this year with three cars which all had the necessary legs and reliability to contest what turned out to be a 24-hour sprint at full song. The performance potential of the 908 HDi FAP meant we were able to play several joker cards, but we ended up needing one too many! This year's winner emerged after a fierce battle between the two main players who both deserve respect for their efforts and encouragement for the future. We now have every intention of keeping up our effort in order to be in a position to top the podium in 2009."

Team Peugeot Total began its preparations for the 2009 Le Mans 24 Hours well before the start of this year's race and it is looking forward to the release of details about the regulations for 2009 which the ACO is due to reveal in the coming weeks. A programme of testing and racing has been established and this includes the entry of two 908 HDi FAPs for the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta on October 1-4. The crews of these two cars will be:

No.7: Marc GENE/Christian KLIEN/Nicolas MINASSIAN
No.8: Pedro LAMY/Stephane SARRAZIN/Alexander WURZ

Serge Saulnier (Team Manager): "We have called on our core driver line-up for this race, but Marc, Christian, Pedro and Stephane will be joined by Alexander and Christian. There are two reasons behind this decision: to begin with they are both available, while at the same time this race will give them a chance to gain extra experience of endurance racing."

"Nothing can replace actual competition," adds Technical Director Bruno Famin. "As last June's Le Mans showed, it takes experience to take on a competitor that has the benefit of 10 years of this race behind it and which stays match fit by contesting 12 more races during the season compared with Peugeot, namely the ALMS in which it faces opponents like Porsche and Acura. Petit Le Mans is about traffic, safety car interventions and strategy, but it is above all 1,000 miles or up to 10 hours of fierce racing, which is sufficient to enable us to collect some very valuable data and information."

-credit: peugeot