Pescarolo and Primat power back for fourth at Interlagos
Pescarolo Sport and Harold Primat fought back from suspension failure early in the Le Mans Series finale at Interlagos to claim a respectable fourth overall in the 1000-mile Mil Milhas race, but were unable to overhaul Peugeot in the Championship.
The French squad, and driver Jean-Christophe Boullion, were still in with a chance to win both the teams' and drivers' titles upon entering the Brazilian race, but the diesel-fuelled Peugeots once again capitalised on their technical advantage to power away from the field and take a one-two finish in Sao Paolo.
Starting fourth on the 23-car grid, Boullion quickly overtook the Creation CA07 of Jamie Campbell-Walter, Stuart Hall and Felipe Ortiz, running comfortably in third place during his first stint. Unfortunately, a broken right-front wishbone during the second hour of the race lost the team 13 minutes in the pits and effectively ended their title hopes. After rejoining last, 12 laps off the leading Peugeot, and ten behind the third-placed Creation, several strong, trouble-free stints from Primat, Emmanuel Collard and Boullion, saw the number 17 car claw its way back to fourth overall, finishing just four laps away from a podium position.
Primat reflected on the race by saying: "We were so far behind the Creation when we rejoined that to finish just four laps behind shows what a good job we all did in moving back through the field. It's a shame that the problem happened, but parts break sometimes and hopefully we'll learn lessons for next season. Perhaps the most frustrating thing was that the number eight Peugeot also had a problem, so we could have finished second, which would have been fantastic. The car felt good throughout the race and I was pleased to be able to set some competitive lap times during the difficult night time stint when it was very dark. I would like to thank Henri, my team-mates and all the members of Pescarolo Sport for this season. I have learned a lot with them and 2007 will remain as an important step in my career."
Henri Pescarolo admitted his disappointment that the chance of a top two finish had disappeared and expressed his growing concerns about the incredible pace of the Peugeots. "It's sad to lose a podium finish with a problem we've never experienced before," explained Henri. "Splitting the Peugeots would have been a great way to end this tough season. I am delighted that the team finished second in the teams' championship and Jean-Christophe Boullion second in the drivers' championship. This is a major achievement for all the members of the team and our partners."
He was also delighted with the contribution of Primat, promoted to the lead car for the first time. "He did a great job," Henri enthused. "He set competitive times lap after lap, didn't make a single error and was excellent throughout the week, working strongly with his two new team-mates."
Pescarolo Sport finished the 2007 Le Mans Series season second overall in the teams' and drivers' classifications, whilst fourth place on the season finale moved Primat to seventh in the drivers' championship.