The first outing for the all-new Peugeot 908 HDi FAP has got off to a promising start, with both cars dominating the front row of the grid for the Monza 1000kms that takes place tomorrow (Sunday 15 April). Nicolas Minassian claimed an excellent pole position ahead of the other Peugeot 908 HDi FAP, driven by Stephane Sarrazin. Team Peugeot Total took full advantage of the free practice sessions on Friday and Saturday morning to build up to this qualifying result, encountering only a gearshift command problem on car n°7. So far Monza has underlined the performance of the new car, seen for the first time at the official Le Mans Series test at Paul Ricard, but this weekend's key objective is continue the durability work carried out to date. Spaniard Marc Gené will start the race from pole tomorrow in the n°7 car, while Portuguese driver Pedro Lamy will take the wheel of car n°8. As required by the rules, both cars will take tomorrow's 1300 start on the tyres used for qualifying today.
Nicolas Minassian: " This pole position is a great reward for the whole team, which has worked so hard from the start. We have continually been refining the set-up and handling of the car since Friday morning, always heading in the right direction. I set off quite late for my qualifying run, in order to avoid a dirty track and find a good gap in the traffic. I had to push really hard to set a time quicker than that of Stéphane Sarrazin who is my team mate but also my key rival. "
Stéphane Sarrazin : " I had a fantastic car but we didn't anticipate the traffic well. I only got one clear lap, but we still managed to get onto the front row and it's a very long race ahead... "
Bruno Famin (Technical Director): " The outcome of these first two days has been extremely positive, with no major problems apart from the gearshift command glitch on car n°7 which was quickly resolved. We've managed to work through our entire test programme, which has added greatly to our knowledge of the car. Now we just have to keep going for the next 1000 kilometres... "