ORECA-Matmut Paul Ricard test summary

The Peugeot 908 HDi FAP on target The 908 HDI FAP has breached the symbolic 4000-km barrier since its arrival in Hugues de Chaunac's factory. Loic Duval is satisfied with his first drive in the car, while Olivier Panis and Nicolas Lapierre got...

The Peugeot 908 HDi FAP on target

The 908 HDI FAP has breached the symbolic 4000-km barrier since its arrival in Hugues de Chaunac's factory.

Loic Duval is satisfied with his first drive in the car, while Olivier Panis and Nicolas Lapierre got down to the nitty-gritty with traffic management and longer runs.

The Team ORECA-Matmut had its first taste of the Peugeot 908 HDi FAP last week, and the car was back on the track in the Le Mans Series official test days. Olivier Panis, Nicolas Lapierre and Loic Duval racked up the kilometers on the Paul Ricard HTTT circuit to continue acclimatising themselves to their new mount. Despite poor weather conditions with intermittent rain on the first day plus a few snowflakes that shorted the nighttime session, the three drivers have breached the 4000-km barrier since the 908 HDi FAP arrived in the Signes factory.

Olivier and Nicolas, the two Le Mans Series drivers, had already done several test sessions while it was Loic's first time in the 908 HDi FAP, resplendent in its new livery. "In my first stint, I was really impressed by the car," he said at the end of a positive weekend. "I expected it to be quick and when you're in the cockpit you can really feel it. My second day in the Peugeot also went off well. I had softer tyres than the previous one and I was able to push harder. That helped me evaluate the grip level and push the limits a little further. I'm continuing my apprenticeship in several areas: gear changes, the steering and the use of traction control. I'm feeling more and more at home in the car. I had a kind of sudden flash this morning that you can have when you're getting to know a car. I can still progress. My times came down and became increasingly consistent as the day wore on. My first outing in the car is exactly what I expected."

While one of the aims of the two days was to work on the car's set-up, the team reoriented its programme because of the weather conditions as David Floury explains: "The track was green and cold. It wasn't representative of what we'll be coping with in the future so we continued assimilating the new aspects of the 908; it's useful for the team and for the drivers. This took the form of traffic management on the track and pit interventions. Olivier and Nicolas finished phase two of their apprenticeship. Loic is getting used to the car without problems, but that doesn't surprise us. As for out-and-out performance, that wasn't really part of our programme. We'll deal with that at the Le Castellet 8 Hours."

Loic Duval will join up with Olivier Panis and Nicolas Lapierre for the Le Castellet 8 Hours, the first round of the 2010 Le Mans Series.

-source: oreca

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About this article
Series European Le Mans
Drivers Olivier Panis , Nicolas Lapierre , Loic Duval , Hugues de Chaunac