Even when they travel across continents and the vast ocean, the Peugeot team is unstoppable. Today, on the Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the two Peugeot 908 HDi FAPs score the front for the Le Mans Series (LMS) season finale.
Stephane Sarrazin turned a flying lap at 1:18.787 as the French racer and his team co-driver Pedro Lamy prepare for Saturday's Mil Milhas race. It was their first pole in the LMS this season, and yet the duo are sitting atop of the championship points, ahead of their counterparts in the LMP1 No. 7 team car.
"I am particularly pleased to be starting from pole position here at this circuit which I have always liked ever since my only F1 race with Minardi in 1999," stated Sarrazin. "My 908 was nicely balanced and I feel very confident after the positive work put in by everyone in the team during free practice. I didn't make any mistakes and I pushed hard."
Weather could play a factor in Saturday's race, much like it already has since the opening practice yesterday. Noticing the rain clouds coming over the area, Sarrazin knew he had only minutes to knock teammate Marc Gene off the pole. He pushed his Peugeot and ended up besting Gene by 0.190 seconds.
"Qualifying in first place today has a special flavour, and not only because we've been trying hard for pole position since the start of the season: Marc Gene and I had a score to settle that dated back to the days when we were team-mates in Formula 1!" Sarrazin said.
Gene's best lap was a 1:18.977. Nicolas Minassian will start from second on the grid for himself and Gene while Lamy will take the first stint in the No. 8 Peugeot for the final endurance race of 2007.
Slotting into third on the overall and LMP1 grid will be Creation Autosportif's No. 9 Creation CA07 Judd with a best lap at 1:22.254, over three seconds off the quick laps turned by the two Team Peugeots.
The Barazi Epsilon Zytek 07S team grabbed the pole in LMP2 with a fast time of 1:23.449, a full second plus over Embassy Racing's RadicalSR9 Judd. Third in class was Pierre Bruneau's Pilbeam MP93 Judd.
The 22-prototype field will take the green flag at 1200 hours (local time) on Saturday after a morning warmup session.