VICTORY FOR PEUGEOT
Team Peugeot Total kicked off its 2010 Intercontinental Le Mans Cup campaign today by winning the first race to count towards the newly-created series. The entire squad was eager to score this win which was combined with second place for the Oreca-run Peugeot 908 HDi FAP.
An assertive win
After posting the fastest time in this morning's warm-up session, Anthony Davidson was tasked with starting the race at the wheel of the No.1 factory Peugeot and he felt in a particularly confident mood. In front of home fans, including more than 3,000 guests of Peugeot UK, he succeeded in stealing second place from Bernhard at the start before engaging in a thrilling battle with the race's early leader McNish. The two drivers went side by side at times in the course of their virile scrap which certainly kept the spectators entertained. The final word ended up going to the Peugeot driver on Lap 9, which marked the beginning of a long solitary run. The faultless performance of the two Peugeot drivers was helped by slick pit work and by the outstanding performance of their Michelin tyres which permitted them to complete double stints without any fall-off at all in performance. Anthony Davidson and Nicolas Minassian completed the race's 1,000 kilometres in a little more than five hours to add an eagerly-awaited 17th win to the 908's record.
A one-two finish for the 908 HDi FAPs in the ILMC The honour of winning the first race to count towards the new ILMC went to Peugeot to mark the beginning of a new chapter in the history of endurance racing. In addition to the points harvested by its win, Peugeot also pocketed those that went with second place thanks to the first class result obtained by the Oreca-tended 908 HDi FAP.
In the hands of Stephane Sarrazin and Nicolas Lapierre, the Oreca 908 HDi FAP succeeded in clinching the 2010 Le Mans Series title for Peugeot, as well as the Drivers' crown for Stephane Sarrazin for the second time in his career following his first in 2007. Silverstone ended up being an extremely successful weekend for Peugeot which has every intention of targeting a similar result in the next two rounds of the ILMC at Road Atlanta (Petit Le Mans) on October 2, and in Zhuhai (China) on November 7, for which the team has entered two factory cars.
Olivier Quesnel: "We absolutely needed a victory today to boost the team and get our Intercontinental Le Mans Cup off to a flying start because our aim is to win this new series. The team did a fantastic job, as did the drivers. I asked Anthony Davidson to try to take second place at the start, and that's exactly what he did. The way the rest of the race unfolded exceeded my wildest hopes, and his thrilling early scrap was followed up by some strong stints by Nicolas Minassian. The pleasure of winning this race was compounded by the satisfaction of sewing up this year's Le Mans Series titles for Peugeot and Stephane Sarrazin thanks to the points earned by the 908 HDi FAP run by the 2010 Teams' champions, Oreca."
Nicolas Minassian: "I felt very confident on my arrival at Silverstone and I was looking forward to the prospect of racing in the Peugeot 908 HDi FAP again. Anthony did an excellent job during the early part of the race and all he left me to do was control from in front! This win is a great way to celebrate my final competitive outing in this car which is quite simply fantastic. This was my second win in the 908."
Anthony Davidson: "I thoroughly enjoyed myself during the early part of the race for two reasons: it was the first time I had been given the task of starting in the Peugeot, and also because it was such an exciting scrap. It's a shame that McNish left me on my own! Today's result is a great way to kick off the championship for Peugeot."