THE FINAL EUROPEAN FIXTURE OF THE 2007 LE MANS SERIES
The Silverstone 1,000km race marks the end of the European phase of the 2007 Le Mans Series campaign before the series moves on to Brazil for the final round of the year at Interlagos in November.
The British race is the fifth round of the season and takes teams to another extremely fast venue where the average speed in qualifying is likely to top that reached by Nicolas Minassian's 908 HDi FAP at Spa (more than 210kph). That said, the Peugeot driver will have the opportunity to improve on that performance this time round to qualify the N7 car. Pedro Lamy will have the task of targeting pole-position with the N8 sister car.
It is the latter of the two cars that has secured the team's best results so far this year, including three LMS wins and second place in the Le Mans 24 Hours. Meanwhile, the N7 machine has frequently met with ill luck and its success at the opening race at Monza was followed by a run of retirements. The car was halted by clutch failure at Valence, its run in June's Le Mans 24 Hours was thwarted by low oil pressure while, more recently, its rear-right wheel-bearing overheated during August's 1,000km of Spa-Francorchamps. This problem is currently the Achilles Heel of the 908 HDi FAP and Peugeot Sport is working hard to cure the problem as quickly as possible.
The result of the Silverstone 1,000km should provide a clearer picture in the Drivers' and Teams' championships. The two drivers of the N8 car Pedro Lamy and Stephane Sarrazin currently lead the chase for the Drivers' title with a total of 36 points. They can still be passed, however, by Pescarolo's Jean-Christophe Boullion and Emmanuel Collard. A run of top results could still see Marc Gene and Nicolas Minassian finish on the heels of their team-mates, while five teams are grouped within 13 points in the Teams' standings behind the N8908.
All that remains to be hoped is that the autumn fixture will bring better weather than that which marked the last Le Mans Series race to be held here in August 2005 which took place in torrential rain!