Valencia: Peugeot race report

A SECOND WIN FOR THE 908 HDi FAP, THIS TIME IN THE HANDS OF LAMY/SARRAZIN Following its win at Monza three weeks ago, the Peugeot 908 HDi FAP showed the same winning form today in Valencia where it was this time the turn of Pedro ...

A SECOND WIN FOR THE 908 HDi FAP, THIS TIME IN THE HANDS OF LAMY/SARRAZIN

Following its win at Monza three weeks ago, the Peugeot 908 HDi FAP showed the same winning form today in Valencia where it was this time the turn of Pedro Lamy/Stephane Sarrazin to finish in first place after leading practically from flag to flag without the slightest problem. The same can't be said, however, of the second car which was sidelined by a clutch problem.

Despite starting from pole position, Nicolas Minassian was swiftly passed by Stephane Sarrazin who was quicker off the line. With no fewer than 45 cars on the track, the two 908 HDi FAPs started to come across backmarkers as early as Lap 4 and, after that, spent their time weaving through the traffic round the twisty 4km Valencia circuit. Even so, the gap between the two cars never exceeded 20 seconds until the safety car was sent out on Lap 121 following a tangle between two cars. The teams profited from this neutralisation to refuel and Pedro Lamy chose to stay on the same tyres, while Marc Gene preferred to fit fresh rubber. This made it possible for the Spaniard to home in on his team-mate, prompting a spectacular stand-off between the Peugeot pair. Gene finally succeeded in passing, but he did so under yellow flags and later received a stop- and-go penalty.

By Lap 160, the Spanish driver was beginning to complain about a problem with his clutch which was slipping more and more. When Nicolas Minassian profited from the next stop to take over at the wheel, the Frenchman went little further when the clutch failed for good. This left the second 908 HDi FAP with a lead of almost three laps over its closest chaser and it was able to cruise home to secure victory as the flag came down after six hours of racing (the maximum duration for LMS rounds) before completion of the 250 scheduled laps.

Pedro Lamy: "I am very delighted with this victory, my first both with Peugeot and in the LMS. Our car was very competitive throughout the weekend and I had confidence in it all the way to the end."

Stephane Sarrazin: "It was our turn to win after Monza and it's a fantastic feeling. It was a tough race with unbelievable traffic. The mechanics did a great job and I would like to say a big thank you to them all."

Bruno Famin (Technical Director): "It was an extremely positive weekend and we achieved our objective which was to collect as much information as we could. As we had hoped, it proved to be a first class full-scale test for us. The race revealed that we haven't yet solved all our problems, that we continue to be on the limit in certain areas and also that we still aren't ready to hold for 24 hours."

-credit: peugeot

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About this article
Series European Le Mans
Drivers Nicolas Minassian , Marc Gene , Stéphane Sarrazin , Pedro Lamy , Bruno Famin