Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari
- Peugeot ready for Imola challenge
- Le Mans Series host 4th ILMC round
ILMC (4/7) 6 Hours of Imola preview:
In unchartered territory
Three weeks after an epic edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Team Peugeot Total is ready to lock horns with its rivals again. Just like at Spa and Le Mans, the team expects the race to be a 6-hour sprint, on a track that will be new to many of the teams.
Imola is a high-speed track with a mix of fast, sweeping curves and slower sections.
Two Peugeot 908s are entered to try and extend Peugeot’s lead in the Manufacturers’ standings, driven by Sébastien Bourdais and Anthony Davidson (no.7), and Franck Montagny and Stéphane Sarrazin (no.8).
A six-hour sprint after Le Mans
The 79th edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours is still fresh in everyone’s mind and the 13.854-second gap between the first two cars has already gone down in history. Endurance is currently serving up some thrilling and unique racing, creating a level of interest in the sport never seen before. This can be seen in the viewing figures recorded by Peugeot Sport’s Web TV at Le Mans, with almost a million connections to the www.peugeot-sport.com website. Live coverage will be available again at Imola.
The ILMC season now moves on to Imola, with a six-hour race. Two cars are entered for the race in what promises to be a wide open sprint. “Since the start of the ILMC season, every race has been very hotly disputed”, analyses Olivier Quesnel, Peugeot Sport Director. “We saw at Le Mans that we had to push throughout the entire 24 hours. At Sebring, the top three were separated by just 44 seconds after 12 hours of racing. At Spa-Francorchamps, we claimed a one-two after an incredible fight back; there was only forty or so seconds between our two cars at the end of the race. We fully expect a very closely fought contest throughout the six hours at Imola. That’s why we are entering two Peugeot 908s driven by sprinters. Sébastien Bourdais and Anthony Davidson will team up for the first time in the number 7. Franck Montagny and Stéphane Sarrazin will be back together in the number 8.”
Getting to know Imola
Imola, one of Formula 1’s top circuits, is this year the venue for a round of the ILMC. Peugeot and all the competitors will be making their first appearance at the 4,909-metre long Enzo e Dino Ferrari racetrack, which was redesigned by Hermann Tilke in 2007. One of the challenges facing the teams this weekend will therefore be to define the best set-up for this fast and technical track.
“It’s always interesting to experience new tracks", explains Bruno Famin, Peugeot Sport’s Technical Director. “Imola is a high-speed track with a mix of fast, sweeping curves and slower sections. From a technical point of view, it's totally different again from Le Mans, Sebring or Spa-Francorchamps. We come into the event with a basic set-up defined using the data that we have gathered and all the simulation work we have carried out. We hope that the three free practice sessions will enable us to check the set-up. We will also have to contend with more traffic than ever: with 50 cars on a 5km-long track, there is every reason to be a little concerned.”
Peugeot leads the Manufacturers’ standings
With a win and a third place at Sebring, a one-two at Spa-Francorchamps and two cars on the podium at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where double points were awarded, Peugeot leads the Manufacturers’ standings. The main target for the French brand will be to consolidate its lead and attempt, if possible, to secure a third win in four races.