PEUGEOT SPORT TAKES OVER LE MANS!
Five months after its one-two in the world's most famous endurance race, Peugeot Sport returns to Le Mans, this time with a packed programme featuring all its one-make championships for the season's final Rencontres Peugeot Sport meeting. Spectators can look forward to an exciting weekend of action-packed racing.
The meeting's menu stars the THP Spider Cup, the 207 and 206 Relay Races, the Coupe 207 THP and the Trophee GT (206RCC and Hommell). The packed grids will feature more than 500 drivers and 250 cars, while access to the paddock area is free of charge.
The programme continues with a parade of the Le Mans-winning 908 HDi FAP, entertainment in the 'village' and the presence of factory Peugeot drivers Stephane Sarrazin, Nicolas Minassian and Franck Montagny. The all-French trio will form a formidable crew in the 207 relay race that will see them drive a production 207 built at Peugeot's Poissy factory. The car will be tended by three of the mechanics who ran the No.9908 at Le Mans in June. Staff from Poissy will look after the entry's race strategy.
The entertainment package includes an XBOX 360 simulator challenge (with a benchmark time posted by Stephane Sarrazin), as well as wheel-change contests on a 207 RC Rallye and the possibility throughout the day for visitors to try their hand at slot car racing.
Last but not least, a number of Peugeot models will be on display, including the Peugeot 908 HDi FAP, of course, but also an RCZ, a 5008, a 3008 and many others.
Thursday, November 5
11:00am / 4:00pm / 5:00pm XBOX 360 Challenge
11:30am / 4:30pm / 5:30pm Wheel-change contest
Friday, November 6
10:00am / 2:30pm / 5:00pm XBOX 360 Challenge
6:00pm 908 drivers autograph-signing session
10:30am / 3:00pm / 5:30pm Wheel-change contest
Saturday, November 7
10:45am 908 drivers autograph-signing session
11:30am 908 HDi FAP road show
8:30am / 2:30pm / 4:00pm XBOX 360 Challenge
9:00am / 3:00pm / 4:30pm Wheel-change contest
PLENTY AT STAKE THIS WEEKEND...
Peugeot Sport's 'Rencontres' meetings are as popular for the track action they deliver as they are for the visitor-friendly atmosphere that prevails in the paddock. The series stands out as a great way for competitors to indulge in their passion for motor sport thanks to an unmatched trade-off between track time and budget. The busy schedule sees practice sessions and races packed into just three days, with plenty to fight for in every category.
The THP Spider Cup: the title and prize-drive for Gregory Guilvert During the week which preceded the Le Mans meeting, Gregory Guilvert was able to savour the prize that went with wrapping up the 2009 THP Spider Cup title at Albi, namely a chance to drive the Peugeot 908 HDi FAP at Le Castellet, in the south of France. The Frenchman covered 35 laps of the long circuit and came very close to the car's benchmark time. The THP Spider Cup's final round at Le Mans sees the Paris region-based driver return to the series intent on adding two more wins to his 2009 record. Indeed, Guilvert has dominated this year's competition with a score of 11 wins from the 12 races to date, the other victory going to Gael Castelli who turned out to be his closest threat. A string of misfortunes during the races failed to see Castelli's consistency rewarded, however, and he still runs the risk of being hauled in by Julien Rueflin and Alexandre Rambure who are split by a mere point. The scrap for the places in Guilvert's wake could well be influenced by the presence of a Danish contingent which is looking forward to crossing swords once again with the French brigade. Steven Palette will be a busy man this weekend: in addition to being one of the top-runners in the Spider series, he is in contention for the Coupe 207 THP title, too, and will also take part in the 207 Relay Race along with Christine Courtine and his father Marc. Other drivers to watch out for will be local hero Thomas Dagoneau and newcomers like Stephane Penepinto, who has switched from Caterhams. Unfortunately, former French soccer goalkeeper Fabien Barthez cancelled his participation at the last minute.
The Coupe 207 THP: down to the wire!
Prior to the Nogaro round, only Sebastien Seveau (first race at Val de Vienne) and Eric Coppens (second race at Spa Francorchamps) had succeeded in dislodging Steven Palette from the top step of the podium this year. The latter's score of six wins meant that his position seemed practically unassailable, but two wins for youngster Sacha Bottemanne at Nogaro has forced the decision to go down to the wire, with Palette and Bottemanne split by 16 points ahead of the grand finale. The customary fighting within the pack of this spectacular competition also means that it will be one of the big draws in qualifying since this year's series runs to a Super Pole format that takes its inspiration from the world of Formula 1! One driver to watch is Le Mans-bred Danick Rahard.
Relay Race 207 : GPA Racing eyeing victory over the 908 threesome!
Victories at Nogaro, Magny-Cours and Val de Vienne mean that GPA Racing's Pouget and Albouy joined by Coppens for the longer races are sure of taking the 2009207 Relay Race title. The combination of their three wins, their consistency and their bold race strategies will allow them to start the Le Mans race with the pressure off. Even so, they would still dearly love to beat the crew of the specially- liveried car No.908, namely Sarrazin, Montagny and Minassian. No Limit Racing's Bellinato and Counil, who won at Spa and Ledenon, are currently second in the standings and are also hoping to profit from the six-hour endurance race to end the year on a high note. And they are not alone in that, of course, since no fewer than 50 crews are expected to line up for the start! In the 206 Relay series, which is based on three-hour races, there is still everything to play for, since Team SGR (Chevreton/Sacrez) and A3 Competition (the Alloin family) are level-pegging on points. There will also be two crews defending the Le Mans region's honour, in the persons of Yannick and Yann Dondel, and Herve Tireau and Herve Raoul.
Trophee GT: all eyes on the Hommells...
This year's Coupe 206RCC has lived up every bit to its promise thanks to the fine scrap it has produced between outgoing champ Christian Bottemanne and the particularly determined Jeremy Reymond. The former's two wins at Nogaro handed him a second consecutive crown, however, thanks to a score of six wins from a possible 10. In the Coupe Hommell, the eight wins of six-time champion Marcel Sciabbarrasi's weren't sufficient for him to beat the particularly consistent Yannick Pechard. Sciabbarrasi's failure to finish the second race at Val de Vienne (gearbox) and his sixth place in the first race at Ledenon proved excessively costly. The spectacular driver hasn't said his final word, though, at least as far as keeping the spectators entertained is concerned!