PEUGEOT ON POLE FOR THE FOURTH TIME IN SUCCESSION
For the fourth time in as many years a Peugeot 908 HDi FAP takes pole for tomorrow's 78th 24 Heures du Mans, with the team's three cars occupying the first three places just ahead of Team Oreca's Peugeot in fourth. Changeable weather on the second day of qualifying prevented a new battle for the top spot but allowed Team Peugeot Total to concentrate on perfecting their set up in preparation for Saturday's 15h00 start.
Qualifying 2: The work continues
Starting on wets, the three 908 HDi FAPs of Team Peugeot Total ventured out on a damp but drying track with the firm intention of taking advantage of every minute available to them. Following a clearly defined programme, the focus was on testing different tyre compounds and aerodynamic set ups. As the session advanced the times dropped, though without threatening to surpass yesterday's performance. Alexander Wurz (Car No 1) posted the fastest lap of 3'23"238, ahead of Simon Pagenaud (Car No 3) and Stephane Sarrazin (Car No 2).
Qualifying 3: Ready to race
With conditions improving during the ultimate qualifying session the times started to fall fast over the last 15 minutes. Comortably installed in the first three places, the experienced Team Peugeot Total oncentrated on validating the fruit of their labours. Sebastien Bourdais nevertheless posted the fastest lap of the day of 3'20"212, to the delight of his many supporters who turned out to cheer on their local hero.
Aboard his Peugeot 908 HDi FAP No 3, Sebastien signs his first pole position thanks to yesterday's quickest lap of 3'19"711. The Peugeots monopolise the first two rows of the grid with the three factory cars, No 3, the No 1 and then the No 2 ahead of the Peugeot of Team Oreca. Pedro Lamy, Marc Gene and Franck Montagny will start Saturday at 15h00.
Olivier Quesnel (Peugeot Sport Team Director). "We worked hard and we couldn't have done better, but we haven't won anything yet. We are ready but that doesn't mean are going to have an easy weekend. Taking the pole is one thing, taking the victory is quite another."
908 HDi FAP No 3: Sebastien Bourdais (FRA) - Pedro Lamy (POR) Simon Pagenaud (FRA)
Sebastien Bourdais : "This pole proves that we are strong, now we have to turn that strength into victory. We worked well today and the goal of the last 15 minutes was to confirm the car's balance, not to chase after another pole. Now I want the race to start, time is going to drag until Saturday. We have the equipment, the speed and the people to win, but we need to stay humble and hope for a little luck."
908 HDi FAP No 1: Anthony Davidson (GBR) Marc Gene (ESP) Alexander Wurz (AUT)
Anthony Davidson: "Until that last run I didn't feel all that prepared and it took me a while to get up to speed. But then I got comfortable and my lap times started to come down. Now I can't wait for race day to come. I wish it was Saturday tomorrow."
908 HDi FAP No 2: Nicolas Minassion (FRA) Franck Montagny (FRA) Stephane Sarrazin (FRA)
Nicolas Minassian : We have gone well over these last two days. Yesterday Frank worked on the tyres and then Stephane went after a time. He could have got the pole, but was unlucky with the traffic. Today the weather was changeable which was both challenging and useful. Now our mechanics are going to have a lot of work, while we rest and prepare for the race."