PEUGEOT LEADS AT HALF-DISTANCE WITH THE N7 908 HDi FAP
Competitors on the 2008 Le Mans 24 Hours have already been running for 12 hours, and the order has begun to settle down with fewer incidents amongst the front-runners. The N7 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP still enjoys a handy, but by no means entirely safe margin at the top of the provisional standings. The N2 Audi follows in 2nd place with the N9 Peugeot continuing to hold its own in third. An electrical problem on the N8 Peugeot dropped Lamy/Sarrazin/Wurz car back from 6th to 9th, although it has already moved back up to 7th spot.
The N8 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP makes a scheduled pit-stop for fuel, but the car is then wheeled into the garage with an electrical problem (battery short circuit). Lamy, who takes the place of Wurz in the car, rejoins in 9th place after being immobilised for 12 minutes.
A harmless 360 spin for Christian Klien at 2.05pm at the start of the pits straight.
The race's halfway point came while the leading Peugeot 908 HDi FAP was on its 200th lap ! At this rate, the distance record of 5,335km (1971) could be beaten on Sunday afternoon.
Michel BARGE (Director, Peugeot Sport): "This year's Le Mans 24 Hours has lived every bit up to its reputation so far and has shown that anything can happen. It's been a very close fight with our main rivals, but we haven't been spared a variety of small but time-consuming problems, ranging from mechanical trouble, a drive-through penalty and a visit to the sand traps. We started the race at an extremely fast pace, but we didn't have any choice. The drivers have put in some remarkable, occasionally very long sometimes runs, and we're not looking to spare the cars. The big disappointment of the race so far was the first problem which caused the N8 Peugeot HDi FAP to lose time earlier: the component that caused the gear selection problem is a part with which we've never had any trouble ever since the 908 made its debut."
Franck MONTAGNY (N9 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP, at 2am): "My run went well. I put in some good, consistent laps. It's a shame that we lost time earlier in the evening when our car went into the gravel, but there's still a long way to go."
Nicolas MINASSIAN (N7 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP, at 2.35am): "I was asked to push on my run, and that's what I did. If we want to win, we've got no choice: we've got to go faster than our rivals. In any case, I prefer to give it 100% to stay concentrated. If you lift, that's when there's a risk of making a mistake. The Peugeot 908 HDi FAP is going well for the moment and we are in control. But we're only at the halfway point, so we need to continue like this."