GENE/MINASSIAN/VILLENEUVE STILL IN FRONT WITH THE N7 PEUGEOT 908 HDi FAP The N7 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP continues to lap at the head of the field after taking the lead shortly after the nine-hour mark (10.08pm). With Marc Gene and then Nicolas ...
GENE/MINASSIAN/VILLENEUVE STILL IN FRONT WITH THE N7 PEUGEOT 908 HDi FAP
The N7 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP continues to lap at the head of the field after taking the lead shortly after the nine-hour mark (10.08pm). With Marc Gene and then Nicolas Minassian at the wheel, it has gradually pulled further clear of the N2 Audi and, with more than 2,200km covered since Saturday afternoon's start, the margin between the top two cars has been extended to more than two minutes. The top six hasn't changed since the last news bulletin, although the N8 car continues to gain ground on the leading pack after its long pit-stop earlier in the evening.
Just before midnight, the N8 Peugeot was slowed when its windscreen was covered with oil thrown up by another competitor. Wurz had to make an unscheduled stop to have it cleaned.
The Safety Cars made their first appearance of the race at 00.10 after a crash involving the N6 Courage. All three Peugeots profited from the interruption to refuel before the race re-started at 00.42.
Marc GENE (N7 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP, at 11.55pm): "Driving at night is magic, but it's also very difficult, although I was perfectly happy to stay out for a quadruple stint. I tried to keep it as consistent as possible and not take any risks. That's an approach that 'Nico', Jacques and I are all comfortable with and it's how we won the LMS race at Spa. There was perhaps just one moment during my run when I was perhaps a little closer to the limit, and that is when I was chasing Christian Klien before he went off. That brought me straight back down to Earth."
Stephane SARRAZIN (N8 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP, at 11.35pm): "Our car is really fast and I pushed very hard throughout my last stint and posted a few particularly quick times, although I didn't get any perfectly clear laps. Losing six laps in the pits was extremely frustrating because our gear selection problem was due to a small part that has never previously given us any trouble since the 908 HDi FAP's debut."
Ricardo ZONTA (N9 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP, at midnight): "That wasn't an easy run for me. I found the track very dirty and it was difficult with all the traffic in the dark. The car is OK. I've got three hours before my next run. I'm going to make the most of that to get in a little sleep."