PEUGEOT OCCUPY THE FIRST FOUR PLACES.
The 78th edition of the 24 Heures du Mans has started in the best possible way for Peugeot. After having dominated free practice, Sebastien Bourdais took provisional pole with 3'19"711. The four Peugeot 908 HDi FAPs this evening occupy the first four places.
Free practice: Four Peugeots in the lead
Track conditions were ideal for free practice and the three factory Peugeot 908 HDi FAPs were able to attack an intensive set up programme right from the off. The team's drivers quickly found their mark and were soon heading the rankings. The only incident a slow puncture on the front right of car No 3.
At the end of the session four Peugeots held the first four places with car No 2 in the hands of Franck Montagny (3'20"034) already faster than Sarrazin's 2009 pole position (3'22"888).
Qualifying 1: Sebastien Bourdais on provisional pole
With rain expected Thursday, Team Peugeot Total's strategy was to chase after a time right from the off. Alexander Wurz (No 1), Stephane Sarrazin (No 2) and Sebastien Bourdais (No 3) kicked off the charge
The session was then interrupted by two red flags in quick succession, causing the Peugeot Sport drivers to be hampered by heavy traffic. But with half an hour left to go Sebastien Bourdais got a clear run and took the pole with a time 3'19"711 just ahead of team mates Alexander Wurz and Stephane Sarrazin. The Peugeot hatrick was completed by Nicolas Lapierre in fourth place.
Quotes Bruno Famin (Technical Director) "Obviously we're pleased to have our three cars in the first three places. And given their speed and motivation, pleased also that they achieved their times without incident. Sebastien reckons he could have gone quicker, but not by very much. If it rains tomorrow we are in a good position, but we can't relax vis a vis the competition, I think they didn't show their full potential."
908 HDi FAP No 3: Sebastien Bourdais (FRA) - Pedro Lamy (POR) Simon Pagenaud (FRA)
Pos: 1st - 3'19''711, time achieved by Sebastien Bourdais.
Sebastien Bourdais: "It is only provisional pole. However we are expecting difficult conditions tomorrow so it is good to have it in the bag. If it is dry tomorrow we will have to have another go. It is a good feeling to finish the session in the lead, especially `at home' in Le Mans. The overall result shows that the Peugeot 908 HDi FAP is still competitive. Now we have to put it all together in the race."
908 HDi FAP No 2: Anthony Davidson (GBR) Marc Gene (ESP) Alexander Wurz (AUT)
Pos: 2nd - 3'20"317, time achieved by Alexander Wurz
Alexqnder Wurz : "I think I could have gone faster, and maybe got provisional pole, but there was a lot of traffic. That said, Seb did a great job. Above all it is the race that counts and with that in mind I am pleased we improved on this morning's set up.
908 HDi FAP No 2: Nicolas Minassion (FRA) Franck Montagny (FRA) Stephane Sarrazin (FRA)
Pos: 3rd - 3'20''325, time achieved by Stephane Sarrazin.
Stephane Sarrazin: "I ran into a lot of traffic that's how it is qualifying here! Normally it works out well for me but not today. I did my fastest lap with my first set of new tyres. Without a small mistake it could have been quicker. We will see what happen tomorrow, especially regarding the weather. Overall it is so far a good result for Peugeot."