A REWARDING DAY'S WORK Peugeot Sport leaves Le Mans pleased with the amount of work it was able to accomplish in the course of the preliminary test day organised by the ACO upstream of the forthcoming Le Mans 24 Hours. The...
A REWARDING DAY'S WORK
Peugeot Sport leaves Le Mans pleased with the amount of work it was able to accomplish in the course of the preliminary test day organised by the ACO upstream of the forthcoming Le Mans 24 Hours.
The team's satisfaction stems not only from the fact that Sébastien Bourdais and his 908 HDi FAP succeeded in posting the fastest lap of the day but also because it managed to work through the complete programme planned for its maiden visit to the French venue without suffering the slightest mechanical problem. The N°8 car covered a total of 60 laps, while the N°7 sister car completed 79 laps. Le Mans rookies Jacques Villeneuve and Marc Gene both got in the mandatory minimum of ten laps demanded by the organisers for all first-time visitors to the circuit.
Sébastien Bourdais went out at the back end of the day and posted a series of very quick laps on race tyres after fine-tuning the set-up of his 908 HDi FAP: "We had a copious programme to get through and we practically succeeded in ticking everything on the list. The car is fantastic to drive. It is nicely balanced and if we succeed in putting in the same sort of performance in a fortnight's time, then we could possibly end up springing a surprise. We didn't run on qualifying tyres and I wasn't far off the car's maximum potential. I've got a busy Champ Car schedule over the coming days including a race at Portland next weekend, and then it'll be back to Le Mans for the real thing..."
Jacques Villeneuve emerged as the fastest rookie after carefully stepping up his pace: "I started with a couple of laps aimed primarily at learning the track which has got quite a few interesting corners. I then went back out later in the day to do a series of long runs to see how the tyres evolved but my biggest concern was the amount of traffic about. That's something new to me, especially since certain cars were taking some pretty bizarre lines! Sharing a car with other drivers isn't a problem and we weren't looking for the absolute fastest time here so I didn't get involved in any setting up work. My team-mates are far more accustomed to the car than I am!" Peugeot Sport's other rookie this weekend was Marc Gene : "It's been a very rewarding experience driving here today. The first thing that strikes you is how long the circuit is; it takes so long to cover just one lap! My initial objective was to learn the circuit and find my marks as I completed my ten mandatory laps. I followed the advice not only of my team-mates but also that of my brother Jordi who knows Le Mans well. I was impressed by certain turns, including Indianapolis, and the speeds involved are very reminiscent of Monza."