QUALIFYING: AN ALL-PEUGEOT FRONT ROW The fourth round of the 2008 Le Mans Series has seen Peugeot Sport secure its fourth pole position of the season after an assertive run during the qualifying session for Sunday's Nurburgring 1,000km. Marc...
QUALIFYING: AN ALL-PEUGEOT FRONT ROW
The fourth round of the 2008 Le Mans Series has seen Peugeot Sport secure its fourth pole position of the season after an assertive run during the qualifying session for Sunday's Nurburgring 1,000km. Marc Gene narrowly secured top spot on the grid with his 908 HDi FAP by a margin of just two hundredths of a second over his team-mate Pedro Lamy.
Despite the forecasts, the weather has been chiefly sunny at the Nurburgring since Thursday. Once again, however, the Le Mans Series teams were able to see for themselves that this circuit offers very little grip and most of them faced the usual problem of understeer. The Peugeot drivers used the 908 HDi FAP in its 2008 'sprint' set-up for the first time in public, a configuration which is very close to the specification they raced at Le Mans, but with additional downforce. The two crews found a good balance for their respective cars and have proved unbeatable since the second free practice session. Pedro Lamy was the first to go out in qualifying, posting his best lap third time round thanks to a traffic-free run which bagged a 1m 39.515s, slightly slower than the blistering lap he notched up during the morning (1m 39.023s). Marc Gene was next out and, despite being slower than Pedro over the first two sectors, his third sector time took him two-hundredths of a second clear of his team- mate with a 1m 39.492s. Like last year, Marc was the fastest driver in qualifying, but more than two seconds quicker than in 2007! For the third time this season, the front row will be an all-Peugeot Sport affair.
Marc Gene: "We have achieved our goal which was to get both cars onto the front row. Starting from pole is especially important here since the first turn is very tight and it is easier to defend from in front during the early part of the race. As is frequently the case in the Le Mans Series, traffic promises to be a problem. We will need to tread carefully and avoid brushing the slower cars as we pass them, which is what happened to me this morning. The team has once again done a fantastic job and our car is very nicely balanced."
Nicolas Minassian and Stephane Sarrazin will be in the cars for the start of tomorrow's 1,000km race (195 laps) which begins at 12.05pm.