The N7 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP still on the provisional podium A third of the way into the 2007 Le Mans 24 Hours, the N7 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP of Marc Gene, Nicolas Minassian and Jacques Villeneuve continues to figure on the provisional...
The N7 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP still on the provisional podium
A third of the way into the 2007 Le Mans 24 Hours, the N7 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP of Marc Gene, Nicolas Minassian and Jacques Villeneuve continues to figure on the provisional podium and is less than two laps behind the N1 car in 2nd place. Following its earlier wheel-bearing trouble, the N8 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP has fought back up the leaderboard from 13th to 7th place, seven laps behind the leader. Jacques Villeneuve handed over car N7 to team-mate Nicolas Minassian just before the seven-hour mark, while Sebastien Bourdais took over from Stephane Sarrazin shortly afterwards and is determined to continue moving up the order as darkness settles in over the French circuit.
At 20.31, Sarrazin re-joins the race in 13th place after a rear-left transmission shaft/brake assembly change.
At 20.35, the N16 car passes into 3rd place ahead of the N7 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP, but Villeneuve retrieves the car's provisional footing on the podium shortly afterwards. The N7 Peugeot 908 HDi 908 continues to trade 3rd and 4th places with the N16 car.
However, the Canadian starts to pull out a bit of a gap in 3rd place as the 7-hour mark and 100-lap mark approaches.
Michel BARGE (Director, Peugeot Sport): "A third of the way into the race, the two Audis are clearly capable of maintaining a very quick pace. They have seen that they have the reliability to run in practice trim, and that's not something we can allow ourselves to do. We have never concealed the fact that we have not yet had the opportunity to validate that level of reliability. During the complex early part of the race, we let the drivers manage the rain and the safety car situations as they saw fit. Unfortunately, we then had a problem with the N8 car which forced them to drop back but the N7 is running well in 3rd place. Anything can still happen and we still have a great deal to learn, so we will do our best to keep it going all the way to the finish."
Stephane SARRAZIN (N8 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP): "That was quite a long run [2h 56m] but I feel fine. We had a few problems at the rear early in my stint and we had to change a few parts. The car ran far better afterwards and I hope it will be reliable now. We are little surprised not have the same level of performance as we had in qualifying but we are gaining good experience and that's important."
Jacques VILLENEUVE (N7 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP): "We're doing triple stints to see how that helps us. I hit something with the front of the car on a straight, but after the front-end change the car was much better. It's tough out there but I feel much more confident with the track, although visibility was a little difficult with the setting sun.. I'm surprised to see to see how many retirements there have been in the LMP1 category."