The N7 Peugeot 908 HDi FAPs leads the chase in 3rd place After a hectic start to the 2007 Le Mans 24 Hours, including two long spells under the Safety Car, the picture at the sharp end of the leaderboard had begun to settle down...
The N7 Peugeot 908 HDi FAPs leads the chase in 3rd place
After a hectic start to the 2007 Le Mans 24 Hours, including two long spells under the Safety Car, the picture at the sharp end of the leaderboard had begun to settle down when the N8 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP was forced to limp back to the Team Peugeot Total pits with a rear-right wheel-bearing problem shortly before the five-hour mark while figuring in 2nd place, on the same lap as the leader.
With 79 laps covered (1,076km), the N7 sister car is lapping consistently and has a footing on the provisional podium (3rd). The N8
spent 12 minutes in its pits, returning in 9th, but returned shortly afterwards for work on the rear-left wheel-bearing.
(Conditions: heavy shower just after 5pm, then increasingly sunnier / 18C 20C (air)
The safety car stays out as the race enters its third hour.
The N8 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP moves up to 2nd place when the N16 car pits at 5.23pm. Marc Gene then passes the N16 car when the green flag comes out at 17.44.
After 36 laps, the two Peugeot 908 HDi FAP s are running 2nd (N8) and 3rd (N7) after 36 laps. Running on wet weather tyres in rapidly drying conditions, however, the N7 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP is successively passed by cars N1 and N16 on Lap 39 and falls to 5th. It then pits to switch back to slicks and re-joins in 5th.
When car N16 pits at 18.17, the N7 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP moves into 4th place after Lap 45. Gene then pits and re-joins in 5th place. The N7 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP profits from car N16's pit-stop to re-gain 4th place.
At 19.14 (after Lap 60), Pedro Lamy pits to hand over to Stephane Sarrazin after spending 2 hours 38 minutes at the wheel of the N8 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP. The car re-joins in 3rd position.
At 19.35(after Lap 65), Marc Gene pits to hand over to Jacques Villeneuve after spending just one minute short of 3 hours at the wheel of the N7 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP. The car re-joins in 4th position, but Gene is completely drained.
At 19:48, just as it starts its 69th lap, smoke can be seen coming from the N8 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP (rear right wheel-bearing). The car covers a complete lap at reduced speed where the team is waiting for the car. The incident sees the N7 sister car move into 3rd place. Sarrazin stays in the car as the crew wheel the 908 into the garage where the rear-right and left transmission shaft/brake assemblies are changed. After spending 12 minutes in the pits, the car re-joins in 9th place, 5 laps behind the leader. Sarrazin returns into pits at 20:25 after 75 laps following a problem with the rear-left wheel-bearing.
Bruno FAMIN (Technical Director, Peugeot Sport): "The rear-right wheel-bearing failed on the N8 car and we asked Stephane to return to the pits at slow speed. We changed the rear-right and left transmission shaft/brake assemblies and he was able to go back out, but he returned a few laps afterwards when a problem was detected with the rear-left wheel-bearing. This time we only changed the one assembly."
Pedro LAMY (N8 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP): "That was a very good stint, although the car was a little pointy to drive. Like Sebastien, I found it over-steered quite a lot. I spent much of my stint behind the safety car when it was wet but I preferred to stay on slicks and it wasn't always easy!"
Marc GENE (N7 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP): "It was a difficult start to my stint because of the wet conditions with the safety car out. I was on wet weather tyres as the track dried so it wasn't easy. It was obviously much better when we switched back to slicks."