PEUGEOT CLINCHES 2nd PLACE IN THRILLING FINISH What an amazing finale to an absolutely thrilling weekend! When rain started to fall once more over the French circuit as the race entered its final hour, the situation at the top of the ...
PEUGEOT CLINCHES 2nd PLACE IN THRILLING FINISH
What an amazing finale to an absolutely thrilling weekend! When rain started to fall once more over the French circuit as the race entered its final hour, the situation at the top of the leaderboard was thrown wide open. Nicolas Minassian, running in 2nd place with the No.7 Peugeot, played a joker card by choosing to stay out on slicks when the front-running Audi switched to rain tyres. Despite the Frenchman's best efforts, however, he couldn't shave anything off the lead enjoyed by Capello/Kristensen/McNish. The No.9 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP (Montagny/Klien/Zonta) also finished on the podium, while the No.8 car of Lamy/Sarrazin/Wurz concluded its comeback from 31st spot on Saturday evening by collecting 5th place at the flag.
The afternoon's final chase began in dramatic fashion at 12.48pm when the No.8 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP went straight on into the tyres at Arnage with Lamy at the wheel. He was pulled clear by marshals and was able to return to the Peugeot pits for checks and a replacement of damaged body parts, without dropping down the order.
Practically at the same time, the No.2 Audi was hit in the right-hand side by another car. It lost time on that lap but was able to continue, apparently undamaged.
As the race entered its final hour, the difference between the No.7 Peugeot and the leader was under the two-minute mark, with Minassian charging. just as rain began to pour down once more!
The No.2 Audi pitted and took intermediates, while the No.7 Peugeot stopped almost immediately afterwards but didn't change tyres and stayed on slicks.
That no doubt explains his ensuing spin at the Dunlop turn, yet he was making no inroads on the No.2 Audi's lead. Minassian went on to perform several 'straight-ons' before finally electing to pit for rain tyres. This gave the Audi a chance to lap him, but Minassian unlapped himself on the penultimate lap to finish on the same lap as the winner.