In 2009 Peugeot took the `double' at the 24 Heures du Mans. In 2010 Peugeot was up against a redoubtable adversary. The decider will be played next year, promised Olivier Quesnel, Director of Peugeot Sport. Buoyed up by their four consecutive ...
In 2009 Peugeot took the `double' at the 24 Heures du Mans. In 2010 Peugeot was up against a redoubtable adversary. The decider will be played next year, promised Olivier Quesnel, Director of Peugeot Sport.
Buoyed up by their four consecutive `doubles' and the work undertaken over the last year, Team Peugeot Total arrived serene, fit and determined to take up the challenge of the 201024 Heures du Mans. During qualifying the performance of the Peugeot 908 HDi FAP carried them to their fourth pole position in a row. In total Peugeot took the first four places on the starting grid (three works cars and an Oreca Peugeot).
Saturday at 3 o'clock the four cars, headed by the No 3, led for the first three hours. A broken monocoque suspension mounting point eliminated the car of Sebastien Bourdais, Pedro Lamy and Simon Pagenaud at 17h28.
The three remaining Peugeots took their place at the head of the race. But the No 1 car of Anthony Davidson, Marc Gene and Alexander Wurz was held up at nightfall with the replacement of a starter motor-alternator-management system, leaving the No 2 car of Nicolas Minassian, Franck Montagny and Stephane Sarrazin to lead for the majority of this edition of the 24 Heures du Mans. Early in the morning a broken engine puts them out of the race.
Team Peugeot Total puts their hopes in car No 1, but two hours before the finish the last factory Peugeot, that had pulled back with panache on the leaders, also went out with a broken engine. Finally, the Peugeot Oreca retired for the same reason during the last hour, after having posted the fastest race lap time. "Since its debut, the 908 HDi FAP has never before had such engine problems," declares Bruno Famin, Technical Director of Peugeot Sport.
For Olivier Quesnel, Director of Peugeot Sport: "We started at a quick pace in the face of a very strong adversary. We were faster than them, but we weren't as reliable. What counts is the final victory, not the top speed. We have had four consecutive `doubles', and you know that can't go on forever. Unfortunately our luck turned here. But we did everything we had to, to win.
Tomorrow we will analysis what went wrong. We have the right to be disappointed this evening, but tomorrow morning we will get to work, to come back even stronger in 2011.
We did what we could, but we were beaten. Peugeot have human values, our continued presence doesn't depend on sporting results. We have the support of all the major decision makers to push as hard as possible. We showed daring and we showed our values. It is a huge disappointment but we have an easy conscience.
The sanction has fallen; it is hard, but certainly justified. Now we must make sure it doesn't happen again.
We lost the return match today, but we will play the decider next year. "