Sep 10

Le Mans: Peugeot focused on manufacturers’ crown

Peugeot will look to secure the championship title

As the Le Mans Series season draws to a close at Silverstone.


Peugeot Sport director Michel Barge says his teams ‘number one of objective’ will be to secure the manufacturers title as the Le Mans Series season comes to close this weekend at Silverstone.

Despite winning each of the four events so far this year, the team heads into the finale just six points ahead of rivals Audi as the diesel battle between the two manufacturers continues to rage.

Should Peugeot maintain its winning run with the 908 HDi in the season finale then the title will be secured for the second successive season, and Barge admitted that that was the main aim for the weekend.

“Our number one objective is to win the manufacturers’ title,” he said. “That is very important for the brand. The six-point gap over our main rivals means we will have to run an aggressive strategy. The ideal scenario would be a repeat of our result at the Nürburgring, or at least to finish with one car ahead of the Audis.

“The 908 HDi FAP has again shown this year that it is at home on all types of circuit, but it is especially strong on fast, flowing tracks such as Silverstone. If we succeed in finishing ahead of the Audis with both cars, the drivers’ title will go to the #908 of Marc Gene and Nicolas Minassian, because last year’s champions Pedro Lamy and Stephane Sarrazin are no longer in the running in the #8 car.”

Despite finishing second to Lamy and Sarrazin last time out in Germany, Gene and Minassian were able to open up a two point lead over Audi pair Alex Premat and Mike Rockenfeller going into the final rounds and will secure the title if they can finish ahead of their rivals.

However, Minassian admitted that the duo would be fighting for honours in the race and wouldn’t simply focus on taking the points needed to lift the crown.
“Marc and I have no intention of playing second fiddles,” he said. “Our objective is to leave Silverstone on Sunday evening with victory and the 2008 Le Mans Series title in our pocket. What a terrific way that would be of rounding off the season. I feel very relaxed and I go into this race intent on winning! And if we succeed, the title will automatically be ours.

“Last year, we scored a grand slam at Silverstone. Marc and I enjoy this circuit very much. It’s my favourite venue and it tends to be successful for me. I particularly love the sequence through Copse, Becketts and then Stowe which you take at more than 250kph. What a buzz! If we are fortunate enough to clinch the drivers’ and manufacturers’ crowns, it will be my first title in motor racing!”

source: crash.net