Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Bonce For Le Mans New Peugeot Sport


THAT'S COOL ... the sleek new Le Mans Peugeot, showing eye-catching reflective cockpit roof

PEUGEOT have given their super new sportscar a shiny reflective roof in a bid to keep their drivers cool during this season’s endurance racing classics.

The chrome-like aluminium material covers the latest development of the French marque’s 908 HDi FAP – an awesome competitor for Britain’s Aston Martin Le Mans hopefuls.

At the car’s launch in Paris today, Peugeot Sport director Olivier Quesnel said: "Our livery has changed. All the cars will now be predominantly blue, with the cockpit covered in a reflective covering aimed at keeping the temperature inside the car to a minimum."

Peugeot set the pace on the sportscar trail last year but failed to win Le Mans or any titles.

This year the team will rehearse for the 24-hour classic by competing in March’s Sebring 12 Hours in Florida – going head-to-head with Aston Martin, Audi's new R15 and a pair of US-based factory Acuras in what should be a thrilling contest.

They will then take in May’s Spa 1,000km race before heading to Le Mans.

Drivers at Sebring will be Nicolas Minassian, Pedro Lamy, Christian Klien, Franck Montagny, Stephane Sarrazin and Peugeot returnee Sebastien Bourdais, recently re-signed for Formula One by Toro Rosso.

Marc Gene and former Aston Martin GT ace David Brabham will join the squad for Le Mans.

Bourdais, who finished second for Peugeot at Le Mans in 2007, said: "I started this great adventure with the team then. Last year there was a problem with my schedule so I couldn’t do the race. But I always agreed with the team managers that I could do something this year."

Quesnel revealed the massive effort being pumped into 2009 when he said: "Our busy test programme includes endurance simulation tests at a variety of circuits.

"And we will take part in two races upstream of Le Mans which will serve as full-scale dress rehearsals for everyone in the team.

"We have consequently chosen to compete in March's 12 Hours of Sebring with two cars and six drivers. We will then take three cars to Belgium for the 1,000km of Spa-Francorchamps in May.

"We haven't yet decided what our programme after the Le Mans 24 Hours will be. We are looking at different options to ensure the best possible exposure for the brand and also the level of competition."