A significant first win for Peugeot 908 HDi FAP

A significant first win for Peugeot 908 HDi FAP

06.04.2008: A significant first win for Peugeot 908 HDi FAP


Circuit de Catalunya (Barcelona): April 6, 2008 (RACE)

The first round of the 2008 Le Mans Series at Barcelona had the makings of being a real thriller, and so it was! The drama-packed 1,000km race kicked off at a blistering pace and ended in success for Team Peugeot Total with the 908 HDi FAP shared by Nicolas Minassian and local star Marc Gené.

With Automobiles Peugeot’s Managing Director Jean-Philippe Collin in attendance, as well as more than 28,000 spectators, including 4,200 guests of Peugeot Spain, the two Peugeot 908 HDi FAPs lined up on the front row of the grid with high hopes of a top result.

As the start lights switched to green, the N°8 car driven by Portugal’s Pedro Lamy pulled away cleanly to profit from the pole position claimed the previous day by team-mate Stéphane Sarrazin. He promptly proceeded to pull slightly clear of the field, including Nicolas Minassian in the sister car which got off to a timid start. "Pedro’s acceleration at the start took me by surprise," commented Nicolas Minassian.

"He was on the throttle very quickly and I found myself back in fourth place." The French driver nonetheless soon eased into third place before engaging in a virile tussle with the N°1 Audi driven by Allan McNish. On Lap 13, Minassian profited from their battling to find a way through before knuckling down in a bid to make up the seven seconds that distanced him from the other 908 in which Pedro Lamy was having a little trouble in the traffic.

Hardly had the gap been bridged, however, than their impending duel was interrupted when the Safety Car was sent out, a phase which allowed McNish to steal a march on his rivals. Sitting on the tail of the Audi driver as the all-clear was given once again, Stéphane Sarrazin tried to find a way past but was hit by an Aston Martin on Lap 42. "I didn’t really understand McNish’s move," stressed Stéphane.

"For a moment, I thought he had a problem because he braked hard in an unusual place. I hit my brakes, too, but Enge wasn’t able to avoid me with his Aston Martin." The N°8 908 HDi FAP’s rear right floor was damaged in the collision and the car had to pit for a new diffuser, losing 11 laps and all chance of victory in the process.

There was further drama on Lap 55 when Catalonia’s Marc Gené leapt more than a metre in the air after launching his car off a kerb. "There was a misunderstanding with a backmarker. In trying to avoid him, I took off on a kerb and my car landed very awkwardly. I thought it was damaged, but I can tell you that the 908 is a really strong car!" Two laps later, despite his brief flight, Marc Gené found himself in front when the N°1 Audi hit mechanical trouble.

After that, the N°7 car enjoyed a trouble-free run all the way to the flag thanks to some consistent laps which allowed the crew to control from in front. Ten laps from home, however, a driver change suddenly became necessary when Gené started to suffer from a bad attack of pins and needles in his right leg. It was therefore Nicolas Minassian who crossed the line to hand Peugeot victory in the first LMS race of 2008.

Meanwhile, the two drivers of the N°8 car, Pedro Lamy and Stéphane Sarrazin, posted a series of fastest race laps before once again finding themselves in traffic. "I was hit at the rear left by another car," related Pedro Lamy. "That sent me fishtailing and I couldn’t avoid hitting a Lamborghini. We both ended up parked in a gravel trap. I had to wait for help to get going again and then had to make a pit-stop to change the bonnet." The Franco-Portuguese pair ended the race in 12th position, with the day’s fastest race lap to show for their efforts.

Michel Barge: "This is a superb win on several accounts. First of all, it’s a great result for Marc Gené who does so much for Catalonian motor sport and for Nicolas Minassian who put in a great run. At the same time, we were joined here by Audi and that gave us a chance to see that the 908 HDi FAP is competitive. I believe we are on the right track to be able to put in strong sprints each time out with a good level of reliability."

Bruno Famin: "It was a very good weekend technically because we didn’t have a single problem. All the drama resulted from race incidents! We were running with the same specification as Sebring, and the N°7 car was equipped with a certain number of elements – including the engine – that had done all the running in the American race. We now total a distance of 5,500km, while the le Mans 24 Hours will probably last something like 6,000km!"

Nicolas Minassian: "It’s been a great day. The team is progressing all the time and is extremely reactive. We pushed as hard as we could and the car proved both quick and reliable. It was quite an easy win at the end of the day."

Marc Gené: "I am above all delighted to have won my home race here in Catalonia. I would also like to thank Peugeot for giving us such a strong and competitive car. Our only problem came towards the end of the race when I got a bad case of pins and needles in my right leg. I was forced to hand over the wheel to Nicolas for the final laps."

Next round: Monza (April 26-27)

Barcelona – final positions:

1, M. Gené/N. Minassian (Peugeot 908 HDi FAP), 215 laps in 5h 59m 30.812s (av: 167.030kph)

2, A. Premat/M. Rockenfeller (Audi R10), +1 lap

3, S. Mucke/J. Charrouz (Lola Aston Martin), 3 laps

4, E. Collard/J-C. Boullion (Pescarolo), +5 laps

5, R. Capello/A. McNish (Audi R10), +6 laps

12, P. Lamy/S. Sarrazin (Peugeot 908 HDi FAP), +15 laps


-Cécile Estenave -  photos Peugeot

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/lms-barcelona-monza-peugeot-908-hdi-fap-first-win-marc-gene-nicolas-minassian-pedro-lamy-sarrazin-photos---35350.html

06.04.2008 / MaP

More News

Audi beim LMS-Debüt auf dem Podium
- Platz zwei für Prémat/Rockenfeller in Barcelona - Gerissener Keilriemen bringt Capello/McNish um Siegchance- Audi Sport Team Joest punktet mit beiden Audi R10 TDI Weniger als 24 Stunden nach dem Sieg in St. Petersburg hat Audi mit seinem Diesel-Sportwagen R10 T more >>
Auftaktsieg für den Porsche RS Spyder
Le Mans Series, 1. Lauf in Barcelona, Spanien Auftakt nach Maß für den Porsche RS Spyder in Europa: Beim Saisonstart der Le Mans Series (LMS) in Barcelona holte sich das niederländische Fahrerduo Jos Verstappen und Peter van Merksteijn den Sieg in der LMP2-Klasse. Die more >>
Stefan Mücke sensationell auf dem Treppchen: Dritter beim LMS-Saisonstart in Barcelona
„Das war ein tolles Gefühl", jubelte Stefan Mücke am Sonntagabend (6. April) nach der Siegerehrung in Barcelona. Kurz zuvor hatte der Berliner Sportwagen-Piloten sensationell mit einem Podiumsplatz das erste von insgesamt fünf Saisonrennen in more >>
Rob Bell completes pre-season testing
The Le Mans Series test at Paul Ricard earlier this week was the final opportunity for Rob Bell and his team mate, Gianmaria Bruni, to prepare for the 2008 season with Virgo Motorsport. Although running with their current Ferrari 430 model, the duo were second quickest at the French more >>
Stefan Mücke im Lola-Aston Martin bei den Tests im französischen Le Castellet vorn dabei
– Berliner: „Das neue Auto gefällt mir immer besser" Der „Ausflug" in den Süden Frankreichs hat sich für den Berliner Sportwagen-Piloten Stefan Mücke gelohnt: „Wir haben einen Schritt nach vorn gemacht. Dank der Aston-Martin-Ingenieure war das Auto bestens präpar more >>

more >>
Peugeot- Sport: Ricardo ZONTA biography
Born Curitiba (Brazil), 23 March 1976 Lives au Brazil Single Beginnings in karting 1993 6th Brazilian Formula Chevrolet championship 1995 Formula 3 Brazilian and South American champion 1996 4th Formula 3000 championship (Draco Racing) 1997 International Formula 3000 champion (3 wins) Test in Formula 1 with Jordan-Pe more >>
Peugeot- Sport: Alexander WURZ biography
Born Waidhofen (Autria), 15 February 1974 Lives in Monaco Married – 3 children 1986 World champion BMX 2nd European BMX championship 1989 2nd, Autrian karting championship 1991 2nd, Formula Ford European and Austrian championship 1992 Formula Ford European, Austrian and German winner 1993 2nd, Austrian Formula 3 cham more >>
Peugeot- Sport: Jacques VILLENEUVE biography
Born St Jean sur Richelieu (Canada), 9 April 1972 Lives in Canada Married – 2 children 1989 Beginnings in Italian Coupe Alfa. 1990 Italian Formula 3 championship. 1991 Italian Formula 3 championship 1992 Japanese Formula 3 championship 1993 Formula Atlantic championship : 5 wins. 1994 CART championship with Players G more >>
Peugeot- Sport: Stéphane SARRAZIN biography
Born Alès (France) 2 November 1975 Lives in France In couple – 1 child 1988 à 92 Beginnings in karting, French Junior and National 1 champion in 1991. 1993 5th French Formula more >>
Peugeot- Sport: Franck MONTAGNY Biography
Born in Feurs, 5 january 1978 Lives in Spain Single 1992-1993 Winner National 1 karting French championship 1994 Winner French Formula Campus 1995 4th, French Formula more >>
Peugeot Sport - Nicolas MINASSIAN biography
Born Marseille (France) 28 February 1973 Lives in Angleterre Married – 1 child Beginnings in karting. 1990 3rd French and European karting 100cc. 1992 Junior Champion French Renault Clio Cup. 1993 2nd, French Formula Renault. 1994 6th, French Formula 3 championship.24 Heures du Mans : abandon. 1995 2nd, French Fo more >>
Peugeot Sport - Pedro LAMY Biography
Born Aldeia, 20 March 1972 Lives in Portugal Married – 2 children Motorcylicling : several mini-motocross titles between 1978 and 1985 Karting between 1985 à 1988 (Portugal champion in 1988) 1989 Formule Ford Portugal champion, 3 wins. 1990 Winner Opel Lotus Nations Cup 1991 Winner Opel Lotus Euroseries championship, 4 wins. more >>
Peugeot Sport - Christian KLIEN Biography
Born Hohenems (Autria), 7 February 1983 Lives in Autria Single Débuts en karting 1996 Winner, Swiss Minikart championship 1997 5th in Swiss kart championship 1998 2nd in 24 hours kart races in Dorbirn and Saalfelden 1999 4th in German Formula BMW Junior championship (4 wins) 2000 10th in German Formula BMW championsh more >>
Peugeot Sport - Marc GENE Biography
Born in Sabadell, 29 March 1974 Lives in Barcelone Married – 2 chlidren Beginnings in Kartin 1988 National karting Spanish champion. 1989 10th European karting championship. 1990 Spanish senior kart champion. 1992 5th Formula Ford Spanish championship : 1 win et 2 pole positions. 1993 2nd, World Cup and Festival Form more >>
Peugeot Sport - Anthony Beltoise Biography
Anthony BELTOISE Born Neuilly (France), 21 July 1971 Lives in Neuilly (France) Single 1993 Winner « Volant Elf at Magny-Cours » 1994 French Formula Renault championship (2 podiums, 3 pole positions) 1995 French Formula 3 championship 1996 2nd, French Formula 3 championship 1997 International Formula 3000 champ more >>
2001-2021 copyright automobilsport.com