Since we are newcomers to blogging, we’ll start out with a newcomer to the American Le Mans Series. The French motor company, Peugeot (that’s pronounced ‘poo-joh’ for us yankees), will be debuting in America at the 56th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring race on March 12-15. The driving line-up will include: ex-F1 driver Pedro Lamy, Nic Minassian and Stephane Sarrazin.
Why is this exciting news? Besides the fact that the 908 lapped a blazing 2 seconds faster than last year’s Audi R10 (piloted by Marco Werner) with a 1:42.80 lap time set by Sarrazzin, Peugeot had only started testing their twin-turbo V12 diesel prototype in December 2006 in preparation of the 2007 24 Heures du Mans. With very strong results, Peugeot surely wanted to take another shot at Audi before the 2008 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Finally, Audi has some true competition in the LMP1 class. Could it be as exciting as last year’s GT2 class finish between Jorg Bergmeister (Flying Lizard Porsche 997 GT3-RSR) and Jaime Melo (Risi Competizione Ferrari F430 GT)? I bet it will be.
Peugot Total will actually take 3 other “shots” at Audi before 08LM24 via the LMS> They didn’t NEED to come to Sebring.
It would be helpful if you mentioned what, when, and where the 1:42 happened (ie- the ALMS Winter Test) or that Audi’s own times at said test were based on race setup, not fastest lap practice.
Of course Peugeot doesn’t need to come to Sebring. They did just fine last year without any testing on American soil. You are correct, Peugeot Total will be battling against Audi Sport Team Joest in the euro LMS. I should’ve included that the Peugeot would finally be giving Audi a run for their money in LMP1 in the US.
Also, yes, thank you for bringing that up. I didn’t include more details of what Audi’s times were last year. The 1:42 is the time Sarrazzin set in the Peugeot during practice. Last year, Marco Werner broke the previous record by a second in qualifying to land him pole position, with a 1:44.974.