The Le Mans Series wrapped up it's 2007 racing season this past weekend at the Interlagos track in Sao Paulo Brazil, and the Peugeot team finished it's clean sweep.The new Peugeot 908 HDi diesel powered prototypes took six victories in six races including a pair of one-two finishes. The No 8 car of Marc Gene and Nicolas Minassian led their teammates Pedro Lamy and Stéphane Sarrazin across the line after 1,000 miles of racing, although the latter pair had accumulated enough points over the course of the season to take the championship. Unfortunately the only time the French diesels got to face off against the Audi R10s was at Le Mans where one of the two Audis won.
1000 MILHAS BRASIL : PEUGEOT CLINCHES THE 2007 LE MANS SERIES TITLE
Second place for the N°8 908 HDi FAP of Pedro Lamy and Stéphane Sarrazin in this weekend's 1000 Milhas Brasil at Interlagos, Sao Paulo, was sufficient to wrap up the 2007 Le Mans Series title for Peugeot Total. The 908 HDi FAP of Marc Gene and Nicolas Minassian took victory in the 1000 Milhas to hand Peugeot Total its second one-two result of the year to round off the 2007 season in style.
Pedro Lamy and Stéphane Sarrazin, who were the only drivers in a position to take the LMS crown for Peugeot Total, did not have a trouble-free run in the Brazilian race which saw them forced to start from the back of the grid despite securing pole position in Thursday's qualifying session. Indeed, a clutch problem prevented Pedro Lamy from pulling away immediately for the formation lap and the Portuguese driver only succeeded in leaving the line once the rest of the 24-car field had passed. An outstanding drive nonetheless saw Lamy fight his way back to second by his first refuelling stop on Lap 37. The N°8 car was then called into the pits by the stewards on Lap 198 when the rear-right light was seen to be flashing on and off. Three laps were lost, but the car managed to re-join in second place. Then, on Lap 326, Pedro Lamy picked up a slow front-right puncture and stopped to change all four tyres. On Lap 338, the team chose to call the car back in to the pits to inspect the front suspension after observing sparks coming from the front-right corner, although nothing serious was found.
Meanwhile, the N°7 908 HDi FAP of Marc Gene and Nicolas Minassian enjoyed a near-perfect run after leading from the start and came through all the potential pitfalls of the race which proved particularly punishing for the drivers and cars alike. In the end, after 374 laps and more than 1,600km of racing, the two 908 HDi FAPs took the chequered flag side by side in the dark to claim the team's second one-two finish of the year after monopolising the top two places at the Nürburgring.
Stéphane Sarrazin: "Towards the end, we preferred to make a number of precautionary stops for checks in order to ensure we weren't stopped as we were at Silverstone. Our result with what was a new car is incredible. This team is fantastic; it's like a dream come true!"
Pedro Lamy: "We were under pressure during the race because of problems like our clutch trouble at the start. I can hardly believe we've won the title after such an eventful race, but we are effectively champions!"
Marc Gene: "It's incredible that the team succeeded in producing such a strong car in such a short time. This team is really fantastic; I've rarely seen anything like it. This whole adventure has been extraordinary and unimaginable!"
Nicolas Minassian: "I would like to congratulate Pedro and Stéphane on their title. They have put in a first class season, but so has the entire team which has become a second family for me. It's tremendous to have ended the year with a win and a one-two finish for the team. That makes it three wins each for the N°7 and N°8 cars."
Michel Barge, Peugeot Sport Director: "It's a marvellous result for Peugeot and for everyone who has worked so hard at Peugeot Sport since the beginning of our endurance programme, not to mention for all the guests of Peugeot's Brazilian, Argentine and Chilean subsidiaries who were here today to watch the race."
1000 Milhas Brasil - final positions: 1, Gene/Minassian Peugeot 908 HDi FAP (1,611km in 8h 58m 21.822s) 2, Lamy/Sarrazin Peugeot 908 HDi FAP (+12 laps) 3, Campbell/Ortiz/Hall Creation-Judd (+16 laps) 4, Collard/Boullion/Primat Pescarolo-Judd (+ 20 laps)
2007 LMS Drivers' classification - final positions: 1, Lamy/Sarrazin 40 points 2, Boullion 36.5 points 3, Gene/Minassian 33 points 4, Collard 32.5 points
2007 LMS Teams' classification - final positions: 1, Team Peugeot Total N°8 40 points 2, Pescarolo Sport N°16 36.5 points 3, Team Peugeot Total N°7 33 points