After an extended break following the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Peugeot 908 HDi returned to action this past weekend at the 1,000km race at Spa Francorchamps in Belgium. Like the Audi R8 running in North America, the French diesel-powered racer continued its dominating ways in the Le Mans Racing Series capturing its fourth victory in a row in the series. The number 7 car had a wheel bearing fail forcing them out after 39 laps, but the number 8 car driven by Stéphane Sarrazin went on to win over a gasoline-powered car by two laps.
20 August 2007
Spa Francorchamps 1,000 km (August 19, 2007)
FOUR IN A ROW – PEUGEOT 908 HDi FAP WINS AT SPA FRANCORCHAMPS
Peugeot claimed its fourth win in a row at Sunday's Spa Francorchamps 1,000 km race and the third successive win for the No 8 car driven by Pedro Lamy and Stéphane Sarrazin.
On Saturday Nicolas Minassian secured the fourth consecutive LMS pole for the No.7 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP, beating again the No 8 sister car driven by Stéphane Sarrazin.
The race started under a clear sky and in warm weather and Marc Gené in the No 7 car led the race from pole position ahead of Pedro Lamy in the No 8 sister car. On lap 13, however, Pedro Lamy, who was more incisive overtaking the backmarkers, profited from the traffic to move into the lead exiting Eau Rouge.
Marc Gené stayed in the car after the first refuelling stop on lap 18 but was forced to make an unscheduled stop eight laps later following a rear wheel-bearing failure. He rejoined eight laps later but the same problem reappeared forcing him to stop again – this time for good – on lap 39.
With the No 7 car out of the race, the No 8 908 HDi FAP driven by Stéphane Sarrazin enjoyed a two lap advantage over the No 3 Pescarolo. The rest of the race passed off without any issues for the No 8 car which even remained on slick tyres when a short shower broke out over the Belgian circuit on lap 107.
The safety car was called out on several occasions as a result of the numerous accidents which meant that the chequered flag was shown after six-hours of racing before the race had reached its scheduled distance.
Pedro Lamy: "I am very happy for the team which did a great job. We just need a top finish in the next round of the Le Mans Series to make sure of the title."
Stéphane Sarrazin: "We weren't completely satisfied with the set-up of the car for qualifying but I was very pleased with the improvements we made for the race. The team are working in the right direction and as usual, our Michelin tyres were excellent."
The Peugeot 908 HDi FAPs will be in action again in the UK at the Silverstone 1,000 km on 15–16 September, when Peugeot could become 2007 LMS champions.