PEUGEOT ON POLE FOR THE FOURTH TIME
For the fourth time in as many years, a Peugeot 908 HDi FAP has taken pole for Saturday's 78th 24 Heures du Mans. The team's three cars occupy the first three places, just ahead of Team Oreca's privately entered Peugeot in fourth. Changeable weather on the second day of qualifying prevented a new battle for the top spot but allowed Team Peugeot Total to concentrate on perfecting their set up in preparation for Saturday's 3pm start.
Qualifying 2: The work continues
Starting on wet weather tires, the three 908 HDi FAPs of Team Peugeot Total ventured onto the damp but drying track with the firm intention of taking advantage of every minute available to them. Following a clearly defined program, the focus was on testing different tire compounds and aerodynamic set up. As the session advanced the times dropped, though without threatening to surpass yesterday's performance. Alexander Wurz (Car No 1) posted the fastest lap of 3'23"238, ahead of Simon Pagenaud (Car No 3) and Stephane Sarrazin (Car No 2).
Qualifying 3: Ready to race
With conditions improving during the ultimate qualifying session, the times started to fall over the last 15 minutes. Comfortably installed in the first three places, the experienced Team Peugeot Total concentrated on validating the fruit of their labor.
Sebastien Bourdais nevertheless posted the fastest lap of the day of 3'20"212, to the delight of his supporters, who turned out to cheer on their local hero. Aboard his Peugeot 908 HDi FAP No 3, Sebastien secured his first pole position thanks to yesterday's quickest lap of 3'19"711. The Peugeots monopolized the first two rows of the grid, with the three factory cars, No 3, No 1 and then No 2 ahead of the Peugeot of Team Oreca. Pedro Lamy, Marc Gene and Franck Montagny will be the starting drivers on Saturday at 3pm local time.
Olivier Quesnel (Peugeot Sport Team Director)
"We worked hard and couldn't have done better, but we haven't won anything yet. We are ready but that doesn't mean are going to have an easy weekend. Taking the pole is one thing, taking the victory is quite another."
"This pole proves we are strong, now we have to turn that strength into victory. We worked well today and the goal of the last 15 minutes was to confirm the car's balance, not to chase after another pole. We have the equipment, the speed and the people to win, but we need to stay humble and hope for a little luck."
"Until that last run I didn't feel prepared, and it took me a while to get up to speed. But then my lap times started to come down. Now I can't wait for race day to come."
We have gone well over these last two days. Yesterday Frank worked on the tires and then Stephane went for a good lap time. He could have got the pole, but was unlucky with the traffic. Today the weather was changeable, which was both challenging and useful. Now our mechanics are going to have a lot of work, while we rest and prepare for the race."
1 - PEUGEOT 908 HDi FAP n?3 (Bourdais) : 3'19''711
2 -PEUGEOT 908 HDi FAP n?1 (Wurz) : 3'20''317
3 - PEUGEOT 908 HDi FAP n?2 (Sarrazin) : 3'20''325
4 -PEUGEOT 908 HDi FAP n?4 (Lapierre) : 3'21''192
5 - AUDI R15 TDI n?9 (Rockenfeller) : 3'21''981
6 - AUDI R15 TDI n?7 (McNish) : 3'22''176