Saturday, January 10, 2009

Peugeot 908 HDI FAP

The R10 challenger...

Peugeot started the 908 development since 2005, was publicly unveiled on 15 June 2005. It competes with the Audi R10 TDI, being the second diesel engined sportscar from a major manufacturer. This was Peugeot's first Le Mans effort since the end of the Peugeot 905 project in 1993.

Debut at the opening round of the 2007 Le Mans Series season, the 1000km of Monza. The twin 908s were very quick in qualifying, managing to take the top two spots by over a second from the nearest competitor. During the race the Peugeot lead nearly the entire race, although the #8 car of Lamy and Sarrazin suffered numerous difficulties with its doors, leaving them to finish third. However the #7 908 of Gené and Minassian held on to take victory in the 908's debut. At the next round at Valencia, it would be the #8 Peugeot's turn to take the win, while the #7 car suffered clutch problems and did not finish.

On the 3rd of June 2007, Peugeot managed to best the Audi R10 TDI diesel, setting a Le Mans test day lap time of 3:26.707. This was followed by Peugeot earning pole position on Le Mans qualifying with a 3:26.344 set by Stéphane Sarrazin, again beating Audi - although it is believed Audi did not go as fast as they could, unlike Peugeot (in the race, where the cars were faced directly for the first time, the Audi R10's were obviously faster than the Peugeots on the straights and much more stable when turning turns, easing around the corners). In the race itself the #8 Peugeot managed to finish second to the Audi R10 after covering 359 laps. The #7 Peugeot sister car had to withdraw from the race in the final hour due to engine failure.[10] When the stricken car reached the pits for the second time, Peugeot mechanics made no effort to resolve its problems and simply withdrew it from the race.

Following the break for Le Mans, the Peugeots returned to the Le Mans Series. Peugeot #8 would take two straight victories at Nürburgring and Spa before the #7 908 took the last two wins of the season at Silverstone and Interlagos. Winning three races and finishing in five out of six, 908 #8 won the LMP1 teams' championship, while the #7 car would suffer some reliability issues and would settle for third in the championship, behind Pescarolo Sport.

For 2008, Peugeot expanded their 908 program to include the 12 Hours of Sebring. Although the sole 908 led early, mechanical problems dropped the car from contention. However, the 908 completed the event, serving in preparation for a return to Le Mans. Back in the Le Mans Series, the two team 908s now had to face newcomer Audi, as they too entered two R10 diesels. The 908 however opened the season with a victory in Catalunya, marking the first time a 908 has beaten an R10. For Le Mans three 908s were entered and the team started on pole position as they had in 2007. However during a rain-soaked night at the race the Audi R10 was able to take the lead and go on to win their seventh Le Mans. Peugeots finished second, third, and fifth.

Peugeot finished their season at the 1000 km of Silverstone, but their streak of LMS race wins ended after two accidents involving both cars. The accidents not only allowed the Audis to win the race, but also allowed Audi to secure the Drivers, Teams, and Constructors Championships, titles Peugeot had led all season.

After their loss in the LMS, Peugeot announced their intent to bring two of their 908s to North America to compete in the American Le Mans Series Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. Drivers Christian Klien and Alexander Wurz would have rejoined the squad to face Audi's North American R10s.[11] However, because of accident damage to the 908s at Silverstone, Peugeot later opted to bring only one car. The sole 908 qualified in pole position and led several times over the race, but finished only 4.5 seconds behind the North American Audi team.


JDMike's Diecast Site said...

Another superb model! wish i could start this LM/endurance/GT cars, maybe when I win the Lottery!

congrats Alvin! :-)

RealCollector said...

Thanks mate!
You will Mike... hope your wish come true :)