Peugeot turned up for the test day this past weekend, with the Sporting Director Michel Barge, summing up the day for the team:
“We have prepared extremely thoroughly for this monumental competition. We have raced at Sebring and in the three rounds of the 2008 Le Mans Series, including Spa where we fielded two complete driver line-ups, not to mention an extremely busy programme of testing since the flag came down on the 2007 Le Mans 24 Hours.
Everyone at Peugeot Sport has done a tremendous job, but we’ve still got lots of work on our hands, including a car to rebuild. But that’s what Le Mans is all about, too: big ups and sometimes moments that are more difficult. Thankfully, Marc Gene came out of his crash with nothing more than a dislocated toe but Stephane Sarrazin gratified us with an excellent time during today’s preliminary test. We are optimistic for the busy week ahead.”
There was no real talk of Franck, however, with most of the attention being on the two rookie drivers, who needed to attend the test to be allowed to race. Both Christian Klien and Ricardo Zonta qualified to take part in the 24 hour marathon, which is good for Franck, as he is their partner. Their Peugeot was second fastest, but over 4 seconds off the pace of the leading car. The good news is they are both ahead of main rivals Audi, who pulled up in third.
Marc Gene’s crash was the sour point of the day. He is fine, thankfully, but the car was wrecked and the team have to build a completely new chassis for the race.
The race is in two weeks time, and I’m hoping to be able to watch some of it somehow.