Le Mans - Second is the first of the losers

Published June 15, 2009

And there it was, Le Mans in all its glory. Franck started the race, Bourdais finished it, and between the three drivers, they came in second. It was a race of high attrition, with the Audi’s struggling, giving Peugeot their best change to break their rival’s run of victories. Good for Peugeot, they managed a win, bad for Franck it was the other team.

The #8 Peugeot at the hands of FKM, Bourdais and Sarrazin led for the start of the race, but spent an unfortunate ten minutes in the pits with a wheel problem that saw the lead change hands. Towards the end of the race, Bourdais was gaining on his sister team at the front, but there was a notion that the team had been told not to race each other. Peugeot didn’t want to risk their chance at a win. Montagny was not impressed:

I am quite happy with my performance, but I am not really happy otherwise if we stay the way we are now. I’m super happy for the team, but not really happy for myself. The car is fine. Sometimes when we go to other tracks we struggle a little bit with some stuff on the car, but the car is made for this track - it’s super good on this track.

Marc Gene, on the winning team was gracious:

I want to thank my team-mates because they followed team orders and didn’t fight at the end. They deserved to win as much as we did. It was not very easy for them to be behind us.

I’m with Franck, though. The poor guy raced his heart out, probably in considerable pain (although he wasn’t limping onto the podium, so perhaps it is not too bad?), and all he is left with is a second place and a broken leg that needs mending.

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