Peugeot confirms Le Mans line-ups
|By Steven English||Wednesday, June 3rd 2009, 14:28 GMT|
Peugeot has confirmed its driver line-up ahead of its bid to win the Le Mans 24 Hours on June 13-14.
Nicolas Minassian, Pedro Lamy and Christian Klien will team up together for the first time in the #7 car, having been part of three different crews in last year's race.
Stephane Sarrazin and Sebastien Bourdais will be reunited in the #8 car, following their second place finish in 2007, and will be joined by Franck Montagny.
Meanwhile, Marc Gene will be partnered with team newcomers David Brabham and Alexander Wurz in the #9 machine, as he was in the Le Mans Series race at Spa last month.
The French manufacturer is bidding to win the event at the third attempt with its 908 HDi after finishing runner-up to Audi's R10 TDi for the last two years.
Peugeot Sport technical director Bruno Famin explained the changes the team has had to make ahead of this year's race.
"The ACO's measures mean a drop in engine power because our car must run with a smaller air restrictor, the diameter of which has come down from 39.9mm to 38.3mm," he said.
"We have paid special attention to aerodynamics too. The regulations dictate a smaller rear wing, the width of which has come down from 2 to 1.6 metres. We have consequently had to revise the overall package in order to rebalance the car by reducing front downforce. This explains the new front-end bodywork we will be running for the first time at Le Mans.
"Then in April the ACO forced us to carry 30kg of ballast and that has had a significant impact on the resistance of certain mechanical parts, notably suspension and brake components. Lastly, the fuel filler pipe is narrower and that will add almost three seconds to fuel stops.
"Meanwhile, the requirement for closed cars to have air conditioning to prevent the cockpit temperature from exceeding 32C has called for the incorporation of a power take-off at the end of the gearbox to drive the compressor."