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Sarrazin: Peugeot advantage is gone

Stephane Sarrazin, Peugeot, Le MansLast year's Le Mans 24 Hours pole winner Stephane Sarrazin believes that the Peugeot 908 HDi FAP no longer enjoys a performance advantage over its Audi rivals.

The Frenchman, who lapped La Sarthe in 3m18.513s in the diesel coupe a year ago, says he does not expect to be able to dominate the timesheets in the same way, now that Audi has introduced the R15 TDI.

"We don't have that advantage any more," Sarrazin told AUTOSPORT. "They [Audi] have a very fast car. We will see, but I am only really concentrating on my car and focussing on the job.

"We need to have a good set-up, a good car, and after that we can only do the maximum. In that respect I don't care about Audi, we need to have a good race without problems and without mistake and we will see what we can do.

"I think we can be in a very good position because we have three very fast cars in the team."

Sarrazin is part of a new driver line-up in 2009 and will share the #8 Peugeot along with Scuderia Toro Rosso Formula 1 driver Sebastien Bourdais and Franck Montagny, and he added that the crew still has some work to do before they have gelled perfectly.

"Franck and myself have the same style so we do not need two different set-ups but with Sebastien, he is a bit more sensitive to the rear of the car so we cannot have any oversteer," he explained. "So we need to set-up the car for Sebastien to drive.

"But it is a battle of endurance and we are three drivers who together need to make the fastest overall average - not one very lap and one very slow.

"So everybody needs to be happy and confident, because it is such a long and difficult race that if you drive eight or ten hours with a car you don't like it is not good."

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Q & A with Stephane Sarrazin