Peugeot win makes return more likely
|By Stuart Codling||Monday, June 15th 2009, 11:06 GMT|
Peugeot Sport director Olivier Quesnel has admitted that victory in this year's Le Mans 24 Hours has increased the likelihood that the French manufacturer will continue its programme in sportscar racing.
Peugeot is now in its third year with the 908 HDi and has already ruled out building a new car for 2010, though team manager Serge Saulnier revealed earlier this year that plans for a successor has begun.
Following Peugeot's protest into the legality of the Audi R15 in the build-up to the race last weekend, Quesnel says the need for a clear and consistent rules framework for the future will play a part in Peugeot's decision, but expects this year's win to increase the chances of the company's board approving a continuation of the project.
"There was great expectation from the public, and from Peugeot, after missing out last year," he said. "It was a tough race. I don't want to go back over everything that happened, but it was difficult.
"The economic conditions are very difficult at the moment, but we would like to continue. I would like to come back, but it is up to the board of Peugeot. I said that the future would not depend on victory, but it will certainly help to have the lever on the right side, so to speak.
"First of all I need Peugeot as a group to say yes, and then I would like to see strong regulations, with everything clear. Then I'm quite sure the race will get bigger and bigger."
Race organiser the ACO has invited manufacturers to a meeting at the end of June to find common ground on rules from 2010 and beyond.