Peugeot team boss hits out over tyre failures

Peugeot's BTCC team manager Vic Lee rounded on the series' sole tyre-supplier BF Goodrich after his 406 Coupes suffered three blow-outs at the 130mph Church Corner last weekend to add to the one which caused a big crash for Steve Soper during a recent official TOCA test session

"BF Goodrich have not performed well," said Lee. "As the only tyre supplier to the championship, I think they should have tried a bit harder."

BFG had reacted to Soper's test problems by building a special tyre for use on the front-left corner to cope with Thruxton's abrasive surface and high-speed right-hand corners, but Lee reckoned this was, "no better. If anything, for us, it was worse."

Peugeot was the only BTC Touring team to have tyre blow-outs over the Thruxton race weekend, though Vauxhall's Yvan Muller had one with the un-modified tyre in the TOCA test, something BF Goodrich's spokesman referred to when asked to comment on Peugeot's problems. They were, he said, "Unusual, to say the least, bearing in mind the number of laps the other cars completed without problems."

He said he also found it regrettable that Peugeot had not been able to attend a pre-season Thruxton tyre test.

Though the BFG spokesman did not want to pin the blame squarely on Peugeot, stressing that the damaged tyres will have to be examined in detail before he could make a definitive comment, other insiders point to the under-developed state of the Peugeots as an obvious potential culprit in the matter.

Peugeot did not make the pre-season tyre test because its cars had not been finished and they are still well behind the rival works Vauxhall Astras on pace and testing mileage.

Tyre problems are unlikely to recur in the series as it does not return to Thruxton, which is widely regarded as the hardest circuit in Europe for tyre wear.

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