First shot of sportscar racing's future

Peugeot has begun testing an initial version of its 2011 Le Mans contender, featuring the new rear fin, AUTOSPORT can reveal

First shot of sportscar racing's future

Peugeot has begun testing developments for its new 2011 LMP1 prototype contender, including the new mandatory rear fin, AUTOSPORT can reveal.

This world exclusive spy shot shows a Peugeot 908 HDi test hack at Monza, where the French manufacturer has been testing in secret for the past three days as it evaluates the changes required by the 2011 Le Mans regulations.

This is the first glimpse of a top-flight prototype carrying the fin that will be mandatory under the 2011 rules. The new section is designed to increase safety by increasing the cars' stability, in the hope of preventing the cars becoming aerial in high-speed accidents.

Though the car running at Monza is not the complete new Peugeot, it features several significant changes to the 908 HDi FAP that has competed at Le Mans since 2007.

Its revised rear end includes an Audi-style rear wing support, lower slung bodywork and a raised light cluster, as well as an airbox on the car's roof. Peugeot has also moved the exhausts so that they exit through the rear of the bodywork, under the rear wing.

It is not known whether the car was running the new-for-2011 hybrid engine, but the engine cowling is lower than that of a regular 908 HDi.

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