Minassian: Peugeot learned from '08

Nicolas Minassian says Peugeot have learned from their Le Mans 24 Hours defeat in 2008 and will come back much stronger this season

Minassian: Peugeot learned from '08

Peugeot's 908 HDi FAP out-paced the previously all-conquering Audi R10 TDi last year, but the French team could not translate their speed advantage into victory - and that frustration was compounded when they also lost the Le Mans Series title and the Petit Le Mans to Audi in similar circumstances.

Minassian said Peugeot were determined to make up for those problems this year, and believes they have addressed the issues that hampered them in 2008.

"I just see ourselves being very strong," he said at Autosport International. "We were the car to beat last year. The only difference was a bit of a lack of experience.

"The big experience of Audi made it even harder for us to win the race and the weather changing just got rid of the advantage we had in the dry. In the dry, if you have a better car you can show the advantage but in the wet everything evens up a bit and to make a difference was more difficult.

"We had a few problems with overheating engines and we've worked really hard on that. The pitstops were quite slow and I know we've worked really hard on that. And there's a new system of air-con in the car, and they're working on that.

"The car was actually quite reliable so if we can keep it like this and work on the overheating and the pitstops, we will be very strong already.

"This year I think we will be very strong. We've learned a lot and improved in every area. I'm very confident with the team, they know what they're doing. What they've already done in two years is spectacular."

Minassian added that he was personally extremely fired-up for Le Mans - a race he admitted he had become 'obsessed' with.

"The most important thing for me is that I've got the best chance to win Le Mans," he said.

"It's a race I love, a race I've done many times now, and I'm getting very obsessed about winning it. Last year, when you go so close and you don't get it, you just want to get it next time. Whatever else I do than Le Mans will be a bonus but as long as I do Le Mans I am happy."

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