Peugeot drivers hail emotional victory

Peugeot's winning drivers hailed their emotional victory during the aftermath of this year's Le Mans 24 Hours on Sunday

Peugeot drivers hail emotional victory

Marc Gene, who brought the #9 car home at the end of the race on Sunday, confessed that he shed tears of joy as he guided his Peugeot 908 towards victory.

"I'm not an emotional person but I have to admit that I cried on the last lap," he said. "When the three cars were in formation I understood how big it is. I didn't even want to start waving to the crowd until I had crossed the line. It's the greatest thing I've ever experienced."

The #9 car, shared by Gene, David Brabham and Alexander Wurz, took over the lead when the #8 sister car of Sebastien Bourdais, Franck Montagny and Stephane Sarrazin lost 10 minutes in the garage during the sixth hour of the race. Team boss Serge Saulnier called a halt to their battle for supremacy only when the #1 Audi R15 slipped out of contention for the win.

"I want to thank my team-mates [in the #8 car] because they followed team orders and didn't fight at the end. They deserved to win as much as we did. It was not very easy for them to be behind us."

For Brabham, this was also a special day, in the 50th anniversary year of his father's first Formula 1 championship, and 16 years on from his elder brother's Le Mans victory for Peugeot.

"Winning here with Peugeot, like my brother Geoff, is pretty neat," he said. "We're very proud of each other's achievements.

"I'm happy to win because otherwise I'd have had my brother still saying he was the only Le Mans winner in the family. This is a big year for us as a family - Dad's 50th anniversary - and at Sebring I got the opportunity to drive the car he won the world championship in, which was a special moment.

This is Brabham's first overall victory at Le Mans, but it follows two GT1 class wins for Aston Martin.

"It's no easier than GT1," he said. "Racing against Chevrolet was always a titanic battle all the way to the end. One of the main reasons we won was that our car was faultless, and it was the same for me in GT1 these past two years. That's what it takes to win Le Mans.

"The Peugeot operation is amazing. At the beginning of the weekend you get a manual of all the people who are going to be working there - and it's huge. Our car was just 100 per cent reliable. I've won the race this way for the past two years - absolutely faultless performances from the teams I'm with."

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