Peugeot and Michelin score their first victory
Today on the Monza circuit, the Peugeot 908 HDI FAP driven by Marc Gené and Nicolas Minassian scored its first 1000-km race victory in the LMS Championship. Peugeot set pole and put both its cars on the front row and the winning team dominated the 173-lap race. The second Peugeot Sport Michelin 908 driven by Pedro Lamy and Stéphane Sarrazin made a fabulous comeback to finish third after having dropped back to 12th place on lap 66. The Michelin-shod Pescarolo, the 2006 title winner, came home second in the hands of Collard-Bouillon.
In the LM P2 category Michelin shod the Horag and RML cars that filled the first 2 places. Victory in the GT1 category went to the Luc Alphand Adventures Michelin team.
Matthieu Bonardel - Circuit and rally competitions manager
"We're obviously very happy with today's result. It's the fruit of anintense programme with Peugeot. As the temperature was high we did not risk putting soft tyres on the Peugeots. So, as with out other partners, we used medium rubber without sacrificing performance. The Pescarolo team put soft rubber on one car, and medium on the other. The fantastic comeback by the Peugeot driven by Lamy-Sarrazin gave the tyres a real hammering, and it was a good real-live test for Michelin especially in view of the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Our tyres were competitive, and in terms of consistence we were able to cover 70 laps (about two and half stints) with the Peugeot with the same set of tyres without seeing any degradation, The Monza circuit is very demanding and today's conditions allowed us to validate the behaviour and the safety of our tyres at high speeds, as the drivers were hitting 300 km/h, as well as the behaviour of the rear under heavy lateral acceleration.
The Peugeot team was delighted by its cars' balance and they were never bothered by a lack of grip or degradation. So things are looking good for the Le Mans 24 Hours and we're happy with the state of our development. Peugeot's done a good job: and us too!"
Michel Barge - Peugeot Sport Director
"All the Peugeot teams throughout the world are happy with today's result. It's the reward of intense work especially with our partner Michelin, which has supplied us with excellent tyres. It's the first stage and we've now found more courage to continue. We're going to mobilise everybody to attack the coming races with the same mindset and the same technical perfection. We have fantastic drivers, a fantastic team and main partners like Michelin who are simply outstanding. We've managed to combine our skills and create a real state-of-the art winning team. It's just awesome!"
Nicolas Minassian Peugeot Sport Driver:
"I'm very happy with today's result. It's great for the whole team. We've done a lot of work with Michelin and the tyre is a key factor in winning a race. Today, Michelin gave us consistent tyres over two stints. It's fantastic to get such rubber for the first race. We had no problems and were able to set the same times at the start of the first stint and at the end of the second with the same set of tyres!"
PEUGEOT AND MICHELIN SET THE FIRST POLE OF THE SEASON
Today, on the famous Monza circuit in Italy Peugeot and Michelin set the first pole position in the opening round of the 2007 Le Mans Series and put two cars on the front row.
After only six test sessions since the start of the season the two companies have optimised their collaboration, and today's result is the fruit of a long process of adaptation.
Michel Barge, the Peugeot Sport director, explains just how important the work with Michelin is in the overall performance of the new Peugeot 908 HDI FAP.
Are you satisfied with the performance of the Michelin tyres today ?
MB "Yes, I'm delighted as the car seems to have really taken to its Michelin rubber! Today the Peugeot showed just how much at home it is with its tyres by setting pole and putting two cars on the front row. That's what we were hoping for. We're very happy with this joint result."
Is it a big job adapting the tyres to your car?
MB: "It's been a long-term job and above all permanent collaboration. The Michelin and Peugeot teams work together in a very coherent way and they're very close to one another. This front row is the fruit of their successful team work."
How is Michelin involved in your strategy whether in qualifying or in the race ?
MB: ". By pooling our knowledge, and because we trust and respect each other, we've managed to obtain very positive results. It's really teamwork as each one brings his particular skills to the whole in his speciality, and that gives us the result we've obtained today. We still have the race to come but things have got off to a pretty good start."
Why have you chosen to fit Michelin tyres on your car?
MB: "For their performance, because this manufacturer has an enormous amount of racing experience and because we share the same values in racing. Michelin and Peugeot try to find the best package possible. A car is a whole; it's a chassis, an engine, aerodynamics and of course tyres. In battling with our rivals we can't be good in some areas and not in others; we have to be excellent everywhere. The whole has to be better than the sum of its parts, and I think we've got it right!"