Tag - endurance racing

Breaking – Peugeot Suspends Le Mans LMP1 Program

Photo: Zerin Dube

Peugeot has announced that it has suspended all endurance racing programs effective immediately.  Citing tough economic conditions in Europe, Peugeot stated “Peugeot has chosen to concentrate resources on its sales performance in 2012.”  Peugeot was the overall winner at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2009 and won the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup title last year, besting Audi’s efforts with the new R18.   While 2012 and 2013 will see its share of new competitors including the new Toyota and Porsche LMP1 entries, we are sad that we won’t get to see the powerhouse French and German teams battling it out again this year in the World Endurance Championship.

Update: Speaking of Toyota and their new LMP1 program, @ToyotaPR (Head of Toyota and Lexus PR for the UK) tweeted this photo of their new racecar.

Preview: 2011 24 Hours of Le Mans – Live Coverage & More

The grid has been set for tomorrow’s running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with two Audi R18 TDIs occupying the front row.  The #2 Audi R18 TDI  (Tréluyer / Lotterer / Fassler) sits on pole position with a time of 3:25.738 set by Benoit  Tréluyer in the last minutes of the final qualifying session.   Next to them in P2 is the #1 Audi R18 TDI (Bernhard / Dumas / Rockenfeller) with a time of 3:25.799.

The Peugeot Sport 908s had a strong showing as well and sit just behind the leading Audis with the #9 Team Peugeot Total 908 ( Bourdais / Pagenaud / Lamy) in P3 with a 3:26.010 and the #8 Peugeot Sport Total 908 ( Sarrazin / Montagny/ Minassian ) in P4 with a 3:26.156.  The #3 Audi R18 TDI (Kristensen / Capello / McNish) and #7 Peugeot 908 (Davidson / Gene / Wurz) round out the 3rd row.  Only a mere .534 second separate the P1 and the P6 qualifying times.

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Truth in four and fifty-four.

Drayson Lola

Drayson Lola

It’s the height of presumption for a club-level racer such as myself to believe that I can effectively analyze a race like the 2009 Petit LeMans. To some degree, until the day comes that I put on my helmet and sit behind the wheel of an LMP1 in a major race, I’ll be doing nothing but vaguely educated guessing as regards what goes on beneath the surface in the ALMS — and that day will mostly likely never arrive. Still, after some conversations with the people who did put their helmets on for this one, and after reviewing the video at length, I think it’s safe to make some basic observations about what happened during this most unusual episode of America’s roadracing history.
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