Peugeot has won the Le Mans 24 Hours with a diesel-powered 908 HDi FAP.
Audi claimed victory at Le Mans for eight of the previous nine years – also with a diesel engine since 2006. Ten years ago few people would have thought that a diesel-engined car would have so much success in motorsport.
Not only did Peugeot win, but they also came second (and sixth).
Peugeot Sport used all the information from its test sessions and races to further develop a number of areas on the 908 – such as the traction control system to harness the huge torque delivered from the 908 HDi FAP V12 diesel engine, after losing out in this area last year in the rain.
Other issues were also addressed, such as designing solutions to reduce the debris that can block the radiators and affect cooling.
The tyres were also optimised, with the assistance of Michelin, to match the drive characteristics of the 908 HDi FAP and reduce the complexity and time taken for wheel-changing during pit-stops.
The N°9 Peugeot’s international line-up of Spaniard Marc Gené, Australia’s David Brabham and Austrian driver Alexander Wurz owed their victory to a trouble-free run which saw them take over at the top when the other two 908 HDi FAPs were delayed during the first quarter of the race.
Peugeot also posted the fastest race lap of the weekend, 3m 24.352s which works out at an average speed of 240km/h around the 13.629km circuit.
The winning Peugeot 908 HDi FAP N°9 completed 382 laps, or 5206km.
Audi came third and Aston Martin fourth.