In 2007 Peugeot will be returning to the world’s automotive racing circuits at the highest level, after retiring from the WRC at the end of 2005. Announced on 14th June 2005 Peugeot’s Le Mans programme only really started once the last WRC test trial finished, in November 2005. Since then the Peugeot Sport team has been reorganised to produce a mock-up of the V12 HDi FAP engine in June 2006, followed by a mock-up of the 908 at the Paris Motor Show last September, and today it unveils the 908, ready to start is first development tests. The main race this year will of course be the Le Mans 24 Hours, a race that Peugeot has twice already won in 1992 and 1993. 2007 will, however, be a breaking in period for everyone, men and cars, before claiming victory in this prestigious race in 2008. Peugeot will also be present in the LMS with, as at Le Mans, two cars in each of the 6 races.
Michael Barge, Director of Peugeot Sport, unveils the Marque’s sporting strategy:“2007 is a real ‘restart’ for Peugeot Sport, conveyed by a new logo and by its new programmes that are based on two elements: the official programme based on endurance and the HDi FAP as well as sporting promotional programmes built around the Peugeot 207.
In little more than a year, we are putting the 908 on the track for the first time with a partly-renewed team in which we have searched for both the necessary skills and consistency to achieve our common goal. The team that we have formed is exceptionally effective, which has allowed us to show you today a completely new car, engine, gearbox and chassis. With this in mind, our 2007 objective is to progress and develop the 908 for all the different circuits in a manner that enables us to achieve a winning level of performance necessary for the 2008 season. But as for 2007 we are striving to present the best possible mix of track performance and endurance.
Two cars are already committed in each of the 6 LMS races as well as the Le Mans 24 Hours. A team of six drivers has been recruited by our Team Manager, Serve Saulnier: for four of the LMS races, the Frenchmen, Nicolas Manassian and Stéphane Sarrazin, the Portuguese, Pedro Lamy and the Spaniard, Marc Géné. Sébastien Bourdais and Jacques Villeneuve will help to strengthen the two driving teams for the Le Mans 24 Hours whilst Eric Hélary will be the test driver and the reserve.
The promotion of sporting products, which underlines the dynamic qualities and the technical elements which make up our production cars, is based around the Peugeot 207 with two new products fitted with the THP petrol engine. Both are destined for the race track and have already been unveiled, the 207 LW, the entry level competition car, which will be developed in France at the Peugeot Sport Meetings in the 207 Sprint Cup. Its winner will be presented with a Spider 207, the second car destined for the track. A European based formula; the Spider Cup will accompany the 908 in the various LMS races as well as 2 races in the French calendar. The winner will have the possibility of test driving the 908 for a day.
Finally for rallying, the 207 Super 2000 conforms to the new Super 2000 regulations. It will be used by our subsidiaries, importers and private customers in national and international championships, such as the intercontinental Rally Challenge and the Production WRC in 2007.
Justifiably strong in motor sport, Peugeot expresses via competitions its marque’s values, dynamism, value, innovation and style.
Peugeot Sport will rely on its close collaboration with its partner, Total, as well as its technical partners, Bosch, Michelin, Dow Automotive and Eurodatacar and X Box 360 for this programme.”