Team Peugeot Total will return to the race track at Silverstone three months on from their desperate run in the Le Mans 24 Hours to contest the 1000km of Silverstone (September 10-12) – the first of the three races making up the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (ILMC).
The works team will enter a single 908 HDI FAP – carrying the no.1 plate – with drivers Anthony Davidson and Nicolas Minassian given the responsibility of representing the team at the Northamptonshire track. Both drivers live locally to the venue, Davidson especially having a close connection with the circuit.
“Silverstone is where I first got to drive a racing car, and I’ve taken a number of wins there in different categories,” reveals the Briton, who also raced for Peugeot at Sebring, Spa and Le Mans this year. “I can’t wait to drive the Peugeot here, and it would be great to win in front of a home crowd!”
“Entering our ‘locally’-based squad members Nicolas Minassian and Anthony Davidson was an obvious call,” explains Olivier Quesnel, Peugeot Sport Director. “We have tried to share the different drives as equitably as possible among our nine drivers, in whom – may I remind you – we have renewed our confidence for 2011.”
The also appears to be renewed confidence in the car for the event following the engine failures that wiped out the manufacturers hopes at Le Mans, Quesnel describing the only major change being the return to steel con-rods within the engine, betraying the cause of the their June problems.
The company's involvement in the race does not end with the no.1 car. A customer 908 will also be entered in the race by Team ORECA who will be aiming for victory in the Le Mans Series – the 1000km of Silverstone serving as the final round of the season. However the car – with a driving line-up including works driver Stephane Sarrazin – will still be eligible to score points for Peugeot in the ILMC standings.
After 1000km at Silverstone Peugeot Sport and the ILMC will travel to Georgia, USA for 1000 miles at Road Atlanta for Petit Le Mans before the final race of the three at Zhuhai in China on November 5-7.
“As a car manufacturer, we were keen on the organisation of an international endurance racing championship to enable us to showcase our technologies and expertise on a world stage, and more particularly in those countries that are important for our markets,” says Quesnel.
“The ACO heard our call and has laid the first building blocks for what promises to be a great series, with three races in 2010. Along with the regulations announced for 2011, I believe it is the beginning of a new age for endurance racing. We had a duty to contest the new championship and we will do everything in our power to give Peugeot the best chance of winning on each of the three continents visited by this inaugural series.”