Stéphane Sarrazin says he was more determined than ever to get the better of Audi in qualifying for Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, the final blue riband sportscar event of the year.
Having lost out on winning the Le Mans 24 Hours and the Le Mans Series title, despite having arguably having a quicker car than Audi, Peugeot have entered a single 908 HDi in the 1000 mile race for Sarrazin, Nicolas Minassian and Christian Klien.
The French manufacturer got off to a good start around the short Road Atlanta circuit by prevailing in a heated tussle with the Audi of Allan McNish, Dindo Capello and Emmanuele Pirro.
With Sarrazin and McNish trading times at the top of the timesheets, it took Frenchman's final effort to displace the R10 and send pole position Peugeot's way.
"I was surprised by how little grip there was during the early part of the session and I went into some memorable slides. The grip improved for the second half of the session, though, and I decided to give it everything I had.
“I couldn't see myself returning to the Peugeot pits with only the second best time to show for everybody's efforts! Indeed, everyone at Peugeot Sport has done a remarkable job and the car has improved each time out round this particularly exacting track."
Although Peugeot have shown superb pace this season, if not bullet-proof reliability, team manager Michel Barge insists they have come here to get more experience for the 2009 season.
"We are expecting the race to be very close and difficult from start to finish, with lots of traffic and probably a high number of safety car interventions if the number of times red flags were shown during the different practice sessions is anything to judge by!
“Our objective in coming here is to give everyone in the team more experience in race conditions to prepare for 2009. It is therefore important to go as far as possible with the single 908 HDi FAP we have entered for the race, and I have to say that our car has received a fantastic welcome here at Road Atlanta."