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Peugeot go close at Road Atlanta.

Peugeot came close to a first win at Petit Le Mans with the 908 HDi after a closely fought battle with rivals Audi saw the pair split by less than five seconds at the finish.

In the hands of Nicolas Minassian, Stephane Sarrazin and Christian Klien, the lone 908 HDi FAP faced stiff competition from Audi as well as the LMP2 entries from both Porsche and Acura.

The Peugeot led early on but behind, the #1 Audi of Allan McNish, Dindo Capello and Emanuele Pirro was beginning an epic fightback from two laps down following an accident prior to the race start.

The Audi managed to close the gap, aided by numerous Safety Car periods and some impressive driving from McNish in particular, and into the closing stages of the race, the Peugeot found itself embroiled in battle with both Audis for the race win.

Despite Klien doing his best to find a way past, the former F1 racer couldn't make a move stick on McNish and had to settle for second place, although technical director Michel Barge was still happy with how the race had panned out.

"We came to Road Atlanta to work on our approach to race strategy, gain pit-stop experience and push the car's reliability, and that's exactly what we achieved,” Barge said. “Events like this confirm our belief that we need to race and glean extra experience as we prepare for 2009. We gave it our very best effort all the way to the flag and crossed the line just 4 seconds behind our rival which has gone unbeaten round this highly specific track for many years.

"We only had one 908 HDi FAP here but we didn't have a single technical problem and the team rose magnificently to the challenge of taking on the high level, battle-hardened competition we knew we would face this weekend."


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