Peugeot Sport team boss Olivier Quesnel has played down its team's chances of victory in the Sebring Twelve Hours by insisting that the main aim for the race is to prepare for this summer's Le Mans 24 Hours.
Peugeot will enter two 908 HDis into the event, with Nic Minassian, Pedro Lamy and Christian Klien teaming up in the #7 car and Stephane Sarrazin, Sebatien Bourdais and Franck Montagny sharing the sister #9 machine.
It will mark the first outing for the 908 against Audi's new R15 but Quesnel insisted that his drivers would take no risks with the aim being to complete as much meaningful mileage as possible ahead of the French classic.
“Our mission is very clear,” he said. “Our objective is to prepare for Le Mans. We won't be out to start from pole or set the fastest race lap at all costs by taking unconsidered risks. We need to progress on the technical, human and strategic fronts. That said, we won't refuse victory if it comes our way…”
Sebring has long been seen as a key event in preparing for the Le Mans 24 Hours, and technical director Bruno Famin admitted it was the perfect warm-up for the French classic.
“There's a great deal about Sebring that makes it a key fixture and, as a circuit, it is representative of what we will find at Le Mans,” he said. “With the exception of the French event, it is also the longest race of the calendar, which makes it a first class chance to see how a car stands up to the grime and punishment over a long period of time.
“We have a busy, well-defined programme to work through, and we should be able to collect a large amount of data because we have entered two cars, compared with just one last year. We will notably be able to put the air conditioning system and the new aerodynamics dictated by the 2009 regulations through their paces.”