22 February 2010
Davidson secures Peugeot deal
Anthony Davidson secures a factory drive with Peugeot for defence of Le Mans 24 Hours crown
Peugeot has confirmed the signing of former F1 racer Anthony Davidson as part of its factory line-up for the 2010 season.
The Briton, who drove for the Super Aguri team prior to its closure in 2008 and competed at Le Mans with Aston Martin last year, is currently slated to drive for the team at both Sebring and at Le Mans, where he will join forces with 2009 race winner Marc Gene and Alexander Wurz.
Sebastien Bourdais, Pedro Lamy and Nicolas Minassian will also race for Peugeot at Sebring before being split up for Le Mans, where Minassian will join up with Franck Montagny and Stephane Sarrazin, and Bourdais and Lamy will partner with Simon Pagenaud.
Another former F1 driver Christian Klien will act as reserve driver at Le Mans while Gregory Guilvert will take on the role of test driver.
"I didn't do anything revolutionary because the foundations were already in place,” Peugeot team boss Olivier Quesnel said of his line-up for the new season. “The Le
Mans 24 Hours will be an epic event this year and the slightest mistake or delay, be it on the track or in the pit lane, will be costly. All cars have been further developed and there will be precious little to choose between the top teams, so it is going to be an intense battle.
“It promises to be twice as tough as Sebring 2009, where the leading cars were only 22 seconds apart after 12 hours of racing. Consequently, to use a cycling analogy, we needed two teams of sprinters and one of routier-sprinters while at the same time maintaining a sense of balance.
“Sebastien Bourdais and Simon Pagenaud have both raced extensively in the United States and Pedro Lamy is a pillar of the Peugeot squad. Franck Montagny, Nicolas Minassian and Stephane Sarrazin complement each other perfectly in every way and are delighted to be working together.
"Finally, last year's Le Mans winners Marc Gene and Alexander Wurz will be joined by Anthony Davidson. We had a number of options for this car, including Sebastien Loeb. He has reached a sufficiently high standard to be considered as a potential team member and we waited until the Swedish Rally before we took any decision. Every driver has to be 100 per cent committed to our programme and it eventually became clear that Sebastien's schedule would be too tight. Anthony Davidson was available – he is quick, enthusiastic and very happy to be part of Team Peugeot Total. It is my belief, therefore, that we have three crews capable of victory at Le Mans."
In what will be the final year for the Le Mans winning 908 HDi, which will be replaced by a new car – currently nicknamed the '90X' – for 2011, Peugeot also intends to race in the Le Mans Series events at Spa in May and Silverstone in September, as well as the proposed race at Shanghai in November.
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