Peugeot has told the drivers of its surviving #1 and #2 908 HDi FAPs to 'be careful' over the kerbs and in the corners after the pole-sitting #3 machine was forced out of the 2010 Le Mans 24 Hours less than three hours into the race with a problem 'similar' to one already encountered in the Sebring 12 Hours three months ago.
After record-breaking former multiple Champ Car king Sébastien Bourdais had qualified the car, Pedro Lamy took the wheel for the start of the endurance classic, but on lap 39 the Portuguese ace suddenly slowed with what appeared at first to be a simple puncture – a repeated feature of the race right from the exploratory laps – but transpired to be something altogether worse.
“The front-right suspension broke,” confirmed Peugeot Sport team principal Olivier Quesnel. “Maybe he (Lamy) went a little bit too much off the track. We don't know exactly what happened – we have to work on the car to understand. It can't be repaired.”
A spokesman for the French outfit went on to dismiss notions that the issue might have arisen due to the 13.6km circuit's bumpier nature this year – and underlined that the drivers of the two sister machines have not been instructed to ease the pace, merely to pay extra attention.
“The carbon body is broken,” the spokesman confirmed. “It's impossible to fix. We had the same problem at Sebring because the driver hit the kerbs. We have asked our other drivers to be careful in the corners and on the kerbs.”