Peugeot will kick-start its defence of the Le Mans Series crown this weekend when the new season gets underway with the opening round of the new season in Barcelona.

The new season will see the team looking to make it back-to-back titles with the 908 HDi, while the main focus for the season will remain on trying to secure success in the Le Mans 24 Hours.

The team has already started planning for the June classic after running in the Sebring Twelve Hours with Pedro Lamy, Nicolas Minassian and Stephane Sarrazin taking eleventh place in the race after battling back from issues early on in the ALMS season opener.

"Our visit to Sebring was globally positive," Peugeot Sport director Michel Barge said. "Stephane posted the fastest lap in the shortened and ultimately cancelled qualifying session, Nicolas got off to a great start and was first through the opening corner, while Pedro recorded the fastest race lap.

"We were always amongst the fastest cars throughout the race which shows that the 908 HDi FAP certainly has the pace. Sebring also served as an excellent first outing this year for everyone in the squad. Between now and Le Mans, we will use the Le Mans Series races to validate modifications to the car and improve reliability, an area in which we still have plenty of work."

Marc Gene, who will be on home ground in Spain, will share the wheel of the predominantly red #7 908 HDi FAP with Minassian, while 2007 champions Lamy and Sarrazin will share the sister car.

"Barcelona is a very special venue for me," Gene said. "It's the start of the championship and also home soil! I have tested a great deal at this track but my last race there dates back to my Formula One days in 2000 with Minardi. Barcelona is by far my favourite circuit, although the new portion doesn't call for so much driving skill.

"I made my F1 debut at the Circuit de Catalunya in 1999, as well as my first tests with Ferrari, and I have to say that I'm really looking forward to racing there with Nicolas in the 908 HDi FAP. I hope there will be a big crowd because endurance cars are spectacular, fast and permit plenty of overtaking. They are by no means pale imitations of F1 cars. On the contrary! It will be very close."