Peugeot Sport 2009 preview
CUSTOMER DRIVEN COMPETITION In parallel to its official endurance racing programme, Peugeot Sport will continue its commitment to its subsidiaries and customers in 2009 with a range of single-make series and a choice of race and rally cars. The ...
CUSTOMER DRIVEN COMPETITION
In parallel to its official endurance racing programme, Peugeot Sport will continue its commitment to its subsidiaries and customers in 2009 with a range of single-make series and a choice of race and rally cars. The 2009 calendar features a blend of rallying and circuit racing in which the 207 the best-selling model of its segment in Europe will take front stage.
1. The 207 Super 2000
As illustrated by its one-two-three finish on January's Rallye Monte-Carlo, the Peugeot 207 Super 2000 has emerged as the benchmark in its category. In addition to claiming Intercontinental Rally Challenge honours in 2007 and again in 2008, its has also harvested several titles at national level including in Italy, Portugal, Switzerland, Poland and Spain thanks to the programmes its subsidiaries.
Peugeot Sport will pursue the development of the 207 Super 2000 in 2009 with a view to enabling its customers and subsidiaries to challenge for victory against some particularly fierce opposition.
Sixty 207 Super 2000s have been sold to date, including the Peugeot UK-backed car driven by Kris Meeke, and the Peugeot Belgium- Luxemburg machines of Freddy Loix and Nicolas Vouilloz. All these drivers are contesting the 2009 IRC.
Meanwhile, Peugeot Italy (with Paolo Andreucci), Peugeot Portugal (Bruno Magalhaes) and Peugeot Poland start the year as favourites in their respective national championships.
2. The 207 RC Rallye / Volant 207 New for 2009
The 207 RC Rallye was developed by the staff at Velizy and benefits fully from the expertise and experience of Peugeot and Peugeot Sport. Derived directly from the production model, it is powered by the 1,600cc turbocharged THP (Turbo High Pressure) engine developed in conjunction with the BMW Group, and which has already been seen in the Spider and LW in circuit racing. It drives through an all-new straight-cut six-speed gearbox and is equipped with Magneti Marelli Sport electronics, as well as a specific wiring loom, while enhanced cooling ensures durable stopping power for the generously-dimensioned brakes. The 207 RC Rallye boasts 180hp for a weight of 1,120kg and is homologated in Group R3. This implies a welded rollcage, a valuable plus on the safety front. It is one of the few cars of its category to have been designed to compete on both asphalt and dirt, and the transformation from one spec to the other is quick, straightforward and inexpensive.
Some 30 cars are expected to contest Peugeot Sport's rallying showpiece the Volant 207 which is this year celebrating its 30th anniversary. Since its creation, the firm's one-make challenge has served as a valuable springboard for the careers of many talented young drivers, as well as a means of having fun for the more battle-hardened runners. A long list of top Frenchmen have come up through the ranks of the brand's one-make series, including Francois Delecour, Gilles Panizzi, Cedric Robert, Nicolas Bernardi, Alexandre Bengue, Bryan Bouffier and Nicolas Vouilloz, plus Arnaud Augoyard, Guillaume Canivenq and Sebastien Ogier. At the end of the 2009 campaign, the under-30 champion will win a programme for the following year. The 2009 Peugeot Sport-run Volant 207 will feature a calendar of eight rounds (four on asphalt and four on dirt), while national series are also being organised in Spain and Italy.
1. The Spider THP
Although its technical specification is unchanged for this year's series, the Spider THP is awaiting homologation for the FIA GT Championship's new GT4 category which covers the cars used for several one-make challenges. The only necessary, yet inexpensive changes concern the rear engine cover and the electronics.
After serving for two years as a curtain-raiser to rounds of the Le Mans Series, as well as at FIA GT and WTCC meetings, the THP Spider Cup returns to France for a two-year period where it will form part of this season's Super Serie FFSA calendar. It will also top the bill at two Rencontres Peugeot Sport meetings A THP Spider Cup has also been organised in Denmark.
2. The 207 LW / Rencontres Peugeot Sport
The 207 LW a lightweight version of the 207 RC has already met with considerable success and will star in Peugeot Sport's 2009 racing programme (Rencontres Peugeot Sport: Coupe 207 THP and Course Relais relay races). It is also poised to appear in Spain where Peugeot Spain is organising its first ever single-make racing series. Orders have been received, too, for three cars for Germany's VLN endurance championship. Derived directly from the production model (including its tyres), the 207 LW enables drivers to compete on a limited budget and stands out as the ideal car for any newcomer looking to make their first steps in motor racing.
The Rencontres Peugeot Sport series continues to be as popular as ever. As has been the case for more than 30 years, the 2009 calendar features six meetings, including an escapade to Belgium (Spa) in June and a return to Le Mans (Bugatti) for the year's grand finale. Three competitions will again be organised: the Coupe 207 THP, the Course Relais relay races and the Trophee GT.
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