No. 979
January 16, 2018

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February 11, 2009


Peugeot will enter a pair of diesel-powered 908 HDi factory prototypes in the 57th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. This will mark Peugeot's second consecutive trip to Sebring International Raceway for the March endurance classic. The two turbo-diesel 908s will go up against four brand-new P1 entries - Acura’s two ARX-02a and two of Audi’s next-gen R15 TDI prototypes. Nic Minassian, Pedro Lamy and Christian Klien will drive one of the Peugeot coupes, and Franck Montagny, Stephane Sarrazin and Sebastien Bourdais will pilot the other. Five of Peugeot’s drivers - Minassian, perhaps the best prototype driver of the lot, being the exception - have F1 experience, with Bourdais recently renewed by Scuderia Toro Rosso for 2009; he is the only one among the six to boast a class victory at Sebring (2006 in GT2 with Panoz). Last year’s Sebring debut for Peugeot saw a single 908 finish 11th overall and fourth in class after lengthy pit stops for hydraulic problems and a wheel bearing change. It also finished second overall behind Audi at Road Atlanta’s Petit Le Mans in a classic dual. The American Le Mans Series will open its 11th season with the 57th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida on Saturday, March 21. SPEED will televise the race live from 10 a.m. to noon and 2-11 p.m. ET. American Le Mans Radio and Live Timing & Scoring will be available at


Patrón Highcroft Racing’s David Brabham will go for a third straight victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans – and first overall – when he races for the factory Peugeot team this June. Part of Aston Martin’s GT1-winning lineup the last two seasons, Brabham will drive one of three Peugeot 908 HDi coupes in the world’s greatest sports car race. Brabham is the only driver to win races and pole positions in four different American Le Mans Series classes. He will be able to offer Peugeot a unique perspective come June as he will race against two 908s at Sebring alongside Scott Sharp and Dario Franchitti in Patrón Highcroft’s new Acura ARX-02a.

(Photo©2009, Russell LaBounty, Autostock)
Fifty-two-year-old Bill Elliott qualified the No. 21 Wood Brothers Motorcraft Ford fifth fastest for the Daytona 500 last Sunday with a lap of 187.739 mph. The two-time Daytona 500 winner was quick in practice and had a legitimate shot for the pole, but it was not to be. Still, it was a victory of sorts for the Wood Brothers after last year, when they failed to make the race for just the third time in 50 years and the first time since 1962. Elliott gets in by posting one of the top three speeds among drivers not in the top 35 in owners' points who are required to race their way into the field. Martin Truex Jr. sits on the pole for the Daytona 500 in his No. 1 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Chevrolet with a qualifying speed of 188.001 mph. Mark Martin, driving the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Kellogg's/Carquest Chevrolet sits next to him on the front row with a speed of 187.817 mph. Other notables were Ryan Newman in the No. 39 Stewart-Haas Racing U.S. Army Chevrolet, who qualified third at 187.778 mph and Juan Montoya in the No. 42 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Target Chevrolet at 187.743 mph in fourth. Jimmie Johnson, Aric Almirola, Travis Kvapil, Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart filled out the top ten. Truex will start from the pole in the first of Thursday's Gatorade Duel 150 qualifying races, while Martin will lead the second qualifying race. The finishing order of the Duel races will determine the starting order for the rest of the field. The top two finishers in each Duel outside the top 35 in 2008 owners' points make the race, along with the next three fastest qualifiers not already locked in.

arrowup.gifMatt DiBenedetto. The 17-year-old driver has signed a driver development deal with Joe Gibbs Racing, as first reported by the AP. DiBenedetto was named the United Auto Racing Association Stars Tour Rookie of the Year in 2007 after winning two features and finishing fourth in championship points. He became the youngest driver to win at Bristol Motor Speedway when he won the UARA Stars Late Model Tour race. DiBenedetto will test in NASCAR’s Camping World East Series program and run in an undetermined number of races starting this spring for JGR.

arrowup.gifAudi Sport Team Joest. Audi will contest the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring with the same driver pairings from last year - defending Le Mans winners Dindo Capello, Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish driving one of the new Audi R15 TDI machines with Lucas Luhr, Mike Rockenfeller and Marco Werner driving the other. The new Audi R15 TDI is said to be "packed" with numerous technically innovative detail solutions and differs significantly from its predecessor model (the R10 TDI), which was undefeated at Le Mans. Audi has won the 12-hour race at Sebring a total of eight times, the last time in 2007.

arrowup.gifarrowup.gifarrowup.gifFull Throttle. The sports beverage company has a superb new video ad out that presents drag racing with a totally different sensibility. Watch it . Kudos to Mother advertising, in New York and director Linus Karlsson and DP Crille Forsberg for a great job.

(Sports Illustrated)
Danica Patrick introducted the annual Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition this week. If this doesn't get your motor runnin' and get you all jacked-up for racing season, we don't know what will. Oh and BTW, there are 33 more pictures of Danica at We're just sayin'.

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