Bruno Famin Q&A

Ongoing development of the 908 HDi FAP

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22 February 2010 - 16:09
Bruno Famin Q&A

Peugeot sporting director Bruno Famin takes questions on the day that the French outfit confirm its plans for the coming season.

The Peugeot 908 HDi FAP is ready for its fourth and final season. Have you been able to introduce many technical modifications?

"Lots! First of all, we had to concentrate on bodywork and engine alterations to comply with the 2010 regulations. In terms of the body we have made the following changes:

  • thicker trailing edges on the ’extended’ section of the front diffuser
  • the engine cover has been modified and the tyre debris grilles, previously located on the upper bodywork, above the wheels, have been removed and replaced by flat surfaces. "In line with changes to the 2010 technical regulations, the following engine modifications have been incorporated:
  • the air inlet restrictor diameter has been reduced from last season’s 38.3mm to 37.8mm;
  • maximum turbo pressure has been cut from 2,750 to 2,590mbar. As a result of these two modifications, power has been capped by about 40bhp. Despite the above, engine developments have continued apace and we have upgraded the engine in collaboration with PSA Group specialists. We have particularly focused on:
  • reduction of frictional losses, thanks notably to groundwork with Total on the lubricants we employ;
  • improved volumetric efficiency for inlet and exhaust;
  • enhanced combustion, thanks to close collaboration with Bosch. "We have also worked on a serious weight reduction programme in every domain. The target was to make sure the car was no heavier this year, despite the various changes that have been made in terms of both reliability and the latest bodywork regulations. "Reliability was an important consideration, even though we’ve had only one retirement among the eight 908 HDi FAPs that have been entered for Le Mans since 2007. To put that another way, we’ve completed 191 of a possible 192 racing hours:
  • it was important to maintain this tradition, so we began with a major overhaul of all the elements that caused us problems in 2009: gearbox, clutch and transmission, brake wear, wheel assemblies and air- conditioning.

    Finally, we have worked closely with Michelin on a completely new range of tyres for dry, intermediate and wet conditions."

    What are the prospects of the 908 HDi FAP achieving more race victories?

    "It might be the car’s fourth season, but there has been no sign of its speed diminishing. Last year we believed we might be fractionally behind our main rival in terms of performance, but in reality it was quite the opposite and the 908 was still one step ahead. It is quite clear that our rivals have responded and made significant progress with a car that is still only two years old. In terms of raw performance it wouldn’t surprise me if we were very fractionally behind – and that will set things up nicely for a 24-hour sprint race at Le Mans."

    [On the 2011 challenger]

    "On the technical side we are well advanced with a number of projects for 2011 but we are not yet ready to disclose any details. The technical regulations are still being finalised and we still have to evaluate many different ideas. We want to do that quickly, though, because in a perfect world the car would be running before the end of this year. In the meantime, with preparations under way for Le Mans 2010 and a new car in the pipeline, we have plenty to keep us occupied..."

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