Rapport

PEUGEOT SPORT: The legendary drivers

From the beginning, PEUGEOT SPORT was renowned for its attention to detail and a willingness to leave no stone unturned in its efforts to win. Below, a selection of the people involved with PEUGEOT SPORT over the years tell their side of the story…

Jean-Pierre Nicolas

(Rally winner with Peugeot and 1983 test driver, PEUGEOT SPORT)

“We had been testing the 205 T16 since the beginning of 1983 and we were convinced we had something special. At the end of that season we went to Rally San Remo in Italy and timed our competitors over the stages. Then a couple of days later we ran our car on the same stages and we were almost half a second per kilometre quicker. That was when we were absolutely sure we were going in the right direction. With its engine in the middle, a turbo and four-wheel drive, the 205 T16 really was revolutionary for its time.”

Robby Unser

(Pikes Peak winner 1989, PEUGEOT SPORT)

“The year I won, I’d qualified the car and thought everything was fine with it. I brought it back to the service area and they started stripping it down so I asked what the hell they were doing. Jean Todt explained they were putting all the light weight parts on it for the race. The way that team was run was incredible; Jean knew how to make everything impeccable. The 405 T16 was the only car that scared the Bejesus out of me whenever I drove it. But it taught me something every time I got in the thing.”

Mark Blundell

(Le Mans winner 1992, PEUGEOT SPORT)

“I was McLaren’s test driver that year so Le Mans was the only race I did for PEUGEOT SPORT. We led from the second hour all the way through. I remember doing the graveyard shift some time in the early hours and it was raining. I went for the wipers going through the Porsche Curves and somehow hit the ignition switch and killed the engine. I got it going again almost immediately but it put the fear of god into them back in the pits!”

Geoff Brabham

(Le Mans winner 1993, PEUGEOT SPORT)

“I am so glad (my brother) David won Le Mans for Peugeot in 2009, because when I drove for them in 1993 he was convinced Jean Todt confused us and rang me for the drive by mistake. Of course, when I won that made it worse! For me, driving a Peugeot in France on the last lap was an experience I will never forget.”

Robert Reid

(Rally co-driver, PEUGEOT SPORT 1990, 91, 2002, 03)

“I always have a warm feeling about PEUGEOT SPORT because of the support it’s given to young British drivers over the years. When Richard (Burns) and I started rallying we were absolutely blown away by PEUGEOT SPORT because it was operating at a much higher level than we were used to. But that’s always been its way. When we joined Peugeot for the WRC in 2002 things were always done with such amazing precision.”

Marcus Gronholm

(World Rally champion 2000, 02, PEUGEOT SPORT)

“When I got into the 206 on a gravel rally, I know that if nothing went wrong, we would win. We even won after rolling the car in New Zealand! Then in the 307 in 2004 and 05, the engine was sublime. I won the 2004 Rally Finland with only three of its four gears working!”

David Brabham

(Le Mans winner 2009, PEUGEOT SPORT)

“When I joined PEUGEOT SPORT, its professionalism was immediately clear. The amount of preparation that went into winning Le Mans was incredible. I did three 30-hour pre-race tests between February and June and the team did more while I was away racing in America! It was preparation like this that produced a perfect 24-hour race.”