Peugeot RCZ at the Nurburgring Dominant class victory at season opener
- Debut win for new Peugeot RCZ Peugeot Sport
- Piguet/Rueflin/Palette/Englert with lap advantage
- Peugeot is gathering experience for the 24-hour race at the
A tailor-made beginning for Team Peugeot RCZ Nokia at the first race of the VLN Endurance Championship at the Nürburgring, the 59th ADAC Westfalenfahrt: Julien Piguet, Julien Rueflin, Steven Palette and Paul Englert drove the Peugeot RCZ Racing Cup to class victory right on its debut run. Due to approaching fog the race that was scheduled to last four hours was stopped early, around 80 minutes before the regular end. On account of the distance covered by that time full championship points were awarded.
One-two result in qualifying
In 9m 46.222s, Michael Bohrer, Stéphane Caillet, Jürgen Nett and Steven Palette marked a dominant best time in qualifying in the SP2T class, 31.817s faster than their team-mates in the second RCZ Racing Cup. The Mini in third place was more than a minute slower. “The car feels fantastic,” said pole setter Michael Bohrer. “Compared with the diesel, we’ve now got 100 kilograms less and a clearly better weight distribution. The new suspension with a longer spring system is a perfect fit for the world’s most difficult race track as we now have much better cornering forces.”
Jürgen Nett, who drove the start, took the lead in class right from the first metre on and in 9m 26.493s marked a commanding best time but then had to come in for an unscheduled pit stop after three laps. “The intake manifold in the engine was defective and had to be repaired. Unfortunately, that took almost an hour and a half,” explained General Manager Olivier Perez. “The RCZ Peugeot Sport is a completely new car for us and we’ve still got a lot to learn. Our big aim is the 24-hour race in May. By that time, we want to assure the stability of the RCZ Racing Cup.”
Class winners’ race went without problems
Julien Rueflin prepared the ground for the success of the 260-HP turbo petrol engine. “After Jürgen Nett’s problems I was able to take the lead and to consistently extend it. I particularly enjoyed the new sequential gearbox.”
After six laps Julien Piguet took the wheel of the dynamic sport coupé as planned. “Due to slight drizzling rain I opted for intermediates but the rain got heavier and heavier,” said the Frenchman, explaining his additional stop three laps later.
“On rain tyres I was able to overtake much more powerful competitors. A big ‘well done’ to our partner Kumho. The tyres provided perfect grip in any condition.” Shortly after Steven Palette had taken over the cockpit the race was stopped early due to visibility having dropped below 50 meters in the start finish area.
With new technology in 2012
Effective immediately, Team Peugeot RCZ Nokia is using the customer sport version of the RCZ developed by Peugeot Sport in Vélizy, France, as its base. For two years, Peugeot Sport has been working on a race car with a petrol engine based on the RCZ model. It is powered by a turbo petrol unit that currently delivers 260 HP and a sequential automated manual transmission.
This opens up completely new prospects to the drivers in terms of performance. The springs were updated, an additional fuel tank now allows refuelling of up to 100 litres of petrol, and the car’s aerodynamics were modified as well. This selection of technical advantages made it possible to achieve a weight reduction of 120 kg compared with the previous race car plus more balanced weight distribution.