Peugeot outpaced Audi in the first dress rehearsal for the Le Mans 24 Hours, but neither had the reliability to run through the Sebring 12 Hours in March. That allowed Porsche (above) to take its first overall victory in the US enduro since 1988.
The Peugeot 908 HDi outpaced the Audi R10 TDI in the battle of the turbo-diesels in qualifying, only for the German manufacturer to be given pole after the session was abandoned due to an accident and the grid set by practice times. But in the race the solo 908 was consistently faster than the two R10s and took a new lap record 1.4sec below Audi’s best.
The Peugeot hit trouble early on in the race. A leak in the hydraulic system that works the paddle shift required a pump to be changed. Further delays were caused by a wheel bearing problem and bodywork damage. Audi looked on course to win when turbocharger and brake problems lost both its cars time.
That allowed the best of the Penske Porsches, driven by Romain Dumas, Timo Bernhard and Emmanuel Collard, to take the victory. Roger Penske is the first team owner to win both the Daytona 500 and the Sebring 12 Hours in the same year.