The French Peugeot team touched down in Bathurst on Monday, making them the first international team to roll open their pit door and commence on-track preparations for this weekend’s 2013 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.
Technical team manager and engineer Clement Laute said it has already been an amazing experience for the crew, who were very excited to be visiting Australia for the first time.
“We got to Bathurst on Monday and did a lap around the circuit,” he said yesterday.
“It is a very impressive track, one of the nicest I have seen. There is a track in Germany that compares a little, although the incline is much steeper here.”
This year marks Peugeot’s first factory-backed return to the iconic Mount Panorama circuit since 1992.
The 12 Hour will also be the first time the Australian public get to see the updated Peugeot RCZ in action. The latest model of the French sporty coupe will launch here in May.
Mr Laute said he was hoping the race would provide a good result for Peugeot.
“We have great drivers and a great car, so we are hoping it will all come together on race day.”
The technical team may be an all-French line-up but they are proudly sporting an Australian flag livery and will field three Australian V8 Supercar star drivers across their two cars.
Joining French drivers Bruce Jouanny, Stephane Caillet and Julien Rueflin are Andrew Jones, David Wall and Jason Bright.
Mr Laute said the drivers will arrive today and tomorrow to get behind the wheels of the two RCZs for some practice laps.
He said that while the French drivers know the car very well, they have never driven the track before.
“For the Australian drivers it is the opposite – they know this track very, very well.”
Jason Bright is said to be very keen to complete the rare trifecta for Bathurst and add a 12 Hour win to his Bathurst 1000 and Bathurst 24 Hour victories.