President's Report - May 2009
Peugeot has a proud record in motorsport, though success in recent years has been patchy. For example, after finishing second to Citroen in the manufacturers standings of the World Rally Championship in 2005, Peugeot withdrew from the event and has not returned. Since then, the WRC has become less and less interesting with only two manufacturers contesting the 2009 series - Citroen (Sebastien Loeb has won all 5 races this year) and Ford.
However, Peugeot has not abandoned motorsport - far from it. Three Peugeot 908 HDi cars will be entered in the Le Mans 24-hour race in June and another 908 has been made available for an independent team, Pescalaro Sport. Australian David Brabham will again drive for Peugeot. Although Peugeot has won the Le Mans Series for the past two years, it has not won the Le Mans race itself. Thus, in 2009, Peugeot is strongly focused on winning at Le Mans. Let's hope they do it!
In another development, a new international rally competition has materialised - the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, featuring several manufacturers including Peugeot, Abarth (Fiat), Honda, Volkswagen, Skoda, Ralliart (Mitsubishi) and Proton. The inaugural series (then named the International Rally Challenge), held in 2006, was won by Abarth, but Peugeot won in 2007 and 2008. After four of twelve rounds in 2009, Peugeot is again the clear leader, with the 207 Super 2000 continuing to be a winning car.
According to Wikipedia, the Intercontinental Rally Challenge is a series organised by the FIA, aiming to:
"give new opportunities to young or amateur rally drivers competing in recognised regional and international rallies, while offering organisers an innovative TV format concept, created by Eurosport".
The series focuses on Group N and Group A spec cars up to 2000cc (including Super 2000, R2 and R3).
A different kind of motorsport event will be held here in Canberra on Sunday 21 June - the annual Battle of Waterloo event on the lawns opposite Old Parliament House. With victory very much dependent on numbers, all club members are encouraged to boost
Keep on Pugging,