The Peugeot 908 LMP1, a model that has been largely forgotten in the annals of motor racing history, is remembered fondly by two of its most illustrious drivers: Sebastien Bourdais and Simon Pagenaud. The duo, now both championship-winning drivers in the NTT IndyCar Series, experienced success in the 908 and the Le Mans Series together in the late 2000s.
The 908 was a prototype-class car built by Peugeot Sport, the racing arm of the French automaker, for competition in the Le Mans Prototype 1 (LMP1) category. It was powered by a 3.7-liter V8 diesel engine and equipped with a six-speed sequential transmission. The car made its debut in the 2006 12 Hours of Sebring and went on to compete in the American Le Mans Series, the Le Mans Series, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Bourdais and Pagenaud were both on the roster of drivers for the 908 in 2008, when it won the Le Mans Series championship, and 2009, when it also took the 24 Hours of Le Mans title. The two drivers recall the car’s remarkable performance, as well as the camaraderie that existed between the drivers and the team.
“The 908 was a great car, and I think it has been somewhat forgotten in the history of LMP1 racing,” said Bourdais. “At the time, it was so technically advanced, and it had remarkable downforce and incredible grip. We could really push it to the limit, and that was a lot of fun.”
Pagenaud echoed his teammate’s sentiment, adding, “The 908 was a pleasure to drive, and it was an amazing experience to be part of that championship-winning team. We were all a very close-knit group, and that was a large part of our success.”
Both drivers continued to compete in LMP1 racing until the class was disbanded in 2011. But for Bourdais and Pagenaud, the memories of the 908 LMP1 will remain with them for years to come.
“The 908 was a special car for me,” said Pagenaud. “It was a great time in my racing career, and I’m proud of what we achieved with that car.”