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Petit piece of LMP history: a look at Petit Le Mans 2011

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As we continue to look back at our favourite moments of the ALMS, we take a look at Petit Le Mans from 2011.  The race was one for the ages with the final outing of the Peugeot squad before their shock withdrawal from sportscar racing.  After a disappointing Le Mans they needed a win at another of the major sportscar races.  Against Audi’s juggernaut they needed to show something special.  They did, taking pole and the win.  It was a great field of LMP cars – due to the race featuring as part of the Intercontinental Le Mans Challenge.  Ultimately it would the last truly great Petit Le Mans as part of the ALMS.

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Following their shock win at Sebring, the Oreca Peugeot team returned a great result, taking 2nd overall

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Genoa Racing had 2 cars in the race in LMPC.  The LMPC field was decimated through crashes and mechanical issues

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Lucas Ordonez was in the Signatech Nissan, taking 22nd overall

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The #8 factory Peugeot took the win with Montagny, Sarrazin and Wurz

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The striking Rebellion Lola was in the field.  Not standing a chance against the Peugeots, they were competing against the Astons and OAKs.  They took 5th overall and third petrol car

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It was a late DNF for Dyson, retiring after 363 laps

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Intersport took LMPC pole and then took second in class in the race

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The Rebellion Lola would be one of the last strong teams to run the car before the manufacturer ran into financial troubles

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It was one very rare, very weak race for Audi, with both of their new R18s retiring

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Cytosport had their Aston Martin which was a fan favourite and had been strong during the ALMS season.  Luck deserted them in the race, retiring after 63 laps

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Sadly it wasn’t the weekend Genoa wanted, this car was off the ultimate pace throughout the event

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It appeared as though the Audi would be outclassed by Peugeot – like usual at all tracks except Le Mans

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This was early on in the life of Core in the ALMS.  While they didn’t have the greatest weekend in 2011 they have become a very strong ALMS runner

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Signatech was important part of the Nissan program and were also heavily hit after Peugeot’s withdrawal from sportscar racing as they were ready to take Oreca’s spot racing the private Peugeot

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The factory Aston Martin team would be recovering from the AMR One disaster and took a well deserved 3rd place with the older car

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The OAK LMP1 car derived from the Pescarolo took fourth overall after a strong run

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Level 5 was starting out in LMP2 in 2011 after running PC in the past.  They took pole and the class win, signalling their future dominance in the class in USA

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Sebestian Bourdais would be in the Peugeot that retired.  It was a shock to see three of the factory cars not make the flag

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The Oreca team had shocked many during the year with their pace and results in the year old semi-factory Peugeot

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The Peugeot #7 would take the pole, showing pace but survived only 78 laps in the race

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Photos by Andrew Henderson, words by Sam Tickell, (c) 2013

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