The team was rewarded with the A3 class winning trophies and the highest step of the podium, after an intense 24-hour long effort in a very tough 11th edition of the classic endurance race of Dubai.
Team Peugeot Dubai Swaidan Trading's #208 Peugeot 208 GTi race car showed amazing speed and reliability this week-end, in the expert hands of a 4-driver team composed of Thierry Blaise (France), Kim Holmgaard (Denmark), Guillaume Roman (France) and Stéphane Ventaja (France). Starting from the 75th position overall on the grid, the car steadily overtook many of its rivals lap after lap, to claim a superb 34th position overall on the finish line, making it the second fastest of all touring cars, and the fastest of all cars powered by an engine featuring a maximum capacity of 1600cc.
The race was action-packed from start to finish, with 100 cars sharing the 5.39km-long Dubai Autodrome race track, and fighting in no less than 9 different classes. Team Peugeot Dubai Swaidan Trading's result is the fruit of a flawless display of speed and skills from the drivers and team, combined with the outstanding agility of the car, and the ability to avoid all of the many accidents that triggered no less than 13 Code-60 race neutralization (4H20 in total), and left dozens of cars damaged or even forced to retire from the race. Despite a strong showing by the #205 racer and its drivers, the team's second car unfortunately had to be retired from the race during the night while running a strong P2 in class, following an unexpected mechanical failure that resulted in damage to the engine and gearbox that couldn't be fixed at the circuit. Though the disappointment was big for #205's 5-strong team of drivers, Thierry Boyer(France), Sarah Bovy (Belgium), Michael Carlsen (Denmark), Jérôme Ogay (Switzerland) and Mathias Schläppi (Switzerland) are all pleased and proud to have been a part of the team's effort and successful partnership with Swaidan Trading.
I am overwhelmed by the amazing result achieved this weekend and will never forget the joy and pride of standing on the first step of the podium in Dubai after an intense battle for the win. My teammates and I drove our heart out, but the successful outcome was made possible by a great team that produced an impeccable effort to give us a pair of beautiful, quick and very agile Peugeot 208 GTi race cars. They were the perfect machinery to tackle such a difficult race, with intense traffic out on track, and frequent accidents ending the races of a lot of teams.
Though the team and I feel sad that all of our 9 drivers didn't stand together on the podium this weekend, we are very proud of our success with a commanding victory in the A3 class and an overall finishing position of 34th out of 100 participating cars, that speaks volumes about the incredible performance of our Peugeot 208 GTi race cars that are outmuscled in terms of raw horsepower by most of its rivals, yet show their true strength lies in a perfect combination of speed, agility and efficiency. I also want to warmly thank Swaidan Trading Co. LLC for placing their trust in our team this weekend and sharing this amazing first-time adventure at the 24H DUBAI race with us. We are looking forward to racing again in Dubai as the defending A3 class champions.