Peugeot's diesel-hybrid version of its 908 sports prototype underwent its first track test at Estoril, completing nearly 200 miles of running in the hands of Nicolas Minassian, Stephane Sarrazin and Alexander Wurz.
It was announced back in March that Peugeot had been developing the 908 HYbrid 4 alongside its 908 Le Mans challenger. The HYbrid 4 had been given a shakedown at a private venue on Sept. 16, but Estoril represented its first genuine track test.
Peugeot Sport's technical director Bruno Famin said the test had been a success, although he explained attention had been directed to system functions rather than outright performance.
"Our aim wasn't to put a lot of kilometers on the clock, but to verify that all the chief functions performed," he said. "The system functioned well and responded as predicted, which was very satisfying. At the same time, we started to make a few adjustments to the car's basic setup. It worked well, so that's very positive."
Peugeot works driver Stephane Sarrazin said the difference in power provided by the car's energy recovers system was already evident.
"It was interesting to work with the engineers to identify the ideal compromises and, of course, get acquainted with the system, since the project is only in its early days," he explained. "You can feel the extra power and it will be up to us to harness or adapt it in the most competitive way possible. We will need to strike the right balance."
Although Peugeot has not announced a second test, Famin says the intention is to give the HYbrid 4 another run before the end of 2011.
"It will be interesting to see how the system performs at a different track," he said. "A new phase will also begin when we start to fine tune not only the system but also the handling of the car.
"We have no intention of rushing things, however. We are still on a learning curve and the endurance testing will come later."