Tom Kristensen believes that Peugeot deserved its Spa 1000km victory after the Audi legend could finish no higher than third on the debut of the new R18 TDI.
Kristensen had been closing in on the second-placed 908 and was less than half a minute behind Nicolas Minassian with an hour to run. But he suffered a slow puncture that dropped the car – that had previously been spun by Allan McNish and put into pitlane speed limit mode by Dindo Capello – to fourth spot.
Only a wishbone fixing problem for Peugeot's Simon Pagenaud in the final hour promoted the car back onto the podium.
"The Peugeot number seven car was the winner and deserved to be the winner," he said. "We were unlucky at stages, but they deserved to win. My main problem was the slow puncture. There was some contact with an LMP2 car as well, but the puncture compromised us more.
"The team picked up on it when I was going around Turn 1, and through Eau Rouge they said it was only 1.5 bar [pressure] and going down fast. So I had to pit, and that put us out on the strategy and meant I needed an extra stop before the end.
"At least we know we have some good pace. We just need to work on it and hopefully get it a bit better for Le Mans."
Kristensen's co-driver Allan McNish said he was disappointed to have only ended up third, but admitted his first lap spin had been totally his fault.
"I'm a little bit disappointed," he said. "Because when you're 1-2-3 on the grid, you know you have the best car, and so to finish third with the best car is a bit frustrating.
"On the first lap, I just made a mistake on the first lap and had to abort the corner and spun. I misjudged when Andre was going to brake. I hit the brakes hard and locked up the rears when the other option was to hit my teammate. I chose the safe spin option."