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Peugeot to race RCZ

Racez: Peugeot's RCZ will race at Nurburgring to not only celebrate the new model's European launch but also Peugeot's 200th anniversary, hence the race number.

Slinky new Peugeot RCZ to take on a plethora of new production cars at Nurburgring

Peugeot logo13 Apr 2010

By MARTON PETTENDY

PEUGEOT has announced it will contest the Nurburgring 24-hour race for the first time next month when two examples of its sleek RCZ coupe join a growing list of new production models in this year’s gruelling endurance classic.

The new 2+2 coupe’s Nurburgring race debut on the weekend of May 15-16, when about 220,000 spectators are again expected to line the famed German road course, will also coincide with Peugeot’s 200th anniversary.

On sale in Europe from this month and due to arrive in Australia mid-year, the RCZ is being launched in Europe this week, with attending international media shown a static version of the RCZ racer.

The Nurburgring RCZ made its global public debut at the 21st Convertible, Coupé and SUV Show at the Porte de Versailles on April 9 and will also be on display from this week at Peugeot Avenue on the Champs-Elysées in Paris.

Peugeot has confirmed that two RCZs – one run by a French team and the other by a German crew – will form the French maker’s Nurburgring entry, with each car competing with four drivers.

Powered by a 147kW 2.0-litre HDi engine and featuring only a few enhancements from the Customer Peugeot Sport parts bin, the race-prepared versions of the limited-edition RCZ will compete in the D1T category for diesel cars with an engine capacity between 1700 and 2000cc.

23 center imageCarrying the numbers 200 and 201 to symbolise the brand’s bicentenary, Peugeot says both teams will comprise “gentleman drivers, enlightened motor racing enthusiasts, experienced drivers and fans of the marque”.

The #200 RCZ will be piloted by the vice-president of the PSA Group's supervisory board Jean-Philippe Peugeot, ground link technician Stéphane Caillet, sales executive Cyrus Ayari and Peugeot marketing executive Olivier Perez.

Meantime, the #201 entry from Peugeot Germany will be driven by Jurgen Nett, Joey Kelly, Michael Bohrer and Henning Klipp, also with sponsorship support from Segula, Total, Michelin, Delphi, Peugeot Bank, Nokia, Sparco, Matter and Ibiden.

Peugeot is the latest car-maker to enter a new production model in the Nurburgring 24-hour race, with Aston Martin also announcing its chief executive Dr Ulrich Bez will pilot the British brand’s upcoming Rapide four-door in the German event.

Toyota Motor Corporation president Akio Toyoda competed in last year’s event in a pre-production version of Lexus’ first supercar, the LFA. Two production LFAs will contest this year’s Nurburgring event, which lends its name to a limited-edition version of the already-limited LFA.

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