Mike Stevens | May 11, 2009

Australian sportscar star David Brabham endured a disappointing start to his time with Peugeot Sport at the Spa-Francorchamps 1000km, finishing 13th.

Teamed alongside two fellow former Formula One drivers, Marc Gene and Alexander Wurz, Brabham’s chances of securing victory on debut for Peugeot were scuppered when he clipped a slower car while navigating heavy traffic on lap 53.

The incident forced Brabham to pit for repairs to his right hand lower wishbone, costing him five laps before he received a four minute stop-go penalty for his role in causing the accident, losing another two laps in the process.

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The event was won by the other Peugeot 908 HDi FAP of Nicolas Minassian, Simon Pagenaud and Christian Klien, providing the French manufacturer with the perfect platform to mount a challenge for Le Mans glory.

"With Le Mans fast approaching, today's win has done the team a great deal of good and I am very pleased with our overall performance here at Spa," Peugeot Sport Director Olivier Quesnel said before the race.

“We came here to prepare for next month's big race and everything went very smoothly.”

Spa’s 1000km event is the traditional lead-up event to the Le Mans 24 Hours, providing teams with an opportunity to test their machines in an environment similar to the lightning quick French circuit.

Although his weekend ended in frustration, the performance of the other Peugeot will instil confidence in Brabham, as he seeks to become the first Australian to win the event since his brother Geoff in 1993, coincidentally, also for Peugeot.

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