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"Never be afraid to dream!"

"Never be afraid to dream!"


Four questions to Nicolas Guéranger, Project Manager, PEUGEOT 208 WRX.
When did you get your passion for motorsport?
- The day I was born, I guess!


I was born close to the Tertre Rouge turn at Le Mans, in June 1985. My father did a little autocross racing and was a marshal. I went to watch a lot of races with him and I even learned to count thanks to the racing numbers on the cars. Today, I’m a marshal at Le Mans every year, too – at Arnage. I would never miss that! In fact, it was as a marshal that I first met Bruno Famin. A few days before the race one year, I saw three guys jogging round the track in scorching sunshine, so I offered them some water. They were Bruno Famin and 908 drivers Ricardo Zonta and Nicolas Minassian!


How did you come to work for Peugeot Sport?

My father wanted me to become a builder, and that’s what I did for a while before deciding to study maths and engineering. I didn’t attend a top school but it was free. After spending a few months at Michelin, I resigned and joined PSA at its Belchamp test track. I worked on several projects and was in charge of suspension development for the PEUGEOT RCZ and 308. When my wife was transferred to Paris, I followed her and was taken on by Peugeot Sport where I became development manager for four-wheel drive cars and the 208 WRX project. This job gave me the opportunity to work with Kenneth Hansen. I had met him before when I was a kid and he was a famous driver. I have a picture of me in his arms when I was 2. I also have a poster he signed when I was 10!


What is your job at Peugeot Sport?

My mission is to draw up the technical brief for the PEUGEOT 208 WRX car and decide how it should be built. For example, which components we should design in-house or have made by subcontractors. I look after the budget, as well, in terms of weighing up costs, performance gains and potential risks. We have had a new car for each of the past four seasons and, when the first car is built, I oversee the test and development programme, focusing initially on robustness and reliability, with specific mileage targets for each component.


Do you have any advice for young people who to become an engineer in motorsport?

I would say never be afraid to dream! Dreaming is a good motivation booster. You have to make things happen. There is not just one way to succeed. My parents didn’t have a great deal of money but I still decided to study. You have to be motivated and focused, and you need a little luck, too. I was fortunate enough to work with people who trusted me.