Stéphane Sarrazin is trading his LMP1 prototype for a Ford Fiesta.
Stéphane Sarrazin, TOYOTA Racing’s factory driver in FIA World Endurance Championship, recently second of the 6 Hours of Fuji, is about to return to rally ! Indeed, the former French Champion of Rally, originally from Le Gard, will be at the starts of the Rallye des Cévennes and the Tour de Corse, final round of the European Rally Championship. He will be racing at the wheel of a WRC Ford Fiesta entered by First Motorsport and customised according to the colours of Oreca-Store.com and 8Star Motorsports.
I want to thank TOYOTA Racing who has given me a green light to compete there on top of the World Endurance Championship
Having been closely connected with ORECA for several years, whether at the time of the Dallara during the 2001 and 2002 24 Hours of Le Mans or when he clinched his Le Mans Series title in 2010 with the Peugeot 908 HDi FAP, Stéphane Sarrazin now joins Oreca-Store.com’s drivers. He will be racing for the leading motorsport shop just like Bryan Bouffier, Julien Maurin or Eric Camilli did before him. Eclectic driver, Stéphane Sarrazin will be coming back to a discipline where he has already excelled in the past.
Past rally experience
2004 French Champion of Rally, with a Subaru lined-up by First Motorsport, he then officially represented Subaru in the 2005 and 2006 seasons of the WRC. Alongside his successful endurance programmes – three poles and four podiums at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, three wins at the Petit Le Mans – Stéphane never really went away from rallies. He was on the 2009 Monte-Carlo podium and won the Limousin and Mont-Blanc rallies in 2012. Last year, he came third in the Tour de Corse with First Motorsport’s Mini.
With the sporting year coming to an end, Stéphane Sarrazin will take part in the Cevennes Rally, the French Rally Championship’s penultimate round, and in the Tour of Corsica, ERC’s last race. With co-driver Jacques-Julien Renucci, he will be competing with a WRC Ford Fiesta operated by First Motorsport, a team that he knows perfectly well.
Stéphane Sarrazin comments
"I am very happy to come back to rally competition and to have the opportunity to take part in two of the most beautiful rally challenges," says Stéphane Sarrazin. "I want to thank TOYOTA Racing who has given me a green light to compete there on top of the World Endurance Championship. I just want to enjoy it clearly but I am also a competitor and I will be ambitious. The Rallyes des Cévennes will be a preparation for the Tour de Corse ; I hope to be successful there since I’ll be at home. As for the Tour de Corse, it will be a fantastic opportunity for me to pit against the best contenders in Europe. Both challenges will stand as enriching experiences for me. Together with First Motorsport and the support of Oreca-Store.com and 8Star Motorsports, I think that we could be challengers."
Oreca's Jean-Luc Autuori comments
"We are delighted that Stéphane Sarrazin is now amongst Oreca-Store.com’s drivers," explains Jean-Luc Autuori, ORECA Store’s Director. "We know that Stéphane is a fast driver and we are convinced that he could shine in those two events. Stéphane is both an excellent ‘racer’, as often demonstrated in the past, as well as a real ‘passionate’ ; which exactly corresponds to Oreca-Store’s philosophy. On this occasion, he will not only wear Oreca-Store.com’s colours, but will also be equipped with Turn One products, a brand exclusively supplied by the store. For us it’s a clear evidence, showing how strongly we are related to the practice. We will draw on that experience on a daily basis when being in touch with our customers."
Besides Stéphane Sarrazin, many Oreca-Store.com drivers will be at the start of the Tour of Corsica, amongst who current French Champion Julien Maurin and 2012 Rallye Jeunes awardee Eric Camilli.