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DATE News (chronologically)
05/26/12
wec
Sarrazin to drive Hybrid Toyota in 24 Hours of Lemans
Sarrazin
TOYOTA Racing can confirm that Stephane Sarrazin will drive its #8 TS030 HYBRID at the Le Mans 24 Hours.

The Frenchman, 36, replaces Hiroaki Ishiura, who withdrew from the race earlier this month due to a back complaint. He completes the driver line-up for the #8 car which already includes Anthony Davidson and Sebastien Buemi.

TOYOTA Racing completed its evaluation of Stephane in testing this week at Paul Ricard and, as expected from a very experienced endurance driver, he showed the speed, consistency and team work required.

Stephane, who has finished on the podium three times at Le Mans, is returning to TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH (TMG) after 10 years, following his spell as Formula 1 test driver in 2002.

Yoshiaki Kinoshita, Team President: “We are very pleased to recruit a driver of Stephane’s quality and experience to TOYOTA Racing. He has a great knowledge of Le Mans and a proven track record, including two second-place finishes, so we are confident he will be a strong addition to our driver line-up. Several team members remember Stephane very well from his previous time at TMG and we are all looking forward to working with him again.”

Stephane Sarrazin: “I am really happy and proud to get this chance to participate at Le Mans for TOYOTA Racing. I have good memories of working with TMG; they work very hard and it is a real pleasure to be back. It has been quite intense this week to become familiar with the team and the car, but I have received great support and I feel we have made good progress. It is a steep learning curve with a completely new technology and we will no doubt learn a lot this season. It’s a new and exciting challenge for me.”

Stephane drove the TS030 HYBRID for the first time this week at Paul Ricard, joining his new team-mates in the #8 car, as well as the #7 line-up of Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima.

The four-day session began on Tuesday with an evaluation of performance items and set-ups before the team’s third successful endurance test with the TS030 HYBRID.

Pascal Vasselon, Technical Director: “This test marked the end of our pre-Le Mans program so our next chance to drive the TS030 HYBRID will be at La Sarthe itself next month. Clearly, due to the accident we had in April, our preparations have not been ideal but the time for regrets is over. We have made the best of the situation we faced. Le Mans is undoubtedly a great challenge for TOYOTA Racing in its first year but we can be satisfied with our preparations and we are certainly looking forward to the task ahead.”

TOYOTA Racing’s next appearance comes at the Circuit de la Sarthe on 3 June for the one-day test to prepare for the Le Mans 24 Hours.

For driver comments from this week’s test, please visit www.toyotahybridracing.com.

Stephane Sarrazin Profile

Born 2 November 1975, Ales, France
Lives Barjac, France
Status In relationship with Camille, 2 children (Pablo and Jules)
Height 180cm
Weight 69kg
Hobbies Cycling, motor cycling, swimming
Favorite tracks Spa, Sebring and Road Atlanta
Pets None
Favorite food Italian and sushi
Best achievement Three Le Mans 24 Hours poles in a row


Career History

Le Mans Debut 2001
Le Mans Starts 10
Le Mans Best Result 2nd (2007 & 2009)
1993 French Formula Renault (Sodemo): 5th
1994 French Formula Renault (La Filière): 1st
1995 French Formula 3 Championship (Winfield): 8th
1996 French Formula 3 Championship (Winfield): 9th
1997 French Formula 3 Championship (LD Autosport): 2nd
1998 Formula 1 (Prost GP): Test driver International Formula 3000 (Apomatox): 6th
1999 Formula 1 (Prost GP): Third driver Formula 1 (Minardi): 24th (one race) International Formula 3000 (Gauloises Junior): 4th
2000 Formula 1 (Prost GP): Third driver International Formula 3000 (McLaren Junior): 4th
2001 Formula 1 (Prost GP): Third driver International Formula 3000 (Prost Junior): 14th Le Mans 24 Hours (ORECA): DNF
2002 Formula 1 (TOYOTA): Test driver Le Mans 24 Hours (ORECA): 6th
2003 World Series by Nissan (Racing Engineering): 7th FIA Sportscar Championship (Pescarolo): 6th Le Mans 24 Hours (Pescarolo): 8th
2004 French Rally Championship (Subaru): 1st World Rally Championship (Subaru): 11th
2005 World Rally Championship (Subaru): 17th Le Mans 24 Hours (Aston Martin): 9th
2006 World Rally Championship (Subaru): 18th American Le Mans Series (Aston Martin): 2nd Le Mans 24 Hours (Aston Martin): 10th (2nd in GT1 class)
2007 Le Mans Series (Peugeot): 1st Le Mans 24 Hours (Peugeot): 2nd (pole position)
2008 Le Mans Series (Peugeot): 4th American Le Mans Series (Peugeot): 7th Le Mans 24 Hours (Peugeot): 5th (pole position)
2009 Petit Le Mans (Peugeot): 1st Le Mans 24 Hours (Peugeot): 2nd (pole position)
2010 Le Mans Series (Peugeot): 1st Le Mans 24 Hours (Peugeot): DNF Petit Le Mans (Peugeot): 1st
2011 Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (Peugeot): 2nd Le Mans 24 Hours (Peugeot): 3rd Petit Le Mans (Peugeot): 1st
2012 Sebring 12 Hours (Starworks): 3rd (1st in LMP2 class)
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