Following the withdrawal of Hiroaki Ishiura earlier this month Stephane Sarrazin has been confirmed as the third driver in the no.8 Toyota TS030 Hybrid at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (June 16-17).
He will join fellow former Peugeot Sport driver Anthony Davidson and Sebastien Buemi in the car, which will make its competitive debut at the legendary endurance race. Though Sarrazin has become one of the leading sportscar drivers with Pescarolo and Peugeot Sport teams the Frenchman was previously part of Toyota's F1 team as a test driver.
“We are very pleased to recruit a driver of StÃ©phane's quality and experience to Toyota Racing,” said team president Yoshiaki Kinoshita. “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 StÃ©phane very well from his previous time at TMG and we are all looking forward to working with him again.”
Sarrazin has a total of ten starts at Le Mans, finishing second overall twice in 2007 and 2009, with three consecutive pole positions at the Circuit de la Sarthe.
“I am really happy and proud to get this chance to participate at Le Mans for Toyota Racing,” said Sarrazin. “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.”
Sarrazin got his first drive in a test session at Paul Ricard where he joined his new teammates as well as the trio of drivers who will pilot the no.7 car Le Mans – Kazuki Nakajima, Alex Wurz and Nicolas Lapierre.