26
May
2012
|
03:00
Europe/Amsterdam

Sarrazin to drive #8 for toyota racing at le mans

TOYOTA Racing can confirm that Stéphane 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 Sébastien Buemi.

TOYOTA Racing completed its evaluation of Stéphane 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.

Stéphane, 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 Stéphane'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 Stéphane very well from his previous time at TMG and we are all looking forward to working with him again."

Stéphane 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."

Stéphane 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 three-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 programme 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.

Born 2 November 1975, Alès, France

Lives Barjac, France

Status In relationship with Camille, 2 children (Pablo and Jules)

Height 180cm

Weight 69kg

Hobbies Cycling, motor cycling, swimming

Favourite tracks Spa, Sebring and Road Atlanta

Pets None

Favourite 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)

About TOYOTA Racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship:

TOYOTA first competed in the FIA World Endurance Championship in 1983, marking the start of a long period of participation in endurance racing which included several editions of the Le Mans 24 Hours. TOYOTA cars have raced in 13 Le Mans 24 Hours races, with a total of 36 vehicles taking part. TOYOTA has finished on the podium three times, all second places. Including those results, it has finished in the top six a total of nine times. In qualifying, TOYOTA has four front-row starts to its name, including one pole position. For 2012, TOYOTA will return to endurance racing and the FIA World Endurance Championship as a full-time entrant with a hybrid LMP1 car, the TS030 HYBRID. The chassis has been designed and built by TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH (TMG), where the race team is based. TMG is the former home of TOYOTA's World Rally and Formula 1 works teams, and was responsible for design and operation of TOYOTA's TS020 (GT-One) Le Mans car in 1998-99. TMG now combines works motorsport participation with a new direction as a high-performance engineering services provider to third party companies, as well as the TOYOTA family. For more information, please visit www.toyotahybridracing.com and register for personal access to the media section. Follow the team on Twitter (@Toyota_Hybrid) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/toyotamotorsport).