DRIVERS: STEPHANE SARRAZIN

Name: Stephane Sarrazin
Nationality: France
Date of birth: November 2, 1974 - Ales

There are not many drivers who can successfully race in all motorsport disciplines at the top level. There were examples of this in the 1960s but in the modern era only one driver has raced in Grands Prix, the World Rally Championship and in top level sports car competition as well.

Stephane Sarrazin was born in the town of Ales in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France in 1974, the son of an amateur rally driver. He was encouraged to race karts in his childhood and became the French junior champion before attending the Le Mans racing school and winning the Pilote Elf award for the 1993 season.

He raced in Formula Renault with Bernard Mange's Octane team and finished fifth in the series in his debut season. That was sufficient for him to be taken on by the La Filiere team in 1994. He duly won the French Formula Renault title and moved up to French Formula 3, though it was not until 1997 that he became a contender. Driving for Laurent Daumet's LD Autosport, he finished second overall to Patrice Gay, beating David Saelens, Franck Montagny and Sebastien Philippe.

He moved to Formula 3000 in 1998 with Apomatox and won on his debut at Ochersleben. Later in the year he tested for Prost Grand Prix but he stayed in F3000 in 1999 although his year began with an invitation to race for Minardi in the Brazilian GP after regular driver Luca Badoer was injured. At the end of the year he was signed by Prost to be its test driver and, at the same time, was signed up to drive alongside Tomas Enge in the McLaren-owned Mysap.com Formula 3000 team, although he was dropped at midseason to make way for Tomas Scheckter.

In 2001 and 2002 he struggled to find work but in 2003 made a successful comeback in open-wheelers with the Racing Engineering team in the Nissan World Series. That resulted in a deal to be a Toyota F1 test driver in 2004 when he found backing from the FFSA and Subaru France to become the French national rally champion in a Subaru. He made a big impression on the Rally of Catalunya and in 2005 was signed to drive in the WRC for Subaru. He also raced for the Aston Martin team in sports car racing.

For 2006 he remained with Subaru for a limited programme of WRC events but also joined Aston Martin in the American Le Mans Series with Pedro Lamy.

Print