The French racing driver Stephane Sarrazin is one of the most versatile active racers of the modern time. Currently, he is a Toyota driver in the FIA World Endurance Championship and Venturi driver in the Formula E Championship. Sarrazin scored his greatest results driving prototypes, becoming Le Mans Series champion two times (2007 and 2010) and scoring five overall podiums at 24 hours of Le Mans.
He is also active in the World Rally Championship, he collected 16 starts between 2004 and 2016. In 2004, he became the French tarmac rally champion. In the premier series of the open-wheel racing (Formula One), he was a test driver for the Prost F1 team and Toyota, recording only one F1 start with Minardi in 1999.
Championship title for Sarrazin in his second season of racing
Stéphane Sarrazin was born on November 2, 1975, in Barjac in southern France. After a few years in karting, his car racing career started in the 1993 French Formula Renault. In his first year of the competition, he finished fifth in the points. Next year, he dominantly won the title, scoring five wins in twelve races. In 1994, Sarrazin also started his rally career, participating in the Rallye du Var, the round of the European Rally Championship.
In 1995, Sarrazin stepped into the French Formula 3 and remained in the same competition until 1997. He was most successful in 1997, when he finished as the runner-up, behind Patrice Gay.
Stephane joined Alain Prost's team in 1999
In 1998, Sarrazin progressed to the International Formula 3000, driving for the Appomattox team. He won the season-opening race at Oschersleben and added one more podium at Hungaroring and finished sixth in the points.
For the 1999 Formula 3000 season, Sarrazin joined Prost Junior team, sponsored by Gauloises. He won the race at Hungaroring and finished fourth in the points. He was also a test driver for the Prost F1 team.
One and only Formula One race in a career
In April 1999, Sarrazin participated in his first and only Formula One race, the Brazilian Grand Prix. He was invited to replace Minardi's driver Luca Badoer, who injured his hand in a testing accident. Driving the #20 Minardi M01-Ford, Sarrazin was 18th in the qualifying. In the race, he spun off and crashed out on Lap 31.
Sarrazin was a Prost F1 team's test driver for two more seasons (2000 and 2001). In 2000, he competed in six races of the Formula 3000 for the McLaren Junior team. In 2001, he participated in only one F3000 race for the Prost Junior team, finishing third at Monaco.
2001 - Le Mans debut for Stéphane
In June 2001, Sarrazin debuted at 24 hours of Le Mans, driving the Chrysler LMP for Viper Team Oreca, alongside Franck Montagny and Yannick Dalmas. The French trio retired after 126 laps. In 2001, Sarrazin also recorded his first victory in rallying, winning the Rallye International du Var. He was driving Subaru Impreza S5 WRC.
In 2002, Sarrazin joined Toyota Racing as a test driver for their Formula One team. His only race in 2002 was Le Mans 24h. His partners in the #14 Playstation Team Oreca's Dallara LMP-Judd were Franck Montagny and Nicolas Minassian. They finished 6th overall and 5th in LMP900 class.
In 2003, Sarrazin's main competition was the World Series by Nissan. With one victory (Monza) in 18 races, he finished seventh in the points. During 2003, he participated in four races with Pescarolo Sport, including 24 hours of Le Mans. His co-drivers in the #17 Courage C60-Peugeot were Franck Lagorce and Jean-Christophe Boullion. They finished 8th overall.
Focusing to rallying from 2004
In 2004, Sarrazin focused on rallying and became the French tarmac rally champion. He was driving Subaru Impreza S9 WRC for the First Motorsport and has won three events.
With the same car, under the colors of the FFSA (Federation Francaise du Sport Automobile), he participated in three WRC events (Germany, France and Spain), collecting eight points and finishing 11th in the final classification.
One WRC season with Subaru World Rally Team
For the 2005 World Rally Championship season, Sarrazin was promoted to the Subaru World Rally Team. His teammates were Petter Solberg and Chris Atkinson. He participated in eight events, finishing best in fourth place at Tour de Corse. At the end of the season, he was 17th in the points.
Since Prodrive was running both Subaru's rally program and Aston Martin's GT program in 2005, Sarrazin also participated in few endurance races with Aston Martin DBR9 (Sebring, Le Mans and Spa). At Le Mans, he was partnered by David Brabham and Darren Turner, Sarrazin finished third in GT1 class, scoring his first of many Le Mans podiums.
Runner-up in the 2006 American Le Mans Series
In 2006, Sarrazin slowed down his rally activities with Subaru and focused on the American Le Mans Series with Aston Martin Racing. He participated in four WRC events driving the Subaru Impreza S12 WRC, with fifth place at Rallye Monte-Carlo as his best result.
In the 2006 American Le Mans Series, Sarrazin was one of the leading drivers, scoring three wins at the wheel of the #009 Aston Martin DBR9. He finished second in the points, behind Corvette Racing's Olivier Beretta and Oliver Gavin. At 2006 Le Mans race, the #009 Aston Martin, driven by Sarrazin, Stephane Ortelli and Pedro Lamy, finished 5th in GT1 class.
Two Le Mans Series titles with Peugeot
The major change happened in 2007 when Sarrazin joined Peugeot factory team in the Le Mans Series and Le Mans 24h. The #8 Peugeot 908 HDi was victorious three times, Lamy and Sarrazin became the Le Mans Series champions. At Le Mans, Lamy and Sarrazin were partnered by Sebastien Bourdais. They finished second overall. It was Sarrazin's first overall podium.
Sarrazin spent four more seasons with Peugeot, until the end of 2011. In that period, he scored two more overall podiums at Le Mans, finishing 2nd in 2009 and 3rd in 2011. His teammate in both races was Franck Montagny, other two were Sebastien Bourdais and Nicolas Minassian. In 2010, Sarrazin won his second Le Mans Series title, scoring one victory in five races with the Team Oreca Matmut's Peugeot 908. Since he was constantly changing codrivers during the season, he was the sole winner of the championship.
24h Spa winner with Maserati in 2008
Besides driving for Peugeot, Sarrazin was driving Maserati MC12 for Vitaphone Racing Team at Spa 24h. In 2008, he won the race, together with Andrea Bertolini, Eric van de Poele and Michael Bartels. In 2011, Sarrazin traveled to Australia to compete in the Gold Coast 600 race of the V8 Supercars Championship.
While he was driving Peugeot prototypes between 2007 and 2011, Sarrazin was also driving Peugeot rally cars, scoring many international podiums with Peugeot 207 S2000 and Peugeot 307 WRC. In 2012, he left Peugeot in the sports car racing but continued to drive 307 WRC in the French rally championship, winning two races.
Driving for Toyota since 2012
For the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship, Sarrazin joined Starworks Motorsport to compete in the LMP2 class with HPD ARX-03a prototype. For 24 hours of Le Mans, he joined Toyota Racing. His partners in the #8 Toyota TS030 Hybrid were Sebastien Buemi and Anthony Davidson, but they didn't finish the race because of an accident. In 2012, Sarrazin also participated in two ELMS races for Sebastien Loeb Racing.
In 2013, Sarrazin competed for Toyota in the FIA WEC and for 8 Star Motorsports in the Grand American Rolex Series. In the World Championship, he was third in the points. In July, he scored his fourth overall podium at Le Mans, finishing second together with Buemi and Davidson. In North America, he reached only one podium and finished 11th in the points.
In 2014, Sarazzin's only job was in the cockpit of the Toyota TS040 Hybrid prototype. His teammates in the #7 car were Alex Wurz and Kazuki Nakajima. They finished fifth in the points. At Le Mans, they retired after 219 laps.
Formula E was the new challenge for Sarrazin
The completely new challenge for Sarrazin and many other drivers was the inaugural season of the Formula E Championship. The season started in September 2014 in China. Sarrazin was driving for Venturi team, together with F1 veteran Nick Heidfeld. Sarrazin didn't score wins or podiums and he finished 14th in the points.
In the second season (2015-2016), Sarrazin stayed with Venturi and scored his first podium, finishing second at Long Beach ePrix. At the end of the second Formula E season, he was sixth in the points.
During 2015 and 2016, Sarrazin was combining driving duties for Toyota and Venturi. In the 2015 FIA WEC season, he scored only one podium at Bahrain, finishing sixth in the points. In 2016, the #6 Toyota crew is one of the leading teams, with one victory and four more podiums for Sarrazin, Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi.
For the 2016/2017 Formula E season, Sarrazin signed for Venturi again, with Maro Engel as a new teammate.
Regular competitor at Tour de Corse
Sarrazin never left rallying, he is still competing at least once race every year. After a few seasons with Subaru and Peugeot, he switched to Mini Cooper S2000 in 2013, finishing third at Tour de Corse.
In 2014, he won Tour de Corse, the round of the European Rally Championship, driving the Ford Fiesta RRC. He returned to Corsica two more times, in 2015 with Ford Fiesta RS WRC and in 2016 with Hyundai i20 R5.