Stéphane Sarrazin has joined SMP Racing for the FIA World Endurance Racing Super Season marking a return to full-time LMP1 competition for the Frenchman.
Russian outfit SMP Racing announced today via Twitter that Stéphane Sarrazin would be joining their LMP1 lineup for the FIA WEC 2018/19 Super Season. The Frenchman is the third driver confirmed with SMP after Vitaly Petrov and Mikael Aleshin were announced at the Super Season launch in February.
The move to SMP sees Sarrazin returning full-time to racing, following his role as Toyota Gazoo Racing’s test and reserve driver in 2017 – a role now being filled by Anthony Davidson. This also marks the end of a five-year run with the Japanese manufacturer for Sarrazin, he’d been with the team since the start of the current iteration of the World Endurance Championship in 2012.
“It’s great that I joined the SMP Racing team this season,” said Stephane Sarrazin in the SMP Racing press release. “This is a new challenge and an excellent experience for me after six seasons of working with Toyota. With SMP Racing, I have known for a long time – this is a strong and experienced team. And I am convinced that we will achieve all the goals set by speaking on the new BR1 car of the LMP1 class. To do this, I will put all my strength, all my positive attitude and accumulated experience.”
“I am pleased to welcome Stefan into the ranks of SMP Racing,” said Boris Rothenberg, founder and head of the SMP Racing program. “This is a truly universal driver, who will drive his 17th and 18th marathons in Le Mans under the Russian flag. I am sure that the invaluable experience gained by Stefan in Toyota, who fought desperately for the absolute championship for more than one year, will help us in the debut in the category LMP1 on the Russian prototype BR Engineering. The first results of teamwork we can evaluate in three weeks, during the tests in France.”
SMP Racing have confirmed three of their six WEC drivers, and the BR1 AER LMP1s will start their Super Season at the pre-season Prologue tests at Paul Ricard in April.