Veloce Racing has confirmed its Extreme E line-up for the inaugural season, with Stéphane Sarrazin partnering Jamie Chadwick.
Sarrazin has enjoyed a long and diverse career in motorsport. Perhaps best-known for his sportscar racing exploits – with six podium finishes in the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours, two Le Mans Series titles and multiple victories in the FIA World Endurance Championship to his name – he has a versatile CV, which should serve him well in the pioneering new electric off-road racing series.
Sarrazin contested the Brazilian Grand Prix in 1999 and continued to carry out Formula 1 testing duties until the end of 2002. Four seasons in the FIA Formula E Championship yielded three rostrum visits and 21 points finishes, while in 2011 and 2012, he tested his mettle in Australia’s V8 Supercars Championship.
Since 2004, the Gard native has also made successful appearances in the FIA World Rally Championship, increasingly honing his off-road expertise. From 22 starts at the highest level, he has achieved ten points-scoring results – highlighted by a brace of fourth places – and in both Germany and France in 2005, he finished just one position behind Subaru World Rally Team stablemate and 2003 World Champion Petter Solberg.
Sarrazin’s first international rallying triumph came on the 2014 Tour de Corse – the finale of that year’s FIA European Rally Championship season – and from three Monte-Carlo Rally outings as part of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, he has never finished lower than fourth, with a podium to his credit in 2009.
Extreme E presents a new challenge for the Frenchman which he says he’s “excited” about.
“I am delighted to have agreed terms with Veloce Racing to contest the first season of Extreme E,” he said. “This is a hugely appealing new series that has already attracted a lot of international attention – and all before the racing has even begun! As a driver, the concept is tremendously exciting and motivating – both on a competitive and personal level – and the challenge will be like no other.
“I’ve driven a lot of different types of car during my career, but the ODYSSEY 21 really is something special and it’s going to generate some incredible action. When we went testing together, it did not take me long to ‘click’ with the Veloce Racing guys – like me, they arrive in Extreme E with a lot of experience from different disciplines in the sport, and that can only be to our advantage over the forthcoming campaign. I can’t wait to go racing!”
Ian Davies, Team Manager, added: “We are delighted to announce Stéphane as our male driver for the first season of Extreme E and to confirm Lance’s reserve and development role within the team. Both of them tested with us at MotorLand Aragón last month, and to be honest, they gave us a real headache in terms of who to choose. Since we didn’t want to lose either, in the end, we decided to sign them both.
“Both Stéphane and Lance worked extremely well with Jamie and Veloce’s engineering team at the test, and their different skillsets and experience complemented each other perfectly. Stéphane is very much an all-rounder – a master of endurance racing but also clearly extremely adept in sprint and off-road competition – while Lance is well-accustomed to vehicles like the ODYSSEY 21 from his cross-country racing and has a very well-developed mechanical understanding.
“Both guys were quick out-of-the-box in Spain, and we believe both will bring a great deal to Veloce Racing as we aim to hit the ground running in Saudi Arabia. We are confident that with Jamie and Stéphane driving and Lance working hard behind-the-scenes, we have a very strong team indeed.”