Sarrazin, Lopez Swap Cars for 24H Le Mans

Photo: James Moy/Toyota

Photo: James Moy/Toyota

Toyota Gazoo Racing has confirmed a shakeup in its driver lineups for the 24 Hours of Le Mans next month, with Jose Maria Lopez moving to the No. 9 Toyota TS050 Hybrid and Stephane Sarrazin taking his place in the No. 7 entry.

As revealed by Sportscar365 last week, the Japanese manufacturer had been considering the change, in the wake of Lopez’s accident at Silverstone which has resulted in the three-time WTCC champion gain limited running in the LMP1 contender ahead of his Le Mans debut.

Sarrazin, whom Lopez replaced in Toyota’s full-season lineup this year, will return alongside Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi for the French endurance classic, with the Argentinean now teaming up with Nico Lapierre and Yuji Kunimoto, who also makes his Le Mans debut. 

Lopez will return to the No. 7 car post-Le Mans, as part of his full-season deal with the team.

“Our circumstances have changed over the last few weeks as a result of the injury to José María,” said Team President Toshio Sato.

“He is in the unfortunate position of having completed very few racing laps this year in WEC, so we all felt it was appropriate to adjust the driver line-up.

“I am very confident that Stéphane will fit well into a No. 7 line-up which can fight for the win.

“José María, like Yuji, will learn a lot at Le Mans this year, familiarizing himself with the track and the event in general, and this is an important step for the future as well.”

3 Comments

  1. Jack

    May 16, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    Very surprised nico didn’t get the nod.

    • Travis McBee

      May 16, 2017 at 6:11 pm

      Well Stephane was more consistent and didn’t run off in the first turn dude….

    • Toma0

      May 17, 2017 at 1:46 am

      Conway and Sarrazin shared the same car for the 2015 and 2016 seasons. I wonder how much this contributed to Sarrazin getting the nod over Nico?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *