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Sarrazin: “It’s Always Nice to Drive the First Laps of a New Prototype”

Stephane Sarrazin gives new Oreca 05 high marks after initial rollout…

Photo: Eric Fabre/VIMAGES

Photo: Eric Fabre/VIMAGES

Stephane Sarrazin has given the Oreca 05 Nissan high marks following a successful shakedown of the new LMP2 contender Monday at Paul Ricard.

The Toyota factory driver, who also has a long-term relationship with the French constructor, completed the initial test of the car, which will be campaigned by KCMG in the FIA World Endurance Championship.

PHOTOS: Oreca 05 Shakedown

“It’s a solid car. I very quickly felt comfortable at its wheel,” Sarrazin said. “The car has a consistent behavior and is easy to get familiar with. It’s very agile in the sinuous sections. It’s nice for a driver to have a car that is so reactive.

“The Oreca 05 has an impressive finish. All of ORECA’s experience is there, particularly in the way everything was thought out.”

While the car took to the track Monday morning for systems checks, the majority of the afternoon was spent on aerodynamics, with no issues reported over the day-long test.

“Technically speaking we did not have a single issue; that allowed us to work well,” Sarrazin added. “The car is now born, that’s for sure.

“It’s always a nice thing to be involved in the first laps of a new prototype. I enjoyed it so much.”

The car, based off the initial design of the ORECA-built Rebellion R-One, features a number of technical and safety advancements, including being the only current LMP2 car with a 1900 mm width, which is expected to be adopted in the new-for-2017 regulations.

“The ORECA 05’s first test day is a positive one,” said technical director David Floury. “We went through the entire program and the session was enriching.

“The contribution of a driver like Stéphane Sarrazin is very appreciated. His positive feedback is comforting in terms of the decisions we made both technically and regarding ergonomics.

“Of course there’re always some details here and there to sort out, but what we’ve witnessed throughout this first shakedown bodes well.”

Additional testing is scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday with the KCMG chassis, followed by the expected roll-out of the car that Thiriet by TDS Racing will campaign in the European Le Mans Series shortly after.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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