Faithful to Toyota since the time of Peugeot, Stephane Sarrazin embarks on his third season with the Japanese manufacturer. (En Français)
In addition to the arrival of the Toyota TS040 Hybrid, the Frenchman has a pair of new co-drivers in Alex Wurz and Kazuki Nakajima, having moved over to the No. 7 entry.
The new LMP1 regulations changes the cards, but it hasn’t undermined the morale of Sarrazin.
“We must settle in, learn and be patient,” he told Endurance-Info. “Consumption will be the key to success. You cannot deny that this new situation changes things somewhat.”
While drivers could previously go flat-out, they will now have to deal with fuel consumption.
“It’s interesting for the driver, even if it’s still quite frustrating to be clamped down,” Sarrazin said. “It will take some getting used to but it’s the same for everyone. The power output is fabulous. We’ll have to think about it while going through traffic.”
Toyota Racing is the final LMP1 manufacturer to hit the track with its new car, with testing at Paul Ricard having resulted in continued development for the TS040 Hybrid.
“These two days of testing are important because it’s the first time Toyota, Porsche and Audi are all on track together,” Sarrazin said. “Each brand has chosen a different system.
“Toyota has done a great job on the TS040 Hybrid. The test have shown that we are in the right direction. We did not encounter any major problems.”
The other big change for Sarrazin is going from the No. 8 car to the No. 7 entry.
“Changing crews is not a concern because at Toyota, there is a real team spirit,” he said. “It’s just a matter of size and weight [between the drivers]. With this change, we have gained about 3kg with the seat insert.”