Sarrazin made an impeccable return to the rally stage in his native France when he took top honors in the Rallye Criterium des Cévennes – the penultimate round of the 2014 FFSA French Rally Championship (23-25 October) – at the wheel of his 8Star Motorsports-backed Ford Fiesta WRC.
The versatile Frenchman from Le Gard, a regular addition to the 8Star Motorsports fold, currently operates as a Toyota Racing factory driver in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and has accumulated no fewer than three pole positions and four podium finishes in the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans, as well as three race wins at Petit Le Mans during a super-successful endurance racing career.
However, the 30-year old is famous for dovetailing his sportscar commitments with sporadic one-off rally appearances and has accrued several notable results, most recently adding to his trophy collection by winning the ERC-ending Giru di Corsica – Tour de Corse (6-8 November).
Victory in the ‘Rally of 10,000 Corners’ looked unlikely for Sarrazin on Friday (7 November), as 2013 Corsica winner Bryan Bouffier emerged as a more prominent threat following an earlier puncture, but the 8Star Motorsports-backed contender and co-driver Jacques-Julien Renucci would find an extra gear to complete the 11th and final stage with an 18.9s advantage over his chief rivals.
“It’s just a real joy to win the Tour of Corsica,” said Sarrazin. “Two weeks after the Rallye des Cévennes, which was quite important to me, we now clinch victory in one of the most legendary rally challenges. We really had to attack for that win. The first day was positive but we had to find the right compromise between risk-taking and pure performance. There were many tricky bits, we’ve managed to avoid them while taking our marks in Corsica. We knew that everything would depend on the second stage. Saturday morning we gave everything we had and really had to push. We had a fantastic car thanks to First Motorsport’s work and Jacques-Julien’s notes were just perfect. I felt confident, I managed to attack and I enjoyed myself very much, even if I was aware that something important was at stake. Those two stages marked my return to rally. In the end, I hadn’t driven that car lots in practice sessions, and actually never in competition before the Cévennes. Two wins with this two-rally program, which we had put up together with 8Star Motorsports and Oreca-Store.com, I couldn’t have hoped anything more than that!”