Stephane Sarrazin is expecting serious competition ahead when the FIA European Rally Championship resumes on the legendary Giru di Corsica-Tour de Corse.
Le Mans 24 Hours racer Sarrazin has been given special permission by Toyota to contest the event in the same MINI John Cooper Works S2000 Dani Sordo used to win in Corsica last season.
He will go up against fellow former F1 racer Robert Kubica, who will line up in his regular Citroen DS3 RRC.
“I'm going for the win,” said Sarrazin, who did selected events with the now defunct Subaru World Rally Team in 2005 and 2006.
“I have been in Corsica with Subaru three times and finished eighth, sixth and fourth. Last year I drove a Peugeot 208 R2 zero car, which was a big help because I did the recce and pushed like I was doing the real rally. The MINI I have won the rally last year so I have no excuse although it will be difficult against drivers like Robert Kubica and Jan Kopecky. It will be a very good fight.”
Sarrazin tested his MINI, run by the Belgian First Motorsport team, in Corsica on Monday. He is one of 23 drivers in S2000 machinery on the island event, which starts today. His advice to event rookies like Kubica is simply 'to avoid touching any concrete on the side of the road'.
“It's so narrow, with narrow bridges and it's easy to touch a wheel, make a small mistake and have a very big effect,” he continued. “There are also some old roads that are very bumpy, it is a very particular and difficult rally to do.”