Iron Lynx will field a two-car entry in the upcoming French Rally Championship with the Ford Fiesta Rally2 car, with a third entry being run under the Iron Dames banner.

The move marks a new venture for the team and enhances its motorsport portfolio by adding an entirely new discipline to its programme.

The team will be assisted in this new venture by renowned rally team Sarrazin Motorsport, fronted by former World Endurance Championship, World Rally Championship, Formula E and Formula One driver Stéphane Sarrazin.

Jean-Baptiste Franceschi, 27, is the first driver to be announced for the team. The reigning French Gravel champion won twice in 2023 and finished five more times in the top three on his way to the title.

The 2021 FIA ERC3 and ERC3 Junior champion’s co-driver will be announced at a later date.

The second driver announced is Réhane Gany. The promising 22-year-old second-generation driver is already establishing a strong pedigree in rallying and has already participated in both the French Rally and French Gravel Rally championships.

In 2023, he participated in a handful of championships including the Stellantis Cup France and French Cup, having built experience in the French Gravel Championship in 2022 having made his full-time rally foray in 2021.

The co-driver for this entry will be former Junior World Rally Championship co-driver Franck Le Floch.

In the Iron Dames-run car will be piloted by Sarah Rumeau, 2022 French Women’s Champion, alongside co-driver Julie Amblard. This entry will also participate in the six-round French Gravel Rally Championship.

The French Rally Championship comprises nine rounds beginning in March through to November.

March 14-16: Touquet Pas de Calais
April 18-20: Rhône-Charbonnières
May 09-11: Antibes Côte d’Azur
June 14-16: Vosges Grand Est
July 04-06: Aveyron Rouergue Occitanie
September 05-07: Mont-Blanc Morzine
September 27-29: Heart of France
October 24-26: Cévennes
November 21-24: Var

The Gravel championship, meanwhile, takes place across six rounds from April to November.

April 05-07: Causses
May 03-05: Castine Terre d’Occitanie
May 30-June 1: Aléria
August 30-September 1: Lozère
October 04-06: Cardabelles Millau Aveyron
November 08-10: Vaucluse

Andrea Piccini, Iron Lynx Team Principal and CEO, said: “Today marks a historic moment for the Iron Lynx name, by expanding into a completely new discipline in rallying. It is a very exciting time to welcome new names to the Iron Lynx family, especially some with vast experience in rallying. Stéphane and I go a long way back to the International Formula 3000 days in 1999 and is a former team-mate of mine from the GT1 era at Le Mans, and we shared a car that took to the podium in Utah in the American Le Mans Series so we already know what it means to be successful together and we aim to continue that into our new venture.”

Stéphane Sarrazin, Team Principal, Sarrazin Motorsport, added: “The Iron Lynx and Iron Dames rally project joining with Sarrazin Motorsport is a source of great pride and I am honoured by Deborah Mayer’s choice to place her trust in us. I will also reconnect with Iron Lynx’s Team Principal Andrea Piccini, with whom I have shared great moments in F3000 and F1. Together we share the same values in motor racing and sport in general. This is a fantastic opportunity for the company which allows us to continue supporting and developing young drivers in reaching the highest level.”