Just before the start of 2018 Heures Motos, the fans that were at Le Mans last weekend were provided an electrifying show: the road racing star Dean Harrison performed one lap of the historic Circuit Bugatti with the electric SP7, built by the Belgian manufacturer Saroléa.
But what seemed to be just an exhibition is actually the start of something much bigger: the ACO (Automobile Club de L’Ouest) has in fact registered the application sent by Saroléa to take part in the 2019 edition of the event, more precisely in the “Experimental” category. If the application is definitely accepted, Saroléa will be the first manufacturer to line up a full-electric motorbike in the famous endurance event.
Dean Harrison: “The atmosphere was unbelievable. When I started to go out on the track, the hairs on the back of my head rose up and I knew I was part of something special. I have raced on the Isle of Man and also on many circuits, but this was different and incredibly exciting. I had a fantastic time going round the track and was sorry when I had to come back into the pits. I didn’t want this feeling to end, so I spent the rest of the day and the evening wandering around the pits and paddock, soaking up the atmosphere and seeing what this new world was all about. I am so happy to be given this chance by Saroléa and would like to be part of their team in the future – whatever that might be.”
Torsten Robbens (Saroléa CTO): “I have been to Le Mans before and I have worked at Le Mans before. But seeing the SP7 start two corners before the finish line and then do a lap of this famous race circuit was definitely something special and something that I will remember for a long time to come. But, for Saroléa, this is just the start of our project with Le Mans, because I am happy to announce that the ACO (Automobile Club de L’Ouest) has registered our candidature for us to take part in the 2019 Le Mans 24 hours – in the experimental category. We have already had our first contact with the FIM regarding the regulations and found them very serious and enthusiastic about the EWC (Endurance World Championship) and racing in the future. With their experience and valuable input from us and other interested parties, the future ahead is very positive.
For us, this would be an amazing step in our history and one that is going to involve a lot of hard work. We are already working with all our partners designing a new carbon-fibre monocoque chassis, using Solvay composite materials, that will allow us to do battery swaps in fast, but safe, conditions. We recently entered an agreement with EWC specialist Dunlop and we will work together to understand the requirements of future mobility in regards to tyres and their development. Finally, I would just like to say a big thank you to the ACO for letting us be part of this iconic event this year and also for putting us the list to be a candidate in next year’s Le Mans 24 hours.”