2016 Garage 56 Le Mans driver Frédéric Sausset was recently awarded the French Ordre National du Merite and became a Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite. This prize is the second most prestigious in France after the Légion d’Honneur.
“I am extremely delighted by this award,” Sausset told DSC’s Mat Fernandez. “It sheds some light on what we accomplished at Le Mans in 2016 and on the work we have done for disabled drivers ever since.”
Sausset was the first ever quadruple-amputee driver to take the checkered flag at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Last year at Le Mans, the French driver launched his academy ‘La Filière’ for disabled drivers.
“I have not raced since June 2016, but I still continue to train. I want to return to Le Mans as team manager of a car driven by three disabled drivers,” he said. La Filière’s budget is growing slowly but steadily. I believe we shall be able to compete in the VdeV series this season.”
The academy’s three-year plan includes a first season in the VdeV Series, followed by two consecutive seasons in the Michelin Le Mans Cup. The 2020 season also includes the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where La Filière has been granted an automatic entry by the ACO.
“We have selected our three drivers. Our line-up is multinational and includes an Asian driver. I am quite enthusiastic about what lies ahead,” Sausset said.
“I am also really happy to see how people have changed their views regarding disabled drivers. That is what I wanted to achieve, even before competing at Le Mans. We will hopefully push the enveloppe even further with La Filière.”