French Prototype team TDS Racing will compete in the WEC 2018/2019 Super Season. The French team with the French chassis will field an all French driver line-up for the season.
2017 drivers François Perrodo and Matthieu Vaxivière are joined by Audi factory star, Loïc Duval. The 2013 Le Mans winner and WEC Champion will be team leader, assisting François Perrodos development throughout the season.
Perrodo, who admits he struggled in the WEC, decided to stay in the world championship after the changes the ACO made to the series. The addition of a second Le Mans and a Sebring event proved too much to resist.
The confirmation of the entry doesn’t mention chassis, but it’s safe to assume that TDS will stick with the successful ORECA 07.
Loic Duval has replaced Emmanuel Collard in the team.
It’s good to see TDS committing to the WEC. The season kicks-off late next year, so this is quite an early commitment. It’s not a secret that François found the transition to LMP2 challenging, so we’re hoping he finds more confidence in 2018.
Although no chassis is announced, there’s no real reason to move away from the ORECA 07. So unless TDS have a surprise up their sleeve, we’ll assume that’s what they’re running.
There is also no mention of the G-Drive branded entry yet, which TDS ran in 2017.. Roman Rusinov enjoys chopping and changing things, and last season wasn’t the best for the Russian. We’re waiting to see what his plans are.
The full press release, including quotes, is available below.
French team TDS Racing lead by Xavier Combet and Jacques Morello will compete in the WEC Endurance Championship by entering an LMP2 car in the 2018/2019 Super Season with a quality driver line-up. François Perrodo, Matthieu Vaxivière and Loïc Duval will form a strong French trio, in accordance with the Pro/ Am values of the LMP2 category.
After his first year in prototype racing, François Perrodo has shown improvement race after race and is very motivated to build on his 2017 LMP2 experience. Matthieu Vaxivière, who showed some quality racing last season, is now eager to carry on his experience of the WEC and hopes to score some strong results. The third member of TDS Racing will be French driver Loïc Duval. Winner of the 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans and WEC Champion that same year, Loïc has a strong and valuable endurance racing experience (most notably on the Peugeot 908 HDi and the Audi R18), and will be team captain and an example to follow for François and Matthieu.
Xavier Combet, Team Manager: “During our 2017 WEC season, François and Matthieu have shown continuous improvements in LMP2 racing, they have consolidated their driving skills and race craft in what has proved to be an extremely competitive environment. Building on this experience, we have decided to go on and to take a new step by entering an LMP2 car in the 2018/2019 WEC Super Season. Teamed with Loïc Duval, who has a very strong experience in endurance, this second WEC season for us promises to be very exciting. We can’t wait to get back on the World Endurance Championship circuits, and challenge the other LMP2 teams and drivers.”
François Perrodo: “The 2017 season was very exciting, but to be honest, it was also difficult. I not only discovered prototype driving but also a very strong competition, the challenge was huge and definitely up to my expectations. At the end of the season, I considered seriously ELMS or even a return to GT racing, but after the ACO decisions regarding the new WEC and considering the pleasure I’ve had driving these wonderful cars, I decided to stay in WEC for another season. And what a season we will have! To race twice the Le Mans 24 Hours and discover Sebring in just over a year’s time is the stuff of dream for a gentleman driver. In addition, I will have Matthieu and Loïc on my side. Not only Matthieu is a very fast driver, but he is also one of my best friends. Loïc has a solid endurance racing experience; he is a great race driver who shares our values: cohesion and team spirit which to us, are the keys to pleasure and competitiveness. My objective is clear: Improve my LMP2 racing skills, have fun, and hopefully score a few podiums.”
Loïc Duval: “I am very happy to come back to the WEC and the 24 Hours of Le Mans alongside my Audi program, and more over I am very excited about the environment in which I will compete. TDS Racing is a very professional race team, but with strong family values, not only is this season going to be great fun, I am looking forward to help Francois improve and be Matthieu’s wing man. I would like to thank both of them for this great opportunity. I can’t wait to race in the LMP2 category which has shown some classic fights last season.”
Matthieu Vaxivière: “I have known François since we started motorsports and we experienced some great moments together, including two WEC seasons. It will be a pleasure and an honour to share this new project together as well as with Loïc and TDS Racing. The Super Season promises to be a milestone in the history of motorsports, and I will do all I can to achieve good results. I can’t wait to work and learn from Loïc’s experience, and I already feel that this human adventure will be very special.”