TDS Racing has confirmed its return to the LMP2 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship, having signed former World Champion Loic Duval for the 2018/19 ‘Super Season.’
The Audi factory ace will team up with Matthieu Vaxiviere and Francois Perrodo in the team’s Oreca 07 Gibson, replacing Emmanuel Collard in the lineup.
Duval, who is expected to return to DTM with the German manufacturer, will take part in his first full-season WEC campaign since Audi’s exit from LMP1 competition in 2016, having made his championship comeback with the TDS-run G-Drive operation last month in Bahrain.
“I am very happy to come back to WEC and to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, alongside my Audi program, and more over I am very excited about the environment in which I will complete this,” he said.
“It’s a professional race team, but also a family amongst which I know that we will have fun.
“I would like to thank François and Matthieu for this great opportunity. I can’t wait to fight and compete in the LMP2 category which we have seen to be ultra competitive and I look forward to achieving our goals.”
The Xavier Combet-led operation had considered a move to LMP1, as well as a European Le Mans Series effort with Perrodo, although has elected to remain in the WEC LMP2 ranks for a second consecutive season.
Perrodo said:”After the season, I considered very seriously to go to ELMS or return to GT racing, but after the different ACO decisions and considering the great pleasure I had driving these wonderful cars, I decided to stay in WEC for another season.
“My objective is now clear: I want to continue my prototype learning, having fun, and I hope to step on some podiums during the Super Season.”
G-Drive’s Future Unclear
TDS has yet to confirm whether it will continue its association with G-Drive, having fielded the Russian-backed entry in the WEC this year.
It’s understood Roman Rusinov is likely to focus his driving efforts in the ELMS, potentially with a team switch to Graff Racing.
Both TDS and DragonSpeed operated G-Drive’s LMP2 entries this year, with Elton Julian confirming to Sportscar365 that his cars will be run entirely under the DragonSpeed banner in 2018.
G-Drive won the ELMS LMP2 title with drivers Memo Rojas and Leo Roussel, who were joined by Ryo Hirakawa for the balance of the season.