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TDS Commits to Full-Season IMSA Program in 2023

French team to expand IMSA presence with full-season entry involving WEC racer Heriau…

Photo: MPS Agency

French LMP2 squad TDS Racing is set to embark on a full-season IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship program next year, with its first Oreca 07 Gibson entry confirmed.

Team principal Xavier Combet has outlined plans for TDS to set up a base in the U.S. to facilitate an expansion of its existing involvement in North American racing.

TDS operated the Racing Team Nederland Oreca in this year’s IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup, continuing a partnership that entered the FIA World Endurance Championship for two seasons.

Racing Team Nederland is not contesting this weekend’s season-ending Motul Petit Le Mans following team owner Frits van Eerd’s arrest as a suspect in a Dutch money laundering case.

TDS is also active in the European Le Mans Series through a partnership with Vaillante, the company depicted in the Michel Vaillant motorsport comic book series.

“Following on from our activities in LMP2 and the great season in IMSA this year, TDS Racing will contest the entire championship in 2023,” TDS Racing co-owner Xavier Combet told Endurance-Info.

“For this, we will establish a base in the United States. This year, the welcome from IMSA has been very warm and the results [have been] positive with two second places at Daytona and Sebring.

“All of this encourages us to continue and to go further.

“We like everything about the United States: the formats, the restarts, the rules, the atmosphere. It’s not one thing that motivates us, it’s everything.”

French Bronze-rated competitor Francois Heriau is confirmed to drive for TDS in next year’s WeatherTech Championship.

Heriau currently races for Ultimate in the FIA World Endurance Championship and made his IMSA debut in January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona with Algarve Pro Racing.

“Ever since I had a taste of Daytona, I’ve only had one desire: to return,” said Heriau. “The Bronze-rated drivers play a real role on the track in the IMSA championship.”

Additional new European-based entries are understood to be finalizing plans to enter the WeatherTech Championship LMP2 ranks next year as well.

Sportscar365 understands that the WEC’s removal of the Pro-Am subclass beginning in 2023 has been one of the motivating factors to move programs to the WeatherTech Championship or ELMS.

Laurent Mercier contributed to this report

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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