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Thiriet by TDS Targeting Selected IMSA Races in 2016

Thiriet by TDS Racing evaluating selected IMSA events in 2016…

Photo: TDS Racing

Photo: TDS Racing

While having ruled out an entry for January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, Thiriet by TDS Racing could take part in selected IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship events next year. (En Français)

The 2015 European Le Mans Series runner-ups were one of two teams to debut the new Oreca 05 this year, with the LMP2 coupe scoring victory in the season-ending round at Estoril.

With the French squad having confirmed a return to the ELMS in 2016, team boss Xavier Combet is targeting for an expanded LMP2 program beyond the six ELMS races and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

“We are always tempted by an additional races in the U.S. on a partial program,” Combet told Endurance-Info. “Our partners might be interested.

“The team has experienced Petit Le Mans. We could go to Sebring, Watkins Glen or Road Atlanta [prior to] the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2017.”

Combet said they have yet to finalize their 2016 ELMS lineup, although Pierre Thiriet is already confirmed as one of three drivers. Nicolas Lapierre made his team debut at Estoril and is understood to be in consideration.

The team’s GT program, meanwhile, will see an overhaul for next year, with a move from the ELMS GT3 to GTE ranks.

“The chassis is not yet 100 percent determined even if we are moving towards an Aston Martin or a Ferrari,” Combet said. “The advantage is that different manufacturers are open to discussion.”

TDS’ potential IMSA program would result in the second Oreca 05 to take part in the WeatherTech Championship, as Florida-based DragonSpeed plans to debut its Nissan-powered prototype at Sebring, prior to a season of ELMS.

A deal for Penske Racing to field an Oreca at Daytona fell through last month, due to a believed Balance of Performance discrepancy.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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