Newly crowned GTE-Am champions Francois Perrodo and Emmanuel Collard will step up to the LMP2 class in the FIA World Endurance Championship next year, in a new effort from TDS Racing. (En Français)
The longtime French pairing, who teamed with Rui Aguas in the No. 83 AF Corse Ferrari F458 Italia this season, will switch to an Oreca 07 Gibson in the new-look prototype class, alongside young Frenchman Matthieu Vaxiviere.
It will mark the Xavier Combet and Jacques Morello-led TDS squad’s WEC debut after six seasons in European Le Mans Series competition.
“We’re staying true to ORECA with the 07,” Combet said. “The cars are redistributed next year in LMP2 and we are delighted to be part of a World Championship.
“In addition, we are pleased to announce new faces with François Perrodo, Manu Collard and Matthieu Vaxivière. I am proud to welcome them to the TDS family, as we move to the next level with the firm desire to do good work in a category that promises to be ultra-competitive.”
Collard and Perrodo combined for two class victories and seven podium finishes in GTE-Am this year and locked up the title in last weekend’s season-ending Six Hours of Bahrain.
Perrodo got his first taste of a LMP2 car in a test at Paul Ricard last month, in the team’s current Oreca 05 Nissan.
“LMP2 is the logical continuation for me,” Perrodo said. “Before that, we will do everything to complete the GTE campaign with a world title.
“It’s very satisfying to continue with Manu and to welcome Matthieu. Our deal is perfect and we enjoy the challenge of LMP2 with the desire to do things the best way possible.
“I’ve found a nice atmosphere at TDS Racing with true professionalism while keeping the family side.”
The future of TDS’ program in the ELMS, backed by Pierre Thiriet, is unclear, as it’s understood Thiret could also be stepping up to a WEC program, but with another team.