Francois Perrodo has confirmed that he and Emmanuel Collard will return to the FIA World Endurance Championship’s GTE-Am ranks next season in an AF Corse-run Ferrari 488 GTE.
The Frenchman says the decision to return to the class is based on the increasing level of talent in LMP2, admitting he is unable to keep up with ‘fake Silvers’ he’s racing against.
He says his and Collard’s Silver-rated teammate will be revealed soon.
“The idea is to drive a 488 with Manu, who’s a great friend, and still quick,” Perrodo told Sportscar365.
“That’s also in the spirit of endurance. We’ve been driving together for a few seasons so it’s good to be back with him.
“To be fair, and to remain realistic, I’ve loved the LMP2 experience, I did two-and-a-half seasons with the ‘Super Season’, and absolutely no regrets. In retrospects, at the end of the day, I’m not fast enough.
“It is what it is, I tried, and I couldn’t quite bridge the gap with my Pros, so I decided to go back to GTE-Am, because you need a Bronze in the lineup.
“At least you’re fighting on equal terms with other teams, whereas in LMP2, I’ve been fighting against fake Silvers who are 22 years old, they do three championships a year, so it’s very different.
“That hasn’t helped but also, personally, I haven’t been able to bridge the gap with my Pros. It was great, amazing machines, but sometimes you have to be realistic.”
Perrodo is currently co-driving a TDS Racing Oreca 07 Gibson with Matthieu Vaxiviere and Loic Duval with a best result of three fourth-place finishes so far this season.
He says he’s looking forward to returning to AF Corse, a team with which he had considerable success in previous seasons before his move to LMP2 in 2017.
TDS Racing won’t be involved in the effort, and Perrodo admitted he’ll miss working with the Xavier Combet-led squad.
“It’s a shame, they’re great guys, I’ve made some great friends but I’m happy they’re still in the WEC because they’re going to take care of Team Nederland with Frits van Eerd, so at least I’ll still see them around for coffee in the paddock!” he said.
Daniel Lloyd contributed to this report.