After a first podium at the 4 Hours of Le Castellet in April (TDS Racing 2nd / G-Drive Racing 4th) as well as a win for G-Drive Racing at the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps WEC (G-Drive 1st / TDS 5th), the TDS Racing guys can be happy with the 1-2 finish at the 4 Hours of Monza ELMS yesterday.
After a provisory pole position thanks to the fabulous 1’35’’456 lap of Matthieu Vaxivière in qualifying, the #33 Oreca07 TDS Racing was pushed back to 17th place on the grid after scrutineering, as a few tape square centimeters on the body work cancelled all qualifying laps. François Perrodo started therefore from 17th position, took a great start and completed a very double stint made of 43 laps. He handed the car to Loïc Duval back in P7 in the general classification. Loïc accomplished his double stint in the best way even though he had several safety car because of accidents on the track, and managed to give the wheel to Matthieu back in P7 after 83 laps. Matthieu skillfully ended a magnificent sprint double stint to bring the car to second place on the 4 Hours of Monza podium.
FP1 – 32 laps – P11 – 1’37’’725
FP2 – 40 laps – P3 – 1’36’’276
Qualification – P1 – 1’35’’456 (Disqualified because of regulation infringement)
Race – P2 Podium
François Perrodo FRA Bronze driver: “It was an emotional roller-coaster since yesterday… Matthieu did a stunning qualification lap, but we started the race at the back of the LMP2 grid because a small technical infringement. I started the race trying to not make any mistake, and I know I don’t have the pace of the pros. I was a bit lucky with the safety cars, but what is very important is that I did not make any mistake. Loïc has proven that is still is one of the fastest drivers of endurance racing, and Matthieu did a great finish fighting with Paul-Loup Chatin all the way to the end. I am very very happy to be here, and to be honest, this morning I did not even hope a podium today. In Le Castellet, I did not manage my stint very well and I did not perform so well. Here today, it’s another story. Our podium really is the proof of what we can manage together the three of us, and I am very happy to realize that I am continue improving. Next stop will be Le Mans 24 Hours… Everyone needs a little luck in the race, but we need to continue working as we do to not make mistakes.”
Loïc Duval FRA Platinium driver: “We showed that can perform well all weekend with Matthieu’s qualifying and our come back to the top in the race. It’s really encouraging to finish second when you start from the back of the grid… It’s a great reward for all the guys who have been working hard, because it’s thanks to their determination that we have a good car. Two podiums in a row give us wings for the Le Mans coming race, so we will go on working well together this way, not making any mistake and we can hope for some interesting result at the biggest endurance race in the world. It’s very positive!”
Matthieu Vaxivière FRA Gold driver: “I am happy about our result today even though I strongly believe we could have done better. Here in Monza, the pit lane is very busy and there is not a lot of space, it make everything more complicated. Also there is a lot of traffic with 43 cars on the grid, including 18 LMP2 and 18 LMP3, so racing is very tight. That’s also the reason why there were so many Safety cars, and we managed these time periods quite well. During my first stint, I lost some time behind Felipe Albuquerque, that’s when the #26 G-Drive car could pull away. The end of the race was very intense as Paul-Loup was coming closer and closer, but I did not make any mistake, which the first thing you need to do in endurance racing. We finish second for the 2nd consecutive race in ELMS, so this is very good for a ‘practice race’.”
Xavier Combet Team manager: “The good results follow one another after we finished 2nd at Le Castellet ELMS and here in Monza. The TDS cars also won in Spa WEC and here thanks to G-Drive Racing #26, this is nice for the all the guys who have been working very hard since the start of the season, so it’s a nice reward for them and all the efforts they gave. Even if your pole position was cancelled on a technical decision, we know that the performance is here. Leaving from the back of the grid to finish second, is a good result. Competitiveness is hard, the Monza track is quick and we knew there could be some surprises during the race, and there were… We managed all the surprises well enough to come back to the front of the field, secured our position and stepped on the podium again. Each person present in the team works hard to supply our driver with a good car for them to give us a god result. Today’s 1-2 finish demonstrates that we have full filled our engagement. I am very happy for the drivers and I thank all the guys for the good and hard work they have supplied in the last weeks. It’s a great reward for them, they also deserve that podium.
“It’s very positive to have such results before Le mans 24 Hours. We will have two additional test days in Spa at the end of the month to work on the car’s set-ups with the Le Mans Kit, so we will go on working. Yet the good results are very motivating. Our goal is to do make mistakes and to be ready for Le Mans qualification. After that we will do our best to pursue the season like we have started it. We have good cards in our hands, let’s make the best out of it.”
Source. Mapidu Media