Third and last ELMS race for the TDS Racing French driver line-up made of Loïc Duval, François Perrodo and Matthieu Vaxivière. Entered for the season in the WEC championship, they entered three ELMS races this season to get some additional driving. Next stop Silverstone 6 Hours. The car will then go overseas, and therefore will not compete in other ELMS races this year.
François Perrodo started the ELMS 4 Hours of Red Bull Ring from the 3rd row and drove 29 laps of the shortest track of the season (4.318km). Because of a small mistake, he ended in a gravel bed on turn 4, where he lost some ten places in the overall classification. Loïc took over under cloudy skies, but was not troubled by weather conditions during his 38 laps where he did all he could to get the car back to P8, before handing the wheel to François, for another 25 lap stint. After Lap 91, Matthieu took over to bring the car to the chequered flag dealing with some rain and numerous yellow flags and FCYs. #33 Oreca 07 LMP2 finished 10th at the Red Bull Ring and took the points of 9th place after the disqualification of #29 Duqueine Engineering Oreca07. Next stop: the World Endurance Championship for the WEC 6 Hours of Silverstone.
FP1 – 51 Tours – P3 – 1’20’’091
FP2 – 40 Tours – P6 – 1’21’’000 (Rain)
Qualification – P6 – 1’19’’743 (Loïc Duval)
Course – P9
François Perrodo FRA Bronze driver: “I was really happy to be back with the whole team and to share a new race weekend with all of them at this wonderful track. The place is very nice, we are very well taken care of at the Red Bull Ring and the circuit, even if it’s short, is really interesting, hilly and quite technical. I had a lot of fun driving, mostly during the test sessions at the beginning of the week. As for the race, I have mixed feelings because we have had much better results in ELMS so far. My start of the race was not bad, but I made a little mistake in Turn 4 and ended up in the gravel bed. Fortunately, I got out it on my own, but I lost a lot of places. That’s part of learning, as one says… Traffic is quite hard to deal with here, since the track is short, we all get on one another very quickly. We could not take advantage of the yellow flags and FCY this time, but Loïc and Matthieu did a very good job, particularly Matt who had to deal with the rain. The car was fine, even if sometimes I feel we were lacking some power. 9th is not a bad result out of 18 LMP2s. Now we head to Silverstone for our WEC race in less than a month.”
Loïc Duval FRA Platinium driver: “We did a very good job during the first collective tests on Wednesday. The track did change a little for the qualifying and the race, and we were not able to find the same pace. During qualifying, we saw that the Michelin cars had an advantage again, even if this did not last because Dunlop cars ended up in the front in the race. I did the qualifying laps and set the 6th best lap, only two tenths from our sister car (G-Drive Racing). François started well in the middle of pro drivers until he made that little mistake that took him to the gravels where he lost many places. Unlike in our earlier ELMS races we decided to change the driver at the first refuelling stop. Matthieu and myself were in a good rhythm, even if we have had better performances in the past. If we had been able to take advantage of the FCYs we could have managed a 5th or 6th place, but it was not the case this time. Looking at our two 2nd place finish in ELMS since the beginning of the season, we can say our global performances are good and we took points at each race. So our reason to be here in ELMS is totally relevant : a perfect practice for WEC, which is our championship.”
Matthieu Vaxivière FRA Gold driver: “This weekend was a little complicated. We did some good test at the beginning of the week, but could not find the same pace in the race. I did the last stints bringing the car to the chequered flag, with a quite well balanced car, but I was not quite quick enough to make it back up in the front pack. Anyway, we did fight all the way to the end and scored two additional points.”
Xavier Combet Team manager: “Even if the weather conditions were changing all along the week, the #33 car was between 3rd and 6th place all the time. While it was in the middle of pro drivers during the first laps, our car had a small off the track and lost some 10 places. Race facts and track narrowness hindered us to get back to the top 5. Nevertheless Loïc and Matthieu did a great job in keeping the car in the race and took it to 9th place. Our races in ELMS demonstrate that other teams have to count on our performance power. Both our 2nd place finishes added to the Red Bull Ring result puts us third on the overall ELMS championship classification, a nice way to conclude our European tour.”
Source. TDS Racing