With two cars in two separate classes, Thiriet by TDS Racing is hoping for the double the success in 2015.
The French squad, winner of the 2012 European Le Mans Series LMP2 teams’ title, will enter two cars into the 4 Hours of Silverstone on April 12. A recently purchased ORECA 05 coupe is the flagship project, driven by Tristan Gommendy, Pierre Thiriet and Ludovic Badey.
Despite being a new car, the ORECA 05 has already established itself as a front-running machine. Gommendy proved the car’s pace at last month’s official Paul Ricard test, recording the second quickest time overall. After a successful testing regime, Gommendy is confident that the ORECA 05 can deliver on race day:
“Regarding the first round, one thing is certain: we will fight at the front of the pack,” he said. “Silverstone is a track which mixes medium and fast portions, so I think the car will behave fine thanks to its balance. It may also rain so many parameters will have to be taken into account. We will have a better overview after the first sessions.”
“The basis of the car and our first feelings are very good. The car is reacting to every single modification which is very positive. We tested a lot of things at Le Castellet and we now know in which direction we have to go.”
However, for the first time Thiriet by TDS Racing’s ELMS presence extends further than LMP2. The team has entered a BMW Z4 GT3 that it will use in the GTC class, and, like its ORECA 05 stable-mate, has demonstrated its pace at Paul Ricard. The #59 car will be driven by Eric Dermont, Franck Perera and Dino Lunardi for the full five-race season.
Testing has thus far indicated a strong entry for the Thiriet BMW squad, with Dermont’s 1m 59.055s lap holding out as the third quickest in class.
Former Toyota F1 test driver Perera has been pleased with the team’s progress heading into the opening round, “The tests went well,” he said. “There are several new things for the team such as new Dunlop tires, a first time entry in GTC category and a new team mate in Dino, who did a great job at Le Castellet. We worked a lot for two days and tried many things to understand this car correctly.”
“The goal for this race as well as for the rest of the season is to go on learning and we are aiming at the best possible result. What is put into place now is done with the single objective of being ready for Le Mans.”
Both Thiriet by TDS Racing cars will make their ELMS debuts at next weekend’s 4 Hours of Silverstone (April 12). You can view the full entry list for the opening round by clicking here.