Tristan Gommendy is a French racing driver who competes mostly with sports prototypes in recent years, including participations at 24 hours of Le Mans. Gommendy's best result was the second place in the LMP2 class at 2014 Le Mans 24h. Earlier in a career, Gommendy was a single-seater racer. The highlight of his single-seater career was the victory at 2002 Macau Grand Prix and French Formula 3 championship title in the same year.
2002 Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix winner
2002 – French Formula 3 title and victory at Macau Grand Prix
Tristan Gommendy was born on January 4, 1979, in Le Chesnay, France. He started a racing career in the French Formula Renault, finishing fifth in the classification of his debut season. The next step was the French Formula 3 Championship, in which he competed for three seasons. In 2002, he won the championship title, scoring five wins and ten podiums in fourteen races. The highlight of the season was Tristan's victory at non-championship Macau Grand Prix at Guia Circuit.
Le Mans debut for Tristan in 2003
In 2003, Gommendy switched to the Formula Renault V6 Eurocup, driving for the Signature team. With one victory, he finished fourth in the points. In June 2003, Gommendy debuted at 24 hours of Le Mans, sharing the #16 Doma S101 (Judd) prototype with Beppe Gabbiani and Filipe Ortiz. They were competing under the Racing for Holland banner. After 316 laps, the crew retired because of an accident.
One more DNF at Le Mans
In 2004, Gommendy changed a single-seater competition, entering World Series by Nissan with Saulnier Racing. With five podiums, he finished sixth in the points. In June 2004, he returned to Le Mans to record one more DNF at the 24-hour race. This time, he was driving the #36 WR-Peugeot prototype for Welter Racing, together with Jean-Bernard Bouvet and Bastien Briere.
Seasons in the FR 3.5 and GP2 series
The Formula Renault 3.5 Series was Tristan's main competition in 2005. He won one race at Circuit Ricardo Torno and finished fourth in the points. For 2006 season, Gommendy joined iSport International in the GP2 Series, participating in first five rounds. His best result was fifth place in both races at Circuit de Catalunya. At the end of the season, he participated in two rounds of the FR 3.5 Series with Pons Racing.
Gommendy's car in the 2007 Champ Car World Series
North American adventure for Gommendy
The completely new challenge followed in 2007 when Gommendy joined PKV Racing in the American Champ Car World Series. He started a season with fifth place at Las Vegas. At Houston and Long Beach, he led several laps before breaking down with few laps to go. At Circuit Mont-Tremblant, Gommendy set the track record and won a pole position. He scored his best result in his final Champ Car race at Dutch TT Circuit Assen, where he finished fourth.
Two wins in the Superleague Formula
After returning to Europe, Gommendy participated in one race of the Le Mans Series with WR/Salini team before he entered the inaugural season of the 2008 Superleague Formula. He was competing for FC Porto team, operated by Alan Docking Racing and Hitech Junior Team. He won one race, at Vallelunga, to finish seventh in the final classification. Gommendy continued with the same team in the 2009 Superleague season, again winning one race (Donington) to finish fifth in the points.
During 2009, Gommendy expanded his sports prototype racing activities with WR/Salini team, participating in five races of the Le Mans Series.
Return to Le Mans in 2010
In the 2010 Superleague Formula season, Gommendy scored no wins, only two podiums, to finish 13th in the points.
In June 2010, Gommendy returned to Circuit de la Sarthe, reaching the finish line for the first time. He was driving #37 Welter Racing's WR-Zytek prototype alongside Philippe Salini and Stephane Salini. They finished 23rd overall and 8th in LPM2 class.
Switching to prototypes only
The season 2011 was Tristan's last season with open-wheel race cars. He participated in four races of the 2011 Superleague Formula season. The competition was stopped after that, so he was without a ride for the rest of the season.
In 2012, Gommendy participated in only one race of the French-based V de V Challenge Endurance, driving the Norma M20FC prototype. Since then, prototypes became his main competition cars. In 2013, he joined Signatech Alpine at 24h Le Mans. His partners in the Alpine A450-Nissan were Nelson Panciatici and Pierre Ragues. They finished 14th overall and 8th in LMP2 class.
2014 Le Mans podium for Gommendy, Thiriet and Badey
Le Mans podium for Tristan
For 2014, Gommendy joined Thiriet by TDS Racing to participate full season in the European Le Mans Series. The #46 Nissan-powered Morgan LMP2 prototype was victorious in one race, at 4 Hours of Silverstone. The team later switched to Ligier JS P2 prototype. Tristan finished 8th in the points at the end of the season.
At 2014 24 hours of Le Mans, the #46 Ligier finished second in LMP2 class, bringing the silver medal to Gommendy, Pierre Thiriet and Ludovic Badey.
Tristan Gommendy in 2016
Two seasons in the European Le Mans Series
In the 2015 European Le Mans Series, Gommendy remained with the #46 team, but in the new Oreca 05-Nissan prototype. The trio Gommendy/Thiriet/Badey scored a victory at Imola and podiums at Silverstone and Red Bull Ring. Tristan missed one race and finished fourth in the points, his co-drivers were second in the final classification. At 2015 Le Mans 24h, the #46 car crashed out after 204 laps.
For 2016 ELMS season, Gommendy joined Eurasia Motorsport to drive the #33 Oreca 05-Nissan. His co-drivers were Pu Jun Jin and Nick de Bruijn. The trio scored one podium (Red Bull Ring) to finish ninth in the points. At Le Mans, the #33 prototype finished 5th in LMP2 class.