Francois Perrodo is a French businessman and racing driver who started his international career at the age 35 and reached the top of the world in the next five years. In 2016, he won GTE Am class of the FIA World Endurance Championship, together with Emmanuel Collard and Rui Aguas driving a Ferrari for AF Corse.
Successful businessman became a racer at the age 33
Born in February 1977 in Singapore, as a son of a French businessman and founder of the oil and gas company Perenco, Francois became a chairman of the family-owned company after his father's death in 2006. As a motorsport enthusiast, he started with classic car racing in 2010 and then started his international racing career in 2012.
His first competition was the International GT Sprint Series in which he was driving a Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 for AF Corse. In July 2012, Perrodo was also a part of AF Corse team at Spa 24 Hours, sharing a car with Howard Blank, Yannick Mallegol and Jean-Marc Bachelier. They finished 18th overall and 11th in Pro-Am class.
Before starting his racing career, Perrodo developed successful business career
Le Mans 24h debut in Prospeed's Porsche
In 2013, Perrodo raced with Porsche 911 GT3 for most of the season, driving for Crubile Sport in the French-based V de V Endurance Series and for Prospeed Competition in the European Le Mans Series. Perrodo finished second in V de V Series, sharing a car with team owner Sebastien Crubile. In the ELMS, Perrodo finished 8th in GTE class, sharing a car with Emmanuel Collard and Sebastien Crubile.
In June 2013, Perrodo made a debut at 24 Hours of Le Mans, driving the #75 Prospeed Porsche 997 GT3 RSR. He was ninth in GTE Am class. Later in the FIA WEC season, Perrodo joined AF Corse in Bahrain's round, finishing third in class together with Emmanuel Collard and Matt Griffin.
Perrodo spent two ELMS seasons in the #75 Prospeed Porsche
Double FIA WEC – ELMS programme in 2014
In 2014, Perrodo participated full time both in the FIA World Endurance Championship and European Le Mans Series. He spent FIA WEC season in the Prospeed Competition's #75 Porsche 911 RSR, scoring one podium (Fuji) and finishing ninth in GTE Am classification. His co-drivers were Emmanuel Collard and Matthieu Vaxiviere. Markus Palttala replaced Vaxiviere at Le Mans, where they retired after 194 laps.
In the ELMS, Perrodo was driving the #82 Porsche 911 RSR for Crubile Sport, sharing a car with Emmanuel Collard and Sebastien Crubile. Perrodo also made one guest appearances in some other competitions (Blancpain Endurance Series, British GT Championship) with Ferrari.
Perrodo spent two FIA WEC seasons in the #83 Ferrari
Maiden FIA WEC victory at Shanghai
In 2015, Perrodo started a season at Daytona 24 Hours, not finishing the race in the #51 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia GTC. He joined AF Corse for the full season in the GTE Am class of the World Endurance Championship, sharing the #83 Ferrari 458 Italia GTC with Emmanuel Collard and Rui Aguas.
After six FIA WEC podiums in a row, Perrodo scored his maiden FIA WEC victory at 6 Hours of Shanghai. He ended a season with fourth place at Bahrain, securing second place in the championship.
2016 FIA WEC GTE Am champions: Rui Aguas, Emmanuel Collard and Francois Perrodo
World Endurance Championship title for Perrodo, Collard, Aguas
AF Corse retained the same trio in the #83 Ferrari for the 2016 FIA WEC season. Perrodo, Collard and Aguas started the season with a victory at Silverstone 6 Hours. They were second at Spa 6 Hours and second at Le Mans 24 Hours.
Until the end of the season, the #83 crew added five more podiums to their account and dominantly won the FIA Endurance Trophy for GTE Am drivers.
The #28 crew started a season with third place at Silverstone and it remained their only podium in 2017. At Le Mans 24 Hours, they didn't finish the race. At the end of the season, Perrodo was 14th in LMP2 classification.
For the 2018-2019 FIA WEC super season, TDS Racing announced that Francois Perrodo and Matthieu Vaxiviere will stay in the #28 Oreca LMP2, sharing a car with Loic Duval. Their best result was the third place in the LMP2 class in the season-closing round at Le Mans in June 2019.
For the 2019-2020 FIA WEC season, Perrodo rejoined AF Corse to drive a Ferrari in the GTE Am class.