TDS Racing – Europe is conquered, now it's time to rule the world
TDS Racing is French racing team which currently competes in the FIA World Endurance Championship. The 2017 season is a debut year for the team in the FIA WEC.
Before entering the global endurance competition, TDS Racing had won two championship titles in the European Le Mans Series, in LMP2 class in 2012 and GTC class in 2015. At 24 hours of Le Mans, Thiriet by TDS Racing recorded two second places in the LMP2 class, in 2012 and 2014.
Pouchelon Racing founded in 2005, renamed to TDS in 2006
TDS Racing was founded in 2005 by Xavier Combet and Jacques Morello. The original name of the team was Pouchelon Racing. It changed a name to TDS (Top Drive Services) in 2006. The team’s headquarters is in Saint-Aunes in southern France.
The first competition for the team was the inaugural season of the Eurocup Megane Trophy in 2005. Under the banner of Pouchelon Racing, the team fielded two cars for full-time driver Ludovic Badey (#23) and guest driver Matthieu Cheruy (#66). With four wins and four more podiums, Badey finished third in the final standings.
Eurocup Megane Trophy was the first competition
In 2006, five drivers were participating with TDS Racing’s cars in the Eurocup Megane Trophy, but no one was driving full season. Participating in just three of seven rounds, Ludovic Badey scored one victory and four podiums, finishing sixth in the points.
In 2007, TDS Racing expanded its activities, having three cars for the full season of the Eurocup Megane Trophy. Drivers were Ludovic Badey, Matthieu Cheruy and Jean-Philippe Madonia. Badey scored one victory in fourteen races, finishing 13th in the points.
Maiden championship title in the 2008 Megane Trophy
In the fourth year of participation, TDS Racing finally captured championship title in 2008. In a fact, the team and its drivers won three titles. Michaël Rossi won the drivers’ title after scoring four wins and nine podiums while Jean-Philippe Madonia was the best in a class of Gentleman drivers. The team was also on the top of teams’ standings.
Jonathan Hirschi, Jean-Philippe Madonia and Pierre Thiriet were the drivers of three TDS Racing’s car in 2009 Eurocup Megane Trophy season. Hirschi was the most successful, scoring four wins and four podiums to finish as the championship runner-up, behind MikeVerschuur. Thiriet was fifth, Madonia sixth (best in Gentleman class).
One more triple triumph in 2010
In 2010, TDS Racing recorded one more triple triumph. The team collected almost double points than second-placed Oregon Team. Madonia was the best Gentleman driver for the third year in a row.
In the overall classification, Nick Catsburg became a champion, ahead of teammate Pierre Thiriet. They scored nine wins together (Catsburg 7, Thiriet 2).
Competing in the Megane Trophy until 2012
TDS Racing completely changed line-up of drivers for the 2011 Eurocup Megane Trophy. Four drivers participated for the team throughout a season – Jeroen Schothorst, David Dermont, Bas Schothorst and Wim Beelen. Bas Schothorst won one race, finishing third in the final standings.
Two Schothorsts and Beelen stayed with the team in 2012, three more Dutch drivers joined – Tom Coronel, Tim Coronel and Kelvin Snoeks. With six wins, Bas Schothorst finished second in the championship standings, just four points behind Albert Costa.
TDS Racing debuted in the European Le Mans Series in 2011
TDS Racing didn’t participate in the ninth and final season (2013) of the Eurocup Megane Trophy because in the meantime the team expanded its activities to sports car racing. In 2011, the team purchased Oreca 03-Nissan LMP2 prototype to compete in European Le Mans Series.
Drivers of the #46 car were Mathias Beche, Jody Firth and Pierre Thiriet. They scored two class wins (Spa and Estoril), finishing in the third place at the end of the season.
European Le Mans Series title and Le Mans podium in 2012
For the 2012 ELMS season, the team started to compete under the name Thiriet by TDS Racing, retaining Mathias Beche and Pierre Thiriet as drivers. Their partner in one race (Petit Le Mans) was Christophe Tinseau. With two wins, the team took both drivers’ and teams’ titles.
In 2012, TDS Racing debuted at 24 hours of Le Mans. After being the fastest in the qualifying, the #46 Oreca-Nissan finished in the second place of LMP2 class. Drivers were the same as in ELMS: Beche, Thiriet and Tinseau.
Two ELMS victories with #1 car
Defending ELMS champions Pierre Thiriet and Mathias Beche were driving the #1 car in the 2013 ELMS season. In one race, at Silverstone, Beche was replaced by Jonathan Hirschi. Thiriet and Beche scored two wins, finishing second in the championship points.
At 2013 Le Mans 24h race, Pierre Thiriet was accompanied by Ludovic Badey and Maxime Martin in the #46 Oreca 03-Nissan. They retired after 310 laps.
Podium at 2014 Le Mans with Ligier
For the 2014 ELMS season, TDS Racing changed a car. The team was using Morgan LMP2 and Ligier JS P2 prototypes. Pierre Thiriet stayed full-time driver, joined by Ludovic Badey and Tristan Gommendy. They won the season-opening race at Silverstone with Morgan LMP2. It remained the only victory of the season.
At 24 hours of Le Mans, the team was running new Ligier JS P2 for the first time, taking pole position. In the race, suspension failure slowed down the #46 Ligier and they finished in the second place, one lap behind Jota Sport crew. Drivers of #46 were Thiriet, Badey and Gommendy.
GTC class champions in the 2015 European Le Mans Series
In the 2015 ELMS season, TDS Racing had two teams for the first time, one in the LMP2 class and one in GTC class. In the LMP2 class, the team returned to Oreca prototype. Thiriet, Badey and Gommendy won the race at Imola. In the season’s finale at Estoril, Nicolas Lapierre replaced Gommendy and the team scored the second victory. At the end of the season, they finished second in the championship, just two points behind Greaves Motorsport. At Le Mans 24-hour race, TDS Racing recorded second consecutive DNF result.
On the other side, TDS Racing gained a success with GT car. The all-French crew in the #59 BMW Z4 GT3 scored two GTC wins and two more podiums, capturing both drivers’ and teams’ titles in a category. Championship winning drivers were Eric Dermont, Dino Lunardi and Franck Perera.
2016 – three wins weren’t enough for another ELMS title
In the 2016 ELMS season, TDS Racing again had only one entry, in the LMP2 class. Pierre Thiriet and Mathias Beche were the main pair of drivers. They were joined by Ryo Hirakawa in five races and by Mike Conway in one race.
Although the team had most wins (three), they finished second in the points, behind G-Drive Racing’s crew. At Le Mans, TDS Racing didn’t finish the race for the third time in a row.
Two wins with BMW in the Blancpain Endurance Series
Before winning ELMS GTC titles with BMW Z4 GT3, the team was using that car in the Blancpain Endurance Series and the French GT Championship between 2013 and 2015. Henry Hassid and Ludovic Badey were full-time drivers of the #25 BMW in 2013, joined by Pierre Thiriet and Mathias Beche at 24h Spa.
They scored no wins or podiums in the 2013 BES season. Next year, Henry Hassid and Nick Catsburg scored two Pro-Am class wins in the Blancpain Endurance Series races, at Circuit Paul Ricard and Nürburgring, finishing second in the final standings.
Entering World Endurance Championship in 2017
For the 2017 season, TDS Racing decides to make a step further, leaving ELMS and entering the FIA World Endurance Championship as a full-time entry with two cars. The team purchased two Oreca 07-Gibson LMP2 prototypes.
The #28 car will run as TDS Racing entry, driven by Emmanuel Collard, Francois Perrodo and Matthieu Vaxiviere. Another car, the #26 Oreca, will be fielded under the G-Drive Racing name, with Pierre Thiriet, Roman Rusinov and Alex Lynn as drivers.
Photos: TDS Racing Facebook, automobilsport.com,