29 May 2024

After a well deserved summer break, the WEC competitors started the second part of the 2017 season, which will now take them to the Americas and to Asia. The Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, which welcomed 5th WEC round last week-end, stands at over 2000 metres over sea level, giving the drivers and the cars a hard time, but also giving some drivers great opportunities to demonstrate high competition and great skills.

Having raced here in 2016 at the wheel of a GT car, François Perrodo and Emmanuel Collard new the track, but for Matthieu Vaxivière, it was pure discovery. However, this did not hinder him show his talent in overtaking and his competence at the wheel of n°28 OREACA07, fighting with some of the strongest LMP2 drivers. The three free practice sessions were used to check the car, work on set ups and for the drivers to take their marks in Mexico. After a complicated qualifying session, n°28 TDS Racing Oreca07 started from last position on the grid, to finish the race 7th LMP2.

Xavier Combet, Team Manager: Matthieu did not know the circuit at all, but his adaptation went well as he worked hard to understand the track specificities, and ended up with some very good personal results this weekend. François had to rediscover the track, as it is very different driving a GT (2016) and a Prototype. Nevertheless, he has once again, made tremendous progress, keeping up a good amongst very experimented drivers. As for Manu he took a good start, managed the car well and was constant and regular on track and with his teammates.

François Perrodo (FR): I had to re-learn the Mexico Autodromo. Yes I have driven here before, but it was with a GT car, and the driving with the Prototype is just very different. So it took me a little time to find the right rhythm, but in the end, I felt good in the car and I continued to improve my own driving compared to other drivers from the same category. Our car was a slightly tricky at the beginning of the race, but we finally found our pace and we finish less than 20 seconds behind Jackie Chang Racing , which is good for our driver line-up. We did not make any mistake in the slow corners and took the car into 7th LMP2 place. I can’t wait to race at COTA, as I really like the place, the large, rhythmical, quick circuit, with the great sequences... See you there.

Emmanuel Collard (FR): I started the race, but I was not able to gain any place, but in my second stint, the car felt great and I could boost a little more, thus I did step up in the classification. This track is not the one I like the most, I don’t appreciate having to go down to first or second gear in the corners... But hey, it’s the same for everyone. In the end, and looking at the great concurrence we have, we did a race with no mistake, at the wheel of a car that felt wonderful after a few laps. I will be happy to come back to COTA. Often it’s very hot, but I really like the track.

Matthieu Vaxivière (FR): I am happy about our Mexican weekend. I did not know this race track before and I had only worked it out with on board cameras. So once you are on the track, it does change. It took me some time to find the right feeling and understand the circuit, and I was not totally ready yet for qualifying. But during the race, I had a lot of fun. It was great, I was able to fight with Thomas Laurent, Alex Brundle and Matthias Beche, I achieved some nice overtaking and it was really exiting. François did a wonderful job this week-end too, and I think we could aim for another podium finish until the end of the season. At least that’s what we work for.

See you in COTA USA on September 17th.