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Thiriet by TDS Racing Ups and downs in the 24 Hours of Le Mans…

Thiriet by TDS Racing Ups and downs in the 24 Hours of Le Mans…

26.06.2013: Le Mans 24 Hours / 22nd and 23rd June The 24 Hours of Le Mans have confirmed their reputation of testing race. Indeed

Le Mans 24 Hours / 22nd and 23rd June




The 24 Hours of Le Mans have confirmed their reputation of testing race. Indeed, the Thiriet by TDS Racing team experienced the whole package over the past week: the sadness of an accident, the efforts of car rebuilding, the disappointment of a retirement but eventually the satisfaction to have competed well!


Everything started with an ordinary free practice session when drivers, engineers and mechanics set up the car. On Wednesday evening, while Pierre Thiriet was approaching the second chicane of the Mulsanne Straight at more than 250 kph, the Oreca Nissan hit the guardrails. Once back to the pit, the only diagnosis was to change the chassis!


Then the whole crew ran against time! The mechanics stripped down the whole car on Wednesday night. The new chassis arrived at 7 pm on Thursday and they started the car rebuilding, which would last until 5am on Saturday.


The mechanics of Thiriet by TDS Racing got the job done in one day and a half while the rebuilding of car is always something delicate and complicated. That shows how fantastic the work of that crew of passionate guys was! A real feat for these guys working in the shadow!!!


The warm-up session on Saturday morning was the time to check if everything was OK with the car, and then time had come for race. Dropped back on the 19th line of the grid after the Wednesday incidents, Maxime Martin took a good start and immediately gained positions. One hour later, the driver from Belgium was already 20th after overtaking 18 cars within 10 minutes because a safety car came on the track after a big crash during this first hour.


Stints after stints, Maxime Martin, Pierre Thiriet and Ludovic Badey on their Oreca Nissan got close to the top 10 position with the reborn Oreca Nissan. After reaching the 12th place, the 4th in the LM P2 class, a glitch with the brakes to compromised the functioning of the #46 so the car lost two positions.


Then 6th in LM P2, Ludovic Badey was at the wheel when suddenly a real deluge started to pour on the circuit. When outing the Arnage corner, he was victim of an aquaplaning which threw the red and black car into the guardrails. Ludovic had to leave the car and the official retirement was announced.


After this intense but unfinished adventure, the team is now going to focus again on the next round of the European Le Mans Series, to be competed on the Red Bull Ring (Austria) on July 20th !


Maxime Martin
: « I started from far back on the grid and at the end of my stint we were 5th in LM P2. We did not perform as well as the the Zytek and the Morgan, but we had a good pace, did a conservative and trouble-free race.


We held the 4th position until we had a problem with brakes which cost us three laps so we dropped to 6th in LM P2. We expected to finish the race in this position but rain made another decision for us. We had to retire after 23 hours of racing, it is disappointing because we did for the same reasons as in qualifying practice! It is a 24-hour race, it is never finished before the chequered flag, this is the way things go in motorsport!


I am satisfied with my experience at Thiriet by TDS Racing. I think that the team is satisfied with me, I am very satisfied with the team, and we have a good relationship. I hope that the future will give us the opportunity to compete other races because I am delighted to have been able to discover this magnificent team from the inside!»




Pierre Thiriet:
« Generally, it was a very difficult race regarding the changing weather conditions. It was hard to handle this because we were always between dry or wet. The most advantageous option was to remain in slick tyres, forcing us to drive with them in the rain, it was rather dangerous.


But each time, we managed to bring back the car to the pit. In my opinion, it was also a complicated race because of cautions and the extra pressure of changing weather. Even if we did not finish, I am satisfied with this race.


We spent 23 hours on the track and unfortunately, Ludovic was trapped in the last hour but it was not his fault because there was too much water. He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. If we do not experience complicated 24 Hours races as we did, the next good race will not be enjoyed in the same way.


In the end, I would like to pay tribute to the whole team which rebuilt the car in only one day and a half! What a great achievement! We started the race thanks to the whole crew, they did a great job! »


Ludovic Badey:
« We were quickly back in the top ten position of the class thanks to Maxime et Pierre who did a great job!


Personally, I didn’t feel at ease during my first stint and I had two punctures. Then, my pace became better and better. The beginning of the race was good but on Sunday morning, we had a problem with the brakes.


We succeeded in preserving the 6th position in LM P2 but at the end of my last stint, I was victim of an aquaplaning at Arnage. Yet, I wasn’t driving fast, at around 60 kph, but when I eased up on the gas pedal, the rear wheels got stuck and the car hit the guardrails. The steering was broken, it was over!


That week remains positive and even if we couldn’t finish the race, there is a bit a disappointment! From the human point of view, everything went well. Regarding the car, it worked very well! It was a great experience even if I had a bitter feeling for the whole team because the mechanics did a great job after the accident on Wednesday night! »



TDS Racing- photo Romain Scholer automobilsport.com

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/24h-le-mans-thiriet-by-tds-racing-ups-downs-retirement-maxime-martin---112813.html

26.06.2013 / MaP

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