Gommendy joins Eurasia for planned WEC campaign
The Eurasia Motorsport team has signed Tristan Gommendy to compete in the opening Asian Le Mans Series round at Fuji next month.
Gommendy, who made his final appearance for the Thiriet by TDS LMP2 squad at Paul Ricard three weeks ago, is also eyeing a place in a potential Eurasia attack on the 2016 WEC.
“I am looking forward to my first race at Fuji with Eurasia Motorsport,” Gommedy told Motorsport.com.
“The team have some good ambition to race in the WEC, which I share. It is a good opportunity for me. It will be a great challenge to be part of a new and progressive team, and they are working on exciting plans for the future. I want to be part of it.”
Eurasia, which is led by former British racer Mark Goddard, has enjoyed a solid ELMS campaign this season with an open-topped ORECA 03 LMP2 car.
“We want to do WEC next season, that is the goal for us,” Goddard said at Paul Ricard earlier this month.
“We also see ourselves being part of the Asian Le Mans Series too. We have enjoyed racing in Europe this year, it has been exceptional experience for our team and we want to build on this, on the international stage.”
Although not willing to confirm it, Goddard suggested that the team is likely to acquire one of the new ORECA 05 chassis for its 2016 campaign.
Indeed, Motorsport.com understands that one is already pre-ordered. Gommendy has a season of experience with the Le Mans winning design after competing in five races this year including Le Mans.
Also part of the Eurasia set-up is the experienced ex-Williams and Arrows employee Greg Wheeler, who has also engineered the Le Mans LMP2 winning KCMG ORECA 05-Nissan this season.
Wheeler is known to have been instrumental in securing Gommendy’s services for the Fuji round next month.
Opinion: Gommendy is an unmined gem
Eurasia has pulled off a masterstroke in securing the services of Tristan Gommendy.
The Frenchman seems to have been around forever in sportscars, but his career in endurance can really be split in to two periods.
Firstly there was his early career which began in 2003 with an eye-catching debut at Le Mans which saw him scoop the Rookie of the Year award.
This period of his career ran in parallel to a long single-seater adventure which saw him race alongside and fare well against the likes of Lewis Hamilton, Neel Jani and Nico Rosberg in GP2 and Champ Car.
Those that saw his performance at the Mont-Tremblant Champ Car round in 2007, when he beat the likes of Bourdais, Power and Tracy in qualifying to claim pole position, were left in no doubt of his inherent speed.
It was something a microcosm of his career that after the hard won pole, his car refused to fire on the formation lap.
Gommendy has enjoyed a renaissance in recent years and has been one of the quickest drivers in the European Le Mans Series, proving pivotal to the TDS team's success at Imola in May as well as starring in the first half of the race at Le Mans.
The genial 36-year old has proved more often than not to still have a turn of pace against top drivers fresh from F3 and GP2 that are a dozen years younger.
For Eurasia, who have big plans for the future, Gommendy is as good an experienced lynchpin as any in world sportscar racing right now.
Asian Le Mans Series Michelin partner for the 2015/2016 season
Shinji Nakano grabs the overall pole at Fuji