Tristan Gommendy insists the Thiriet by TDS team is not too disheartened to miss out on LMP2 glory in the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours by just half-a-minute, despite a series of frustrating issues in the closing stages.
Qualifying the new Ligier JS chassis on pole position and running inside the top five for the entire race, the combination of Gommendy, Ludovic Badey and Pierre Thiriet rose to second place behind the sister G-Drive machine overnight and was in place to capitalise when its rivals hit problems with just four hours remaining.
Leading the race for the first time at 10am, Thiriet by TDS' dream of completing victory would hit its first problem with a suspension issue shortly afterwards, before electrical problems, clutch problems and two punctures conspired to allow its rivals back into contention.
Remarkably, despite these woes in sight of the chequered flag, the #46 car remained in contention for the win, but the final unscheduled stop was one too many for it to prevent JOTA from grabbing victory.
An agonising defeat in the circumstances given the team still finished just 30secs off the win, Gommendy was nonetheless delighted to secure a podium finish.
“A very positive weekend, of course! We set the pole position on Thursday which was already a good result. During the race, we had only few issues. We missed the victory for less than 30 seconds but we don't have to have any regrets.
“We did all we could, we had no particular idea about the real performance of the car before the race. We can be satisfied with this result. As for me, I have always had difficulties to accept the second places. The 24 Hours of Le Mans has proved once again it was a great human adventure. What I will keep in mind from this race is all the work we did, all the human aspect and the self-sacrifice.
“From a sporting point of view, I am disappointed but from the human perspective, I am very happy to share these moments with Ludovic, Pierre and the whole TDS Racing staff. It is a good result for Onroak Automotive, the whole team and for me as well.”