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24 Hours of Le Mans

Rebellion Racing announces 2013 racing plans

470_2012_LM24_Rebellion#12_GDThe Swiss team Rebellion Racing exceeded all expectations in 2012; they won the inaugural FIA LMP1 Endurance Trophy for best privateer in the FIA World Endurance Championship, they finished fourth overall at Le Mans 24 Hours, having been quickest of the privateer prototypes from start to finish and they won outright Petit Le Mans, the finale of the 2012 American Le Mans Series.

In 2013, REBELLION Racing will be submitting entries for the American Le Mans Series, the FIA World Endurance Championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

As confirmed last December, REBELLION Racing will enter a single Toyota powered Lola B12/60 coupe in the 2013 American Le Mans Series and a second entry will be added at the opening round for the 12 Hours of Sebring.

REBELLION Racing have submitted a full season entry application for one Toyota powered Lola B12/60 coupe in the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship. The Swiss team will be looking to re-confirm its status as the best privateer sportscar team at the highest level of endurance racing. In addition, REBELLION Racing will be seeking to enter a second Lola B12/60 coupe Toyota in the first two rounds of the FIA WEC (at Silverstone and Spa-Francorchamps) as a preparation for Le Mans 24 Hours.
REBELLION Racing have submitted applications for two cars to the Automobile Club de l’Ouest for the 90th edition of the La Sarthe classic.

REBELLION Racing have selected six drivers that will share driving duties in this year’s racing programme. The team have already confirmed the renewal of Andrea Belicchi, Neel Jani and Nicolas Prost and have hired young Swiss driver Mathias Beche.
REBELLION Racing is pleased to announce that former F1 driver Nick Heidfeld of Germany and Chinese driver Cong Fu Cheng will be back with the team.
They both had successful debuts with the team as Nick won twice at Spa and Le Mans and “Frankie” won at his home race in Shanghai in 2012.

REBELLION Racing will remain the exclusive partner of Toyota Motorsport GmbH for the petrol V8 3.4 litre RV8KLM engine programme. In 2013, TMG will supply REBELLION Racing with upgraded versions of the RV8KLM engines as the successful association between the REBELLION Racing team and TMG enters into its third year.

Bart Hayden, REBELLION Racing Team Manager:
“We are looking forward to a great season of racing in 2013. In the ALMS, we definitely want to add some more overall victories to our resume. In the FIA World Endurance Championship, having won the FIA LMP1 Endurance Trophy for best privateer in 2012, it would be nice to win it twice in a row, and in June we hope to have another strong showing at Le Mans.
We are fortunate to benefit from a talented and experienced pool of drivers again this year, I’m convinced that they will all do a great job and work well together.
Our first race this year will be one of the toughest races that we will face all year, but after a long and busy winter, all of us can’t wait to be in Sebring racing again, particularly as we will be up against some extremely strong rivals.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank our departing drivers Harold Primat and Jeroen Bleekemolen for their good work over the past year and wish them the best of luck going forward.”

(Image: Gerlach Delissen)

Discussion

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  1. After the reduced plans of JRM, this is good news for both ALMS and WEC. Rebellion will field one car each in WEC and ALMS and two cars for selected races, e.g. Sebring. As Nick Heidfeld mentioned that he will participate in the whole WEC series, I expect the lineup Heidfeld/Jani/Prost for the full WEC season and the lineup Belicchi/Beche/Cheng for the full ALMS season.

    Posted by kw | January 23, 2013, 13:48
  2. The Heidfeld Jani Prost is the better lineup. Given that there are overall wins and a championship up for grab in the ALMS, that’s were they would want their best crew.

    Besides Nicolas prost will make for a huge crowd draw if his father shows up to watch a race.

    So why isn’t the factory Toyota team coming to Sebring? It would only make sense, to help figure out some of Audi’s strengths (and weaknesses). Hopefully this Toyota program doesn’t become another high cost program that never lives up to its potential. Only one car in the FIA WEC???

    Posted by Bamba | January 23, 2013, 16:31
  3. I think that toyota are putting all their eggs in one basket for an all out assault on le mans. It’s the best possible high profile advert for the brand. I think, to them, the whole WEC season is slightly less important.

    Posted by Harry fenton | January 24, 2013, 10:18
  4. @Bamba:
    I think Toyota is keeping the efforts low just BECAUSE they don’t want to have another cost-consuming and non-successful program like their Formula One participation used to be.
    They will have to design a completely new car for the new regulations in 2014 and don’t want to build up any more cars within the old regulations. And the trip to Sebring is also very expensive and doesn’t bring any WEC points.

    For the Rebellion lineup, you are right: If Rebellion wants to beat Muscle Milk for the ALMS title, they need a driver lineup that can challenge Graf/Luhr, and Jani/Prost could be able to do that. Maybe they will mix the lineups different than last year, with Heidfeld/Beche driving the WEC races.

    Posted by kw | January 24, 2013, 14:47
  5. I think the line-up will be Jani-Heidfeld-Cheng and Prost-Beche-Belicchi

    Posted by ape | January 25, 2013, 10:19
  6. I want to see what the two-car entry does at Sebring.That should be fun! Watching the Rolex 24 has me Jonesing for proper prototype/GT racing!

    Posted by J Hunter | January 27, 2013, 4:28
  7. As expensive as the trip to Sebring can be, it’s still only a drop in the bucket for Toyota. Even if there are no WEC points, since Audi is currently the king of the hill and they go there, anyone who wants to beat them should go there to figure out what attracts them to Sebring. It might be a revelation.

    Toyota’s F1 program failed miserably because the mechanics they had were from their rally program. Actually Allan Mcnish was interviewed by planetlemans and he mentioned that.

    Toyota is also so huge that there were too many “bosses” making decisions. They did not isolate the F1 team apart to run and make decisions independently. All the top F1 teams are somewhat separate entities from their parent companies, while Toyota was making all decisions from the boardroom in Japan. Top down.

    With the endurance program they need to isolate the team a lot more and give hugh de chaunac more freedom to make decisions

    Posted by Bamba | January 27, 2013, 15:59
  8. If toyota really want to go against porsche in 2014, they will need all the experience they can get.

    If Porsche announced their P1 program so early that means they will be going all out, when the time comes.

    Porsche already has a regular petrol engine that could fit in a P1 car right now and probably outgun the top privateer cars.

    Remember the “secret” 3.4L V8 engines the Penske RS Spyders had? No other RS Spyder teams were allowed to have them. That engine had direct fuel injection, amazing fuel economy, and the ALMS had allowed them to have their own special fuel mixture. Highcroft was protesting that they did not use the standard petrol racing fuel.

    Posted by Bamba | January 27, 2013, 16:07
  9. Yes, Porsche is the one company that is able to win Le Mans right at the first participation with a new car. So 2013 will maybe be the last chance for Toyota for an overall win…
    Porsche is currently using the Penske RS Spyders running around the Weissach test track to test components for the new LMP1 car on a well-known reference basis. And the new engine is also principally designed on the basis of the mentioned 3.4l petrol V8, but with a hybrid.

    Posted by kw | January 28, 2013, 20:31

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