REBELLION Racing has entered two Rebellion R-One AER powered LMP1 cars in the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship and the prestigious Le Mans 24 Hours. Today, the Swiss team is pleased to confirm its six drivers for the coming season.
The successful driving trio of the Rebellion R-One car #12 will remain unchanged as Nicolas Prost, Nick Heidfeld and Mathias Beche will be reunited again in 2015. Together, they won the 2014 LMP1-L Drivers Championship, being the winners at Silverstone, Spa, Le Mans (achieving fourth overall), Austin, and Shanghai.
Nicolas Prost has been a REBELLION Racing driver since the team’s debut in LMP1 in 2009. In the FIA WEC, he has collected 14 LMP1-L class wins from 2012 to 2014 and two 4th place overall finishes at Le Mans 24 Hours. He was back-to-back winner of the Petit Le Mans in 2012 and 2013 and added an overall podium finish at the 12 Hours of Sebring in 2013.
Nick Heidfeld joined REBELLION Racing at the start of the 2012 season. He has secured 11 LMP1-L class wins in the FIA WEC from 2012 to 2014 and two 4th place overall finishes at Le Mans 24 Hours. He won overall at Petit Le Mans in 2013 and secured podium finishes at the 12 Hours of Sebring, Long Beach and Laguna Seca the same year in the American Le Mans Series.
Mathias Beche was selected by REBELLION Racing in 2013 after he won the 2012 Le Mans Series LMP2 Drivers Championship. Since then, he has become a nine times LMP1-L class winner with the Swiss team and finished fourth overall at the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours.
REBELLION Racing will introduce a new driver combination for the Rebellion R-One car #13 as Dominik Kraihamer will be joined for 2015 by Alexandre Imperatori and Daniel Abt.
Austrian driver Dominik Kraihamer joined REBELLION Racing in 2014, he had a very positive first season with the Swiss team, he secured three LMP1-L class wins at the 6 Hours of Fuji, 6 Hours of Bahrain and 6 Hours of Sao Paulo with teammates Andrea Belicchi and Fabio Leimer.
Alexandre Imperatori and Daniel Abt are new to REBELLION Racing this year.
Swiss driver Alexandre Imperatori’s speed is undeniable, he started his career in Asia (from Formula Renault in 2004 to Formula Nippon in 2011). In 2012, he won the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Championship. Recently he enjoyed success in LMP2 finishing third in the 2014 WEC, winner at Bahrain and Sao Paulo along with another four podiums. Alexandre already has two participations at Le Mans 24 Hours.
German driver Daniel Abt is a talented single-seater driver aged 22 years. Daniel won the ADAC Formel Masters championship in 2009 and was runner up in German Formula 3 in 2010 and in GP3 in 2012. After two seasons in GP2, he moved last year to the new Formula E championship. 2015 will see his first start at Le Mans 24 Hours. Daniel was raised in a racing family, his father heads up ABT Sportsline and his uncle, Christian, finished 3rd at Le Mans 24 Hours just 15 years ago.
For their eighth consecutive year in Le Mans Prototypes and fourth consecutive year in the FIA World Endurance Championship, REBELLION Racing confirmed earlier this year that the team’s Rebellion R-One LMP-1 cars will now be powered by twin-turbo engines from Advanced Engine Research (AER).
As the decision to change to the AER P60 V6 GDI twin-turbocharged power units was made deep into the off-season, the team have informed the FIA WEC that their cars will not be ready in time for the start of the 2015 championship. The team will miss the FIA WEC Prologue at Circuit Paul Ricard and the first two rounds of the championship at the 6 Hours of Silverstone and the 6 Hours of Spa.
Mathias Beche : “I am delighted to continue this successful collaboration with the REBELLION Racing team and am really pleased to share the car again with Nico and Nick. We are a very good trio, but I'm sure the sister car will also be very competitive. Unfortunately, the season will start later than expected, but our package should be very strong. I can’t wait to start our 2015 campaign !”
Nick Heidfeld : “I am very happy to continue the successful relationship with REBELLION Racing. I can't wait to see how developments made over the winter will turn out and look forward to racing at some world class venues. Last year produced some lasting memories; this is why I’m looking forward to partnering up with Nico and Mathias again.”
Nicolas Prost : “I am obviously very happy to continue with Rebellion Racing for this year which will be my seventh with the team. We have a great relationship in car 12 my team-mates Nick and Mat and our engineer James, which makes work a lot of fun. I hope our new partnership with AER can help us make a step forward and challenge the factory cars. Rebellion has proved to be the best privateer team in LMP1 in recent years, but now we want to battle with the big boys.”
Daniel Abt : “I’m proud to be contesting the WEC with REBELLION Racing. The team is relaxed, completely professional and has an excellent reputation within the scene. This additional programme alongside Formula E is an enormous boost for me: I’ll drive a closed cockpit sportscar for the first time, share driving duties with two other team-mates and also make my debut at Le Mans in the 24 Hour race. Le Mans is an enduring motorsport legend – it’s a fabulous feeling to know that I’ll be there this year. Even though the majority of this will be new to me, as far as power and downforce is concerned my experience from GP2 will certainly help in sportscars. On top of this, I have a strong team and experienced team-mates at my side. Formula E and now WEC – this a fantastic combination which I’m really looking forward to.”
Alexandre Imperatori : “First of all, I want to thank the REBELLION Racing team for the trust they place in me this season and I look forward to joining the team. The pleasure is all the more important that this is a Swiss team that does a lot to promote motorsport in our country at the highest level. I am very eager to start working with my new team-mates and contribute to the development of the car to get good results this season. The challenge looks interesting with the new engine and I am confident that this will help us reach a new step.”
Dominik Kraihamer : “I'm super happy to make my second season with REBELLION Racing. Since I came to the team, I saw that everyone here does everything with 100% motivation, which is very important to move forward in the development of this, still, new car. I want to thank Rebellion Racing very much for the trust they place in me as a driver this season. It helps me mentally as well, because it is not easy to change team every year and like this we will have the opportunity to continue our development of this super challenging and important project!
I am looking forward to getting in the car for a first test when the installation of the new engine will be completed !”
Bart Hayden, REBELLION Racing Team Manager : “We are very pleased to confirm our driver line-up for the 2015 season and it’s nice to have a good level of continuity in our team. We have a good base of experience and speed with Nico, Nick, Mathias and Dominik who are all with us again. We welcome Alexandre and Daniel to our team, we are confident that they will be positive additions and that they will help us to take the challenge to our competitors in the LMP1 field. We are a little late out of the starting blocks this year, but we firmly believe that our 2015 LMP1 cars will be even more competitive, so we are looking forward to getting the cars onto the tracks soon.”
Thomas Laurent gives way to another rebel, Gustavo Menezes in the APR REBELLION Racing team for the European Le Mans Series season.