After today's final qualifying session of the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship, for the 6 Hours of Sao Paulo race, Nick Heidfeld and Mathias Beche secured the eighth Pole position of the season in the LMP1-L class for the REBELLION Racing team in a total of eight races.With the #12 Rebellion R-One Toyota, the Swiss-German duo achieved an average lap time of 1:21.127 and a fastest lap of 1:20.876.
The sister Rebellion R-One Toyota #13 car driven by Andrea Belicchi and Dominik Kraihamer achieved an average lap time only five tenths slower at 1:21.644 and a best lap of 1:21.451. In so doing, the two Rebellion R-One Toyota cars will start tomorrow's 6 Hours of Sao Paulo race from the fourth row on the grid. Another 1-2 in the LMP1-L class will be the target in the race to end the season on a high whatever the order of the #12 and #13 cars at the end of the last six hour enduro of the year.
The race will start on Sunday 30th November at 1pm local time (3pm GMT).
Nick Heidfeld – Rebellion R-One Toyota #12
« For the last couple of races our teammates in the other car have been close to us and it's good to have some competition, even if it comes at the end of the season. This morning, we were not very happy with the car, especially on new tyres but that's what practice is for. James, our engineer and all of us drivers, found together a good compromise. Mathias was not perfectly happy with the car but I think we've improved it greatly for qualifying. Nico, Mathias and myself are working together very well. I have to thank Mathias for the job that he's done today, of course, but also for the loan of his overalls. I'm driving with one of his overalls on because my luggage never arrived here. So it was Mathias twice in the car today!»
Mathias Beche – Rebellion R-One Toyota #12
« We are P1 in front of the other LMP1-L cars with quite a good gap so it means that we did the job. For this qualifying, the balance of the car was not exactly how I wanted it to be. We improved the car a lot during previous races but with the altitude here, for sure, we lack a bit of power compared to the other LMP1-L, even worse compared to the factory cars. On the chassis side, I think we are quite strong even though it was not perfect for me. We're looking forward to tomorrow to finish the season on a high note with a win.»
Andrea Belicchi – Rebellion R-One Toyota #13
« We are trying to find a nice setup for the car. It looks like in quali we had too much understeer. We need to work on that for the race. We are not too far from the #12. We have to focus on the race pace. The feeling with the car is quite ok. This track is very nice to drive and with the new asphalt, the grip is very high, it gives us a very good feeling. I think we'll have a good race tomorrow ! »
Dominik Kraihamer – Rebellion R-One Toyota #13
« There was a lot of fun driving in quali today. In the end, our average lap time is quite ok. For my part, I can still gain some time in my driving, especially in turns 2, 3, 4 and 10. I'm really happy with the work of our boys in the team to give us a good car for the race. It's up to us to work on the setup with Simon, our engineer, who is doing a great job too. We are all working in the right direction. We have improved a lot this weekend which is important. »
Bart Hayden – Rebellion Racing Team Manager
« With the altitude of the track in Sao Paulo we knew before the weekend that we might find it hard to be ultra competitive in qualifying, but we can be proud of the times that the drivers achieved in the session. We are ahead of our competition in the LMP1-L class and not too far away on pace from the factory cars on the row of the grid in front of us. The second half of the season has been quite intense with the races following each other in quick succession, but I think we have used that to our advantage and have carried good momentum forward with each event. We’re expecting a close race tomorrow and are looking forward to it.»
At the end of the three qualifying sessions, the REBELLION R-13 cars #1 and #3 will start the 24 Hours of Le Mans in third and fifth positions on the starting grid.
After a good preparation, the REBELLION Racing Team is going to start the crazy Le Mans week!
For this first meeting of the FIA WEC Super Season, REBELLION Racing performed for its return to the LMP1 category. Both R-13 cars dominated the LMP1 thermal classification from the free practice to the 6 hours of racing, Toyota hybrids remain unreachable with the current EOT.