REBELLION Racing is back on top of the podium at the 6 Hours of Fuji. Mathias Beche and Nicolas Prost won the LMP1 Privateer battle in a thrilling race at Fuji Speedway.
Due to heavy rain, the race started behind the safety car and when the field was released after a few laps, the rain was even stronger.
Mathias Beche managed to build a big gap over the Rebellion R-One AER #12’s competitors. When Nicolas Prost took over from Mathias, he joined the race with intermediate slick Michelin tyres fitted to the car as the rain was lighter and he was able to increase the lead of the white Rebellion R-One AER. After three faultless stints, Nicolas gave back the wheel to Mathias who pushed hard with slick tyres on a drying track in his last two stints. The Rebellion R-One AER #12 crossed the finish line in first place amongst the LMP1 Privateers, four laps ahead of the second placed car, the CLM #4. In so doing, Mathias Beche and Nicolas Prost finished the race in seventh place overall.
Despite a third place finish amongst the LMP1 Privateers for the Rebellion R-One AER #13, the race of Alexandre Imperatori, Dominik Kraihamer and Daniel Abt was very difficult as they faced several issues that prevented them from competing at the front.
In the early stages of the race when the track was really wet, Alexandre spun out and damaged the front and rear bodywork. The chrome red Rebellion R-One AER #13 lost two laps as repairs were made. With strong driving from Alexandre and Dominik they were able to recover the lost ground reaching the same lap as the second placed LMP1 Privateer car, the CLM #4. But, unfortunately, the Rebellion R-One AER #13 then suffered misfires and needed to pit for coil changes and later another stop to replace a throttle pedal sensor. During these unscheduled stops, the #13 mechanics were assisted by the mechanics from the #12 car and collectively they did a great job to get back the car back into the race to secure the third place on the podium.
With the win for Rebellion R-One AER #12 and third place for Rebellion R-One AER #13, the REBELLION Racing team increase their lead in the FIA WEC LMP1 Privateer Trophy.
During the race weekend, the two REBELLION Racing cars recorded the two fastest top speeds at Fuji Speedway, Nicolas Prost topped the whole field with 316.7 km/h recorded during Free Practice 2 and Daniel Abt was second with 314 km/h recorded during the qualifying session.
The next race for REBELLION Racing in the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship will be the 6 Hours of Shanghai on the 1st of November.
Mathias Beche - Rebellion R-One AER #12 : « It was a trouble free race for us. Conditions were really tricky, it was important for us to finish the race in a good position. We are still in a process of learning with the car. It was pretty fun in the car as we had a Toyota behind we thought we could finish in front of them and I pushed to the max during my stint. It was a team effort and I want to thank the all team and Nico did a very solid job in not easy conditions ».
Nicolas Prost - Rebellion R-One AER #12 : « It was really nice to have a clean race with the R-One AER. I think our strategy with the tyres was good, due to the tricky conditions it was not easy to pick the right tyres at the right moment and I think we did great. Our pace was quite good, we are very happy with this result, it’s very important for our team and it provides confidence for the coming races ».
Alexandre Imperatori - Rebellion R-One AER #13 : « Overall it was a tough race with the early stages being very wet. I think the timing of the start of the race was perhaps not the best and we were really struggling with tyre temperatures under the safety car. Once the race got under way, the pace was pretty good and we were making ground but then we had reliability issues towards the end which cost us time in the garage. The boys did a great job fixing everything. I feel we are making steps in the right direction and we need to keep pushing as a team. I'm looking forward to a clean weekend in Shanghai. »
Dominik Kraihamer - Rebellion R-One AER #13 : « Unfortunately, we had race with several issues. We were working hard in every free practice and also qualifying to find a decent setup to be able to challenge our #12 sister car. We were looking confident going into the race, but with the problems that we had, we are not really happy with the result. The pace was good, I'd say that we were overall a bit faster than the #12 car, but in the end you need a reliable car in endurance racing to convert speed into success! »
Daniel Abt - Rebellion R-One AER #13 : « It’s always good to be on the podium after a race, especially after a tough one like today because it was a very difficult one with the issues that we had. The guys have done a great job in the garage. I really hope that we will have trouble free races in the next two rounds. »
Bart Hayden - REBELLION Racing Team Manager : « We are pleased with the LMP1 Privateer win for car #12, it’s great to win with a clean, trouble-free race. On the other hand today’s race for car #13 shows that work still needs to be done to reach our desired level of reliability. We have made good progress this weekend and will take that forward to Shanghai. Once the again, the mechanics showed their professionalism and great team spirit, particularly when car 13 needed assistance during the unscheduled stops. We faced many challenges both on the track and in the pits during today’s race and the overall results put us in a good position for the championship and for the coming races. »
After ending the 2017 season with the title of LMP2 World Champion, the REBELLION Racing team will return to the top category of the World Endurance Championship next season, just one year after leaving it.
Vaillante REBELLION finished the last race of the 2017 FIA WEC season with both cars on the podium and the 2017 FIA World Endurance Champion title in the LMP2 category with their #31 Oreca-Gibson 07 car.
The last race of the FIA WEC season is coming soon with a long awaited title of World Champion at the end of this last 6 hours of race.
The Oreca 07 #31 Vaillante REBELLION wins its second consecutive race becoming leader of the LMP2 Championship before going on to Bahrain for the last round of the 2017 FIA WEC season. Vaillante REBELLION #13 finishes in third position.