After a very strong result at the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship opening round at Silverstone in April where the REBELLION Racing team finished in 3rd and 4th places overall, and with a 1-2 finish in the LMP1 Privateer class, the Swiss team repeated their performance with another 3rd and 4th place finish at the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. And for the second time in two races this year REBELLION Racing topped the LMP1 Privateer class with a 1-2 victory.
The #13 Rebellion R-One AER, driven by Alexandre Imperatori, Dominik Kraihamer and Matheo Tuscher, came in a strong third place overall at the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, followed home by the sister car, #12, driven by Nicolas Prost, Nick Heidfeld and Nelson Piquet Jr.
It’s a fantastic way to start the season for the top LMP1 Privateer team. These results are a just reward deserved by the Swiss team, who have supported so succesfully the category in the FIA WEC for so many years.
The fans that attended the beautifully sunny Spa track enjoyed a pure endurance and incident-filled 6 Hour race. Epic fights, drama, accidents and incidents made the race one of the most spectacular in recent years.
With the Manufacturers’ cars experiencing technical issues and on track incidents, the solid race from both the Rebellion R-One AER cars allowed the team to reach the 3rd and 4th places at the chequered flag, proving once again the value of the team and their drivers.
Both the #13 and #12 Rebellion R-One AER cars started from the fourth row on the grid (car #13 secured the Pole position in the LMP1 Privateer class).
The fight between the two Rebellion R-One AER cars lasted for five hours. Going into the final hour of the race the #13 Rebellion R-One AER was leading the sister car #12 by 17 seconds after car #13 lost time following a small contact with a LMP2 car.
The intra-team battle was curtailed after the #66 Ford GT crashed out in « le Raidillon » bringing the safety car out on track. The safety car split the two Rebellion Racing cars thus the #12 car lost a lap in the procedure and with only 40 minutes remaining in the race when the track went back to green there was no chance for the #12 to resume the battle.
After the 6 Hours of Spa, Alexandre Imperatori, Dominik Kraihamer and Mathéo Tuscher are second in the FIA World Endurance Drivers Championship and Nicolas Prost, Nick Heidfeld and Nelson Piquet Jr are fourth.
REBELLION Racing is leading the FIA Endurance Cup for LMP1 Privateer Teams as a result of scoring maximum points in the first two rounds of the championship.
The next race for the REBELLION Racing team will be the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours in just a month’s time. Expectations are always high for the main event of the season. After two promising races, the Swiss team is heading to Le Mans with confidence and aiming for an other big result there. REBELLION Racing won three of the last four editions of the race in the LMP1 Privateer class and finished fourth overall in 2012 and 2014. A higher result is now a clear target for REBELLION Racing.
Alexandre Imperatori - Rebellion R-One AER #13 : " Obviously it’s mega, it’s a dream result, the same as Silverstone but this time we enjoyed the podium celebration and it makes it all different! It was a real team effort, they did a great job, our guys and engineers brought us to this position. We had no problems with the car, we need to continue like this and we aim to do it again at Le Mans."
Dominik Kraihamer - Rebellion R-One AER #13 : " It’s an awesome result for us and the team, especially as next race will be Le Mans. The team deserve results like we had in Silverstone and here. The contact with the P2 is my mistake, I was careful but the car braked a bit early I think, we saw later that they were having brake problems, it’s part of motor racing and l only lost a bit of time in this incident. Everything worked well for us during the race and I hope it will continue like this !"
Mathéo Tuscher - Rebellion R-One AER #13 : " A great result, I am super happy. A tough race, but we managed the strategy and track conditions well. My teammates did a great job. We were P4 when I took the wheel and then I was told over the radio that we were P3, but I didn’t know why until I jumped out of the car at the end of my stint. It’s a very good feeling being P3 at Spa. I don’t know, but some people think that I am the youngest driver to be on a FIA WEC podium, we will have to investigate ! "
Nick Heidfeld - Rebellion R-One AER #12 : "First of all congratulations to car #13, and with our own result it’s a great achievement for REBELLION Racing. Now we are in our second year with the car and the engine, we are reliable so now we could benefit when the factory cars hit troubles. Finishing 4th is a great result, but in the future we will try to beat our teammates!"
Nelson Piquet Jr - Rebellion R-One AER #12 : " Congratulations to the team it’s a great result for everyone. Both cars finished the two races, it shows that the team worked well over the winter. Competition is really tight between the two cars and this keeps us pushing hard all the time. I have learned new stuff this weekend and I hope we will have an even better result at Le Mans."
Nicolas Prost- Rebellion R-One AER #12 : "It’s great for all the team, the guys have put a lot of effort in. Today’s result shows to people who are asking why REBELLION Racing is competing against big manufacturers that we can do well. In the race our pace was good compared to the factory cars. For us in car 12, it is disappointing to be behind car 13 again, they beat us on pure pace, we have to work to know why we can’t quite match them at the moment. Le Mans will be another challenge and I hope we will achieve another strong result there."
Bart Hayden – REBELLION Racing Team Manager : « What an amazing weekend and truly a dream start to the season ! I’m so pleased for all the team and for our engine partner AER and our tyre partner Dunlop. We’ve worked very closely together over the winter and the result today and also from Silverstone rewards all the effort that has been put in by everyone. We know that Le Mans is a bigger challenge, so we won’t be resting between now and then, there’s still much for us to do, but we will take this moment and enjoy it because being able to celebrate results like this creates a great team spirit ! »
At the end of a strong race, Team No. 3 REBELLION Racing finishes third overall and first Team non-Hybrid. The REBELLION R-13 No. 1 finishes fourth overall.
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.