As announced at the end of last season, after the team won its fifth straight LMP1 Privateer world title, REBELLION Racing will focus their 2017 FIA WEC racing programme as VAILLANTE REBELLION in the new LMP2 category with ORECA 07 LMP2 cars, putting their participation in the LMP1 category on hold.
This year, REBELLION Racing and Editions Graton are joining forces to bring Michel Vaillant back to life for the FIA WEC World Endurance Championship and the prestigious Le Mans 24 Hours, a highly original partnership at the crossroads of fiction and reality to pay tribute to the most famous of all fictional racing drivers.
A dedicated Vaillante Le Mans livery for the team’s two cars will be unveiled on April 27th in Brussels.
The VAILLANTE REBELLION team will tackle the 2017 FIA WEC with new driver combinations as half
of the six drivers are new to the team.
Drivers for the VAILLANTE REBELLION Oreca 07 car #13 are Mathias Beche, Nelson Piquet jr and David Heinemeier Hansson.
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 an eleven times LMP1 Privateer class winner with the Swiss team and finished fourth overall at the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours.
Nelson is back with the team for a full season programme. After becoming the first champion of the FIA Formula E championship, Nelson Piquet Jr joined the Swiss team in 2016 and raced in the three opening rounds of the FIA WEC, including Le Mans 24 Hours. He won the LMP1 Privateer class at Le Mans with Nicolas Prost and Nick Heidfeld and secured two class podiums.
David Heinemeier Hansson is new to the Swiss team. David ended the 2013 FIA WEC in second place of the LMP2 drivers classification, he won the GTE-AM Championship with Aston Martin in 2014 and finished runner-up in 2016 in the GTE-AM class with Porsche. At Le Mans 24 Hours, David has won the GTE-AM class in 2013 with Aston Martin. He secured a second place finish in LMP2 in 2013 and an additional podium in GTE-AM in 2016 with Porsche.
The VAILLANTE REBELLION Oreca 07 car #31 will feature Nicolas Prost, Bruno Senna and Julien Canal
Nicolas Prost has been a REBELLION Racing driver since the team’s debut in LMP1 in 2009. In the FIA WEC between 2012 and 2016, he has collected 17 LMP1 Privateer class wins 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.
Bruno Senna is a new addition to the team’s driver line-up for the 2017 FIA WEC campaign. Bruno has proved to be a first class driver in endurance racing. He already competed four times at Le Mans 24 Hours and was very successful in his 2016 LMP2 car, he secured second place in the drivers classification, he won twice in class at the 6 Hours of Silverstone and the 6 Hours of Mexico and secured four class podiums.
Julien Canal is the third driver to be added to the team’s 2017 driver squad, he has strong experience in FIA WEC and at Le Mans 24 Hours with seven starts already. Julien won the FIA WEC LMP2 World championship in 2015 and was runner-up in 2014. Julien won the GTE-AM World title in 2012 (Corvette). At Le Mans 24 Hours, Julien has won three times in GT class (GT1 and GTE) and secured a podium finish in LMP2 in 2015.
The 6 Hours of Silverstone has been a regular fixture on the FIA WEC calendar since 2012. The race will start on Sunday April 16th at 12h00 GMT.
Bart Hayden, REBELLION Racing Team Manager : «It’s a great honour to start this new season as Vaillante Rebellion. We are coming to the 6 Hours of Silverstone strongly determined to achieve the best results. We have made the choice to race this year in LMP2 to face more competition than we had in LMP1 Privateer during the last three years. Targeting the best results in such a competitive class as LMP2 means that we are here to win. This will be the first race event with our new driver line-ups after the positive test in Monza two weeks ago.
Source. Rebellion Racing