Saturday, June 16th at 3:00 pm, the start of the 86th 24 Hours of Le Mans is given by Rafael Nadal. Both REBELLION R-13 No. 1 and No. 3 start respectively P3 and P5. The first race event came in the first lap with a contact between car No. 1 and the Dragonspeed car No. 10. The front of the R-13 car came off and Lotterer was forced to return to the stand urgently. André Lotterer came out P10 and engaged a crazy rise in the classification. Thomas Laurent started a battle in the first half-hour with Stéphane Sarrazin driving SMP Racing No. 17.
In the first hour of the race, Thomas Laurent confirmed his third position still in the fight with SMP Racing. André Lotterer quickly catched up and passed P8 then P6 one hour later. The first double change came at 2:30 of race with the entries of Mathias Beche and Bruno Senna. As soon as they enter the track, Both REBELLION drivers competed for the long-awaited third place with SMP Racing No. 17. The next drivers Neel Jani and Gustavo Menezes did the same, alternating between third, fourth and fifth positions overall. Back at the wheel, Lotterer and Laurent took their positions as non-Hybrid leaders. An outing of SMP Racing No. 17 in the eighth hour prevente them from catching both Toyota Gazoo Racing cars. A new race started between the Japanese Hybrids and both Swiss cars. The Toyotas, with several laps ahead were never be overtaken by the R-13 cars alternating between third and fourth positions. The race continued until Sunday, June 17th at 3:00 pm where the REBELLION No. 3 crossed the finish line in third position of the general classification and first non-Hybdrid.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans were once again amazing. Both REBELLION R-13s finished at the positions they were originally assigned.
Next FIA WEC Super Season meeting on August 19th for the 6 Hours of Silverstone.
Bart Hayden, Team Manager :
“We were a bit worried on the first lap because of the contact. But we got back and fixed it really fast. It was a good fight with the SMP Racing car. Then they had some trouble with a crash. I think we did the best we could.”
Calim Bouhadra, Vice President of REBELLION:
“It’s a great victory but we could not do better. We are happy for the team and for the work of our partners Oreca and Gibson. They did an incredible job with the time we had been given. As a reminder, we received the car at the Prologue. We are winners of this race now I think there is great lesson to be learned from the ACO and the WEC on what they expect from a private team like ours for the future. I think there are big decisions to make from them. Otherwise, we will know how to take them.”
Gustavo Menezes, #3 driver:
“This was an incredible result. After all the work, the Team, the mechanics, the engineers, everyone did a magical job to keep this car as good as possible. It was a very stressful race. It’s a tough situation because we were not really in competition with Toyota but there was only one step to the podium for the others. Mathias and Thomas did an incredible race. We had some problems on track but we could keep this third position until the end of the race. This podium was very magical it was amazing to see thousand of people around us.”
Thomas Laurent, #3 driver:
“Super race, it’s nice to bring a new Le Mans trophy this time in LMP1 Privateer. Both Toyota were really untouchable on this circuit and the rule was that they were even more untouchable. I’m happy with the result we did what we all wanted: bring back both cars third and fourth of the general. I think we learned a lot, we stopped a lot for small technical and electronic problems. We will come back stronger for Le Mans 2019 and we will already be stronger for Silverstone.”
Mathias Beche, #3 driver:
“The main goal has been achieved: we have both cars in good condition at the end of the race. Third and fourth, it is a great result for the team a great reward for mechanics and engineers who have worked hard on this project for months. Without them none of this would be possible. Finishing was for us something important, finishing on the podium even more if we would have liked to finish much higher. It’s a great reward. I thank both technical teams especially my two teammates who have done a great job. I am extremely happy with this result because our crew proved that we had our place in this car and we are a very nice trio. I can not wait for more! But now rest and enjoy this moment!”
André Lotterer, #1 driver:
“The race went well. We had some problems at the start with the front of the car that forced us to come back very early to the stand. The goal was to be present in case the Toyota No. 7 and No. 8 make a mistake. In the end, we still managed to make a podium with the other car, which is really a great performance. We were really the best non-hybrids. The job was well done. On the other hand I am a little disappointed about the WEC and the ACO concerning the EOT. They pulled us out of power, I do not know what fear they might have. Maybe that will change.”
Bruno Senna, #1 driver:
“It was a tough race for us. We pushed really hard both cars. It is very important to finish the 24 Hours of Le Mans with both cars on top. It is a new car and it’s really important for the Team. It is unfortunate for the podium but I am really happy for the sister car and I hope we will get our own podium soon!”
Neel Jani, #1 driver:
“First of all, I think we can be proud of the Team. We finished the race, both cars crossed the finish line. P3 and P4 were the maximum positions we could do, the Toyota cars were too far. Then, during these 24 Hours we were able to accumulate many positive things in terms of car information for next year. Now we only have to be better. We really want to make people feel what we are feeling right now. We learned, let’s learn again to be even better.”
Source. Rebellion Racing