The fourth meeting of the FIA WEC Super Season started on Friday, October 12th with the first two free practices. Both sessions were disrupted by red flags because of track problems, making the preparation of the cars more complicated than expected. Following the third and final free practice, a technical problem was detected on the R-13 N.3 and required the intervention of the entire Team to change both the engine block and the gearbox. The teams worked for nearly three hours to put the car back on track for the qualifying session and managed to achieve the fourth overall time.
It was eleven in Fuji when the race started under the usual rain in this amazing place. Tens of thousands of fans came to face the elements in order to cheer on their champions. Gustavo Menezes and André Lotterer were the first to start at Fuji Speedway. Right from the first lap, the sister cars were struggling to keep their distance with the Toyota Hybrid N.8 leader. After only a few minutes, the second Japanese Hybrid, which had left at the end of the track, passed P2. The battle delivered in LMP1 category was intense and Jenson Button and Stephane Sarrazin aboard the Russian prototypes of SMP Racing N.11 and N.17 gave their everything to dislodge the R-13s from the first non-Hybrid spots. The Russian and Swiss cars fought a long battle to catch the long-awaited places on the podium of the general classification. It was a close race and after 45 minutes of racing, seven LMP1s found themselves in the same lap. The arrival of the Safety Car, caused by a GT accident, further tightened the gaps between the leaders. At 50 minutes into the race, Gustavo Menezes went off the track and lost control of the R-13 N.3. The car was forced to abandon the race and the driver fortunately came out unscathed of this shock. The N.1 car kept the momentum and was P3 after 1:10 hour of racing. At two hours, Bruno Senna entered, still third. The Brazilian driver gave away his spot to Neel Jani 1:30 later. All three of them took part in a very high level race, and the third position was secured until the checkered flag.
Team REBELLION Racing reached a new podium which once again proves the team’s level and regularity against other Privateers. The next appointment will be on November 18th for the 6 Hours of Shanghai!
Calim Bouhadra, vice-President of REBELLION
“We are very happy about this excellent result despite the exit of the REBELLION N.3. The differences in performance between us and Toyota Hybrids are still visible but we are going in the right direction with the changes made by the ACO and the FIA! I want to thank them for listening to us and the whole Team REBELLION Racing hopes to come back even stronger in Shanghai!”
Bart Hayden, Team manager
“We are happy to have a trouble-free run for car #1 and to take the third step on the podium. On the other hand, to lose car #3 so early is disappointing, but overall it’s a good weekend for us. The cars performed better here than they did in Silverstone and that will help us improve even more at the next race next month in Shanghai.”
Thomas Laurent, N.3 driver
“The weekend started off on a difficult note, but each driving session was a step forward and a positive note to prepare the car! The mechanics did a great job with the engine again after the third free practice. I am obviously a bit frustrated regarding the race but we know these things can happen. »
Neel Jani, N.1 driver
“Finally a race that worked for us until the very end without any bad surprises happening during the last hour or after the race! We are happy with that but we know that we need to keep working hard, as the SMP Racing cars are challenging us for the best Privateers.”
Source. Rebellion Racing