The new FIA WEC season was taking place this weekend in Silverstone. Following serious free practice with Norman Nato’s fastest time in the first session (1:38.860), the Rebells had strong ambitions from the start of the meeting.
In Qualifying session, Bruno Senna then Gustavo Menezes achieved the third performance while Nathanaël Berthon and Pipo Derani were in charge to complete the second row of the starting grid.
On Sunday September 1st, Bruno Senna and Loïc Duval were the first to start the first race of the 2019-2020 season. Starting respectively P3 and P4, the drivers set their pace from the first moments to not be left behind by the Toyota Hybrids. Two events have upset the strategies at the beginning of the race. First and after only three laps, a Safety Car made its appearance because of the stopping of the LMP2 prototype United Autosports. The race resumed ten minutes later and was again slowed down after thirty minutes with a Full Course Yellow following the loss of a wheel of a Ginetta Team LNT car. The Rebells took the lead of the race while the Toyota Hybrids were still in the pit lane during the end of the FCY. The Toyota car N. 8 finally took the lead two laps later, followed by the N. 7 Hybrid after 50min of racing despite strong resistance from Bruno Senna.
Just before the first hour, the N. 3 car overtook the sister car and became P3. Nathanaël Berthon and Norman Nato entered the track after 1:15 of race. A quarter of an hour later, the rain forced the cars to change tires. Following a contact during the pit entry, the Team is forced to change the front of the car N. 1 which came out P4. Pipo Derani replaced Berthon at 2:10 of race under Safety Car. The Brazilian driver was then leader of the 4 Hours of Silverstone until the end of the Safety Car at 2:25 race. The car N. 3 was back P3 after being overtaken by the two Hybrid cars.
At 2:45 of race, Gustavo Menezes took the wheel of the R-13 N. 1 in fourth position. The American driver kept the pace of his teammates. Fifteen minutes from the checkered flag, the car N. 1 was forced to enter the box due to a power steering issue. The car came out P5 after long minutes in the pit. The R-13 car crossed the finish line in the same position. Pipo Derani at the wheel of the R-13 N. 3 crossed the finish line in third position and thus signed the first REBELLION Racing podium in this new FIA WEC 2019-2020 season.
A first encouraging podium for Team REBELLION in this new season of the World Endurance Championship. The Rebells will will be back on October 6th at the 6 Hours of Fuji
Alexandre Pesci, President and Owner of REBELLION Racing
“We are very proud of this third position, the whole Team worked hard to achieve it. It is a dangerous sport, we could still see it in the race with the injury of one of our mechanic. But also and especially on Saturday when we heard about the loss of Anthoine Hubert. Our condolences to his family and loved ones. We dedicate him this podium. The passion for sports never deserves to reach such a conclusion.”
Bruno Senna, R-13 N. 1 driver
“Tough day, for sure it is not the result we were expecting but we learned a lot. We will keep pushing for the next race. Hopefully, a bit of Balance of Performance will surely help us all along the season. I am looking forward to coming back at the wheel of the REBELLION car next time!”
Gustavo Menezes, R-13 N. 1 driver
“It was a difficult start of the season unfortunately. I am really happy for the sister car but we were also consistent throughout the weekend. The Toyotas had much more pace that we were expecting, it obviously showed the beneath to be a big effort to improve that. It was just an unfortunate race with the incident in the pit lane. I wish a good recovery to our mechanic Romain. All we have to do is heading up to the next race in Fuji to do better and hopefully have a chance to fight for the win. Let’s see what will happen and I hope that will work.”
Norman Nato, R-13 N. 1 driver
“Good first weekend with REBELLION Racing. I really enjoyed working with my teammates Bruno and Gustavo. This first meeting is very positive despite the result in the race where we would have hoped better. By working well, we will come back better. I can not wait to be in Fuji!”
Nathanaël Berthon, R-13 N. 3 driver
“Very happy to achieve a podium even if it had a special flavor because of what happened the day before at Spa… The Team has done a good job to make the car ready despite the lack of preparation. My teammates did a great job, it was a first for them driving the R-13 car. Good recovery to our mechanic Romain!”
Pipo Derani, R-13 N. 3 driver
“Really happy to have finished this race in third position for my first race with REBELLION Racing in LMP1 category. It is a fantastic result for the Team. Obviously it is what we were expecting to be on the podium and we managed to do it with amazing fights on track. It was cool to be back in WEC with a great car.”
Loïc Duval, R-13 N. 3 driver
“Pretty descent race for us on the car N. 3. We took the best out of it with the whole crew, engineers and the strategy. It is pretty positive on our side. It is a shame that the sister car suffered from a power steering issue but it is also positive in terms of performance. We are still far away from Toyota to fight on track but at least we are getting closer, we still have a lot of work to do. Thank you to my teammates and the whole REBELLION Racing Team! I really enjoyed driving this weekend. I wish a good recovery to Romain, I hope he will come back soon!”
Source. Rebellion Racing/Photo. The Editor