This past December, Rebellion Racing announced its return to the LMP1 class in the World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) and the 24 Hours after a one-year involvement in LMP2, as well as the arrival of Neel Jani and André Lotterer. The two former Le Mans winners will take the wheel of a Rebellion R 13 whose design and manufacture have been entrusted to ORECA Technology.
Rebellion Racing's decision is no surprise given that ORECA developed the R-One, the undisputed queen of non-hybrid LMP1 prototypes for several years running in the World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) and at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Swiss team and French constructor, who also provided the ORECA 07 with which Rebellion Racing won in LMP2 last year on the world stage, are now entering the fifth year of their collaboration.
Hugues de Chaunac, ORECA Group CEO: "To design this new LMP1 prototype is a wonderful challenge. When the design bureau began developing the ORECA 07, we really wanted to move up to the next level, one step higher compared to the ORECA 05. The successes achieved last year really motivated and convinced us to now tackle this highly competitive main category. Fitted with an atmospheric engine, this LMP1 will face a hard task against the Hybrid cars. But the Rebellion R 13 will be a very determined challenger."
If the application of Alexandre Pesci's team is approved, two Rebellion R 13s - scheduled to be presented at the Geneva Motor Show this coming March - will be fielded in the 2018/2019 Super Season of the FIA WEC and therefore the 2018 and 2019 editions of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Though the composition of the outfit's driver line-ups is still unknown, the names of all six drivers set to share the two R 13s have been revealed.
In addition to regulars Mathias Beche and Bruno Senna, the Swiss team will welcome young talent Thomas Laurent - second overall at the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans and winner in the LMP2 class with Jackie Chan DC Racing - and Gustavo Menezes who claimed the second step on the LMP2 podium in 2016 with Signatech Alpine. André Lotterer, three-time 24 Hours winner with Audi, will also join Rebellion Racing for the first time, whereas Neel Jani, who won at Le Mans in 2016 with Porsche, will make his big return after having served as head driver between 2009 and 2014 before going to the German marque.
The Rebellion R 13 will first hit the track in competition, as will all the competitors in the 2018/2019 Super Season of the World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC), at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium on May 5th before the main event, the 24 Hours of Le Mans - the list of 60 invitees will be announced Friday, February 9th at 3:00 p.m. local time, 2:00 p.m. in the U.K. - on June 16th and 17th.
Quotation from ORECA press release.