Before it was a strong possibility, now it is a certainty: Rebellion Racing will field a single LMP1 Lola-Toyota in the American Le Mans Series for the 2013 season.
After winning Petit Le Mans in late October, team manager Bart Hayden hinted that the team might be back for the full 2013 series with one or two chassis. Rebellion, which also won the 2012 World Endurance Championship LMP1 Privateer trophy, had to decide how to allocate resources between the two series.
The decision has been made, and North American fans will see two Rebellion Lolas at the 61st Sebring 12 Hours and a single car through the rest of the schedule.
Rebellion has been very successful in its past two seasons, winning the 2011 European Le Mans Series title, finishing as the top privateer in the 2011 Intercontinental; Le Mans Cup, and in 2012 being the highest finishing privateer team in the WEC’s top class.
However, WEC will always be ruled by the factory teams, and with Toyota probably entering a pair of TS 030s in 2013, Rebellion would likely be pushed back even further from the podium.
In ALMS, the Swiss team can race for overall wins and contest the championship. As the team showed at Petit Le Mans, they can run with two-time ALMS P1 champs Muscle Milk Pickett Racing; more race wins seem a certainty and winning a series title is not out of the realm of possibility.
“2012 was the most demanding, but also the most successful season in the history of the Rebellion Racing team,” Hayden said in on the team’s website. “We won the FIA WEC Endurance Trophy for Private LMP1 Teams with six victories from eight races, including Le Mans, where we finished fourth overall and prevented a clean-sweep by the Manufacturer cars; added to that, in our only race in the ALMS we took the overall victory to win Petit Le Mans.
“We want to build upon those results in 2013 and aim to add to our tally of overall race wins. The visibility generated by overall wins is more in line with what our partners require and desire,” he continued. “The WEC is a World Championship and we would like to find a way to continue racing there too. Over the coming weeks, we will be striving to put together a program to complement our presence in the ALMS.
“We are a team that has grown up with the Le Mans spirit since our involvement in the GT class in the early 2000s and we want to continue racing in championships that mix the very best professional prototype and GT teams. I will be particularly pleased if we can succeed in finding a way to run cars in both the ALMS and the FIA WEC in 2013.”
With a two-series attack, Rebellion sponsors can get the best of both worlds—Rebellion’s cars can fight for the lead in ALMS, while being the best of the privateers in the WEC, gaining exposure in every possible market while adding to the team’s reputation of being fast, reliable winners wherever they race.
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