|Rebellion Racing is aiming for another strong results at Le Mans|
|Monday, 11 June 2012 09:31|
In under a week’s time, REBELLION Racing will be putting the team’s two Lola-Toyota B12/60 Coupé LMP1 prototypes through the toughest endurance race in the 80th edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours on 16-17 June.
REBELLION Racing finished as the best petrol powered car in the 2011 edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours, a result that helped the team to finish the season as the best Privateer in the championship behind Peugeot’s and Audi’s factory teams.
REBELLION Racing is heading to Le Mans with confidence and optimism. The team were satisfied with the Le Mans test day last Sunday (3rd of June). All the latest developments pleased the drivers and the engineers were reassured about the potential of the car and its line of progression for the forthcoming race.
The former Formula One driver, German Nick Heidfeld, will return to Le Mans for the first time since 1999, when he was there with the AMG-Mercedes factory squad in the #5 Mercedes CLR. It was his first and only participation in the legendary endurance race.
The 24 Hour endurance epic begins at 15:00 on Saturday 16 June with live television coverage on Eurosport and commentary via Radio Le Mans (www.radiolemans.com).
Bart Hayden, REBELLION Racing Team Manager : "The latest improvements on our cars are all positive and should help us improve our performance in the 24 Hours race. We have really strong driver line-ups and our technical partners at Lola, TMG and Michelin have all worked hard to help us develop the cars. We will be aiming to deliver our optimum performance and with a little good fortune, we hope to figure strongly in the final classifications of the race, we consider repeating 2011’s result as a minimum target.”
Nick Heidfeld, Lola-Toyota #12 : “I am really looking forward to this new challenge and I am especially excited to be in a position to target a good result in the Le Mans 24 Hours. My last, and only previous participation to date at Le Mans was in 1999 which was a long while ago. When I did my first laps last Sunday during the Test day it was for me as if I was at the track for the first time as I had no memories of it, I now can’t wait to be back on track on Wednesday for the first sessions of the main event of the season and to race through the night later in the week! “
Neel Jani, Lola-Toyota #12 : “As last year, our goal is to be the best privateer team and best non-hybrid petrol car finishing. We aim to do better than last year, P5 would be perfect. But it will be hard work because in addition to the 6 factory cars of Audi and Toyota, we'll have to face the HPD cars and the Dome that will be very strong competitors. Even though we have a good team and a good car this year, to achieve a strong result will be hard because the competition will be tougher than ever! “
Nicolas Prost, Lola-Toyota #12 : “Each year I go to Le Mans with the same approach. Because this is a long and special race, even if you have raced there several times, you need to approach it with some humility. The team has improved a lot since 2010. Last year we achieved the best result we could expect. The beginning of this season has been very good. We will target again the best possible result: best petrol car and we will see if we can expect something better if some of the factory cars encounter problems... “
Andrea Belicchi, Lola-Toyota #13 : “Le Mans is the biggest race of the year ! But for me, this year will be a special one. The recent earthquakes in Italy hit particularly hard in my home town, and a lot of my family and friends have been affected. Around my house has been destroyed. I have taken a few days of holiday since the Test day, and I will now be able to be focused 100% on the race ! I really enjoy driving at Le Mans with its fantastic corners! My goal will be the same as always, trying to achieve a great result.“
Harold Primat, Lola-Toyota #13 : “I have been part of teams that have had good races at Le Mans in the past. This year, we have the potential to secure a very good result. But because of the performance of the factory cars, we won't have full control on our result in the overall classifications. Nevertheless, we are aiming for the best result that we can. We'll try to have a clean and incident free race. The package we have now will help us to achieve that. There is a very good relationship between the drivers, and that helps us to deal with the pressure of the race. Everyone is pushing hard in the same direction, there is a challenging spirit but no rivalry. I think that is what helps make the success of a team in endurance racing. “
Jeroen Bleekemolen, Lola-Toyota #13 : “I'm happy to be here again. We had a good result last year being the fastest petrol in the race. Last race at Spa we saw that we have a strong package, everything is looking good. Le Mans is the race that everyone wants to be part of and I enjoy particularly racing here in the top category. I’ve made no special preparations but the feeling is always different when you are getting ready for the Le Mans Race. It's a great event and it is great to be part of it !”