Photo : P.SAIVET - VSC Pictures
After one hour and seven minutes of racing, Neel Jani and the #2 Audi driven by Allan McNish made contact while battling for fourth place. Neel had to come back to the pits to change both the front nose and the rear end bodywork of the car. The team worked very quickly to replace both elements. Neel Jani rejoined the race in tenth position, with more than two laps lost to direct opponents. An hour later Neel had recovered up to seventh place. Nico Prost took over behind the wheel from Neel and added a valuable contribution to the #12 Lola-Toyota’s recovery. After four and a half hours of racing, the #12 Lola-Toyota was back in the top five, and quickly reducing the gap to the #24 Oak racing car, which was in fourth place at that time. When Nico gave the driving seat back to Neel Jani, the duo had recovered the two and a half laps that they had been behind the #24 car and Neel exited the pits only 18 seconds behind the #24 Oak Racing car. A few laps later, he was able to pass it on his first attempt, with just fifty minutes to the end of the race.
Bart Hayden (Team Manager Rebellion Racing): "Fourth place at the 6 Hours of Zhuhai is a result that ends our 2011 racing season in the best way that we could have hoped. We are the first petrol LMP1 in the race in front of very strong and professional teams. This result gave us the points to finish as the best privateer team of the 2011 season in the « Le Mans » endurance races. We are the best privateer LMP1 team in the ILMC, we won the Le Mans Series and we were the first petrol at Le Mans 24 Hours. Today was a race to test the nerves and we experienced a rollercoaster of emotions. To be strongly positioned in fourth place early in the race and then to have an incident that dropped us down to tenth was a low moment, but thanks to great work by the team in the pits and fantastic recovery driving, we overhauled the opposition and reclaimed fourth place at the end, to leave us on a high. The pace we had in our car today was evident for all to see. It’s been a long season, but we are immensly proud of what we have achieved, the whole team have really delivered this year and we look forward to having more successes in the future."
(Source: press information Rebellion Racing)
Photo: Zhuhai (Guangdong province, PEOPLES REPUBLIC OF CHINA), 6 HOURS ZHUHAI, QUALIFICATION, November 12, 2011. Fifth in qualifying, fourth in the race and third overall team classification.