24 Hours of Le Mans – Can a Rebellion change the status quo?
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24 Hours of Le Mans – Can a Rebellion change the status quo?

Rebellion Racing’s Rebellion R-One has finished on the World Endurance Championship podium twice this year, at Silverstone and Spa-Francorchamps. With the LM P1 hybrids plagued with gremlins in the early part of this season, Rebellion could perhaps carry the day at Le Mans 24 Hours this year.

Rebellion Racing’s Rebellion R-One has finished on the World Endurance Championship podium twice this year, at Silverstone and Spa-Francorchamps. With the LM P1 hybrids plagued with gremlins in the early part of this season, Rebellion could perhaps carry the day at Le Mans 24 Hours this year.

"I feel the team as a whole is making headway", says Alexandre Imperatori, driver of the #13 Rebellion R-One. Yet he remains humble. "We have improved the reliability. But at Le Mans, things are always different. We’re going to try and run a careful, cautious race, with no mistakes. The hybrids are not immune to hiccups but we’re under no illusions, they’re still the favourites. We would be very lucky to clinch a podium place."

This is the Swiss driver’s second season with Rebellion Racing and he shuns the team’s qualification as an “outsider”. “We no longer look at Audi’s, Porsche’s and Toyota’s times because we can’t compete with them. Just because we’ve had two podium finishes, it doesn’t mean to say we’re in the same league. In terms of pure performance we’re not on the same level. They would have to run into technical trouble for us to get the upper hand. But then, if it rains, that could also put a spanner in the works in either camp. We now use Dunlops but the hybrids are all on Michelins. It didn’t rain on Test Day so it’s difficult to know where we are as far as tyres are concerned."

Nicolas Prost, driver of the #12 Rebellion R-One has the same reservations. "We are completely focussed on our own work and we’ll see where it gets us. I would say our reliability is satisfactory but we can’t cry victory just yet. We’ll apply the same conservative strategy as in previous races. At Le Mans, we have often finished between the factory cars and our direct competitors. We haven’t got what it takes to compete with the hybrids yet we’re better than our direct opponent. In 2011, 2012 and 2014 when we came 6th and 4th, we weren’t just waiting for the others to run into trouble. They were carefully run races. The idea was to spend as little time as possible in the pits - and that’s still our main aim."

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