- 4th place overall in the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours- 3rd Top 6 finish in four consecutive years- Only LMP1-L team to break Factory LMP1-H team domination at 2014 Le Mans 24- Team extends its lead in the FIA WEC Trophy for LMP1-L teams
REBELLION Racing repeated their success of 2012 by finishing the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours in fourth place overall, despite there being seven LMP1-H factory cars (from Audi, Toyota and Porsche) in the race.
The REBELLION R-One Toyota powered car #12, driven by Nick Heidfeld, Nicolas Prost and Mathias Beche avoided any serious mechanical or traffic issues through the 24 Hours endurance race. During the early stages of the race when a heavy downpour hit the Le Mans circuit, the drivers made no mistakes whilst several other competitors crashed.
During the night and early morning some minor problems pushed the car, the mechanics and the engineers to their limits but each little issue was rectified with the minimum amount of time lost. The last hours saw some of the LMP1-H factory cars suffering from mechanical issues, forcing them to stop in their garages for repairs or retirement. The REBELLION R-One Toyota powered #12 overtook the cars that were being repaired and took the chequered flag in fourth place overall under the applause of the crew, their partners and a large number of fans in the grandstands.
The only disappointment for the team in the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hour race was the retirement of the sister REBELLION R-One car, #13 driven by Andrea Belicchi, Dominik Krahaimer and Fabio Leimer. All three drivers drove the car in the race and showed good pace in some tricky driving conditions before the trouble hit. Just before the 6th hour of the race, the car had to be retired when it suffered a powertrain failure.
Fourth place overall is a great success for the Swiss team as the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours was the first 24 hour race for the REBELLION R-One and only the second race for the car after the 6 Hours of Spa last month. The REBELLION R-One first hit the track for a shakedown less than two month ago, on April 17th. Reaching such a level of reliability is a great achievement for the Team’s mechanics, engineers and Oreca personnel involved in the R-One Programme, rewarding their total dedication and hard work over the last few months. This race result is amazing for a private team racing with a much smaller budget and fewer resources compared to the factory teams, the endurance version of David vs Goliath. In many ways, this fourth place finish in this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours is the call for a "rebellion", maybe the call to some teams who were waiting in the wings thinking of joining the LMP1-L category to add more competition and more challenges to the LMP1 class in general.
The REBELLION Racing team members will now get some rest before being back in their workshop to prepare the R-Ones and equipment for the second part of the season, visiting the USA, Japan, China, Bahrain and Brazil in a three month period. Next race will be the 6 Hours of COTA in Austin, Texas, USA, on the 20th of September.
Bart Hayden, REBELLION Racing Team Manager : "I don’t think we can quite believe this result! In the space of only two months, the first shakedown has taken place and now we have finished in fourth place in the 24 Hours of Le Mans beating three factory cars. The whole team has given their all to prepare the cars and the drivers drove really well to look after the car when needed and to push when we were challenging for positions. We’re all exhausted, but delighted too. It’s a shame that one of our cars had to retire, but I don’t think many people outside of the team were expecting us to finish. Standing on the podium at the end of the race and seeing the huge crowd was an amazing experience, one that I’d like to repeat again next year.”