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Rebellion Not Ruling Out Return to LMP1

Rebellion Racing not ruling out return to LMP1 ranks…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Rebellion Racing team manager Bart Hayden has not ruled out a future return to the LMP1 ranks, amid the influx of new constructors and a potential entry rebound to the privateer subclass by as early as next year.

The Anglo-Swiss squad makes its LMP2 debut in the FIA World Endurance Championship this weekend with a pair of Oreca 07 Gibsons, including one chassis it ran at the Rolex 24 at Daytona and Twelve Hours of Sebring.

Hayden, who along with the team’s Engineering and Operations Manager, Ian Smith, attended Thursday’s technical presentation of the new Ginetta LMP1 car, expressed interest in a return but only if two conditions are met.

“What we would want to see is we wouldn’t want to be the only ones there doing it… and also the competitiveness of the package,” Hayden told Sportscar365.

“What you don’t want to see is a car that’s four seconds away from the factory guys. It loses its mojo a little bit if that’s the case.

“At the moment, in P2, we’re all fighting for finishing the first behind the factory guys, and really that’s what we’ve been doing for the past few years. And we have competition, and the cost should be less.

“To go back to how we were requires a compelling proposition, and I would say that this is very interesting, but not [yet] compelling.”

Ginetta Chairman Lawrence Tomlinson has targeted up to six of its LMP1 cars to be on the grid next year, alongside a planned two-car effort from SMP Racing with its new Dallara-built BR1 prototype, and the likely return of ByKolles with an all-new car.

Hayden, meanwhile, admitted there are a number of factors to consider, including the global specification of LMP2, which allows the Anglo-Swiss squad to compete in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with the same car.

“The thing that you have to bear in mind is this car, the Ginetta car, won’t be eligible in the U.S.,” he said. “If we want to have a presence in the U.S., we need to keep the [Oreca] 07.”

Having run Oreca-built Rebellion R-Ones in the WEC from 2014-2016, Hayden said it would be “quite a tall task” for Ginetta to be ready for the beginning of next year, yet praised the constructor for its lineup of technical partners.

Hayden, though, has effectively ruled out a switch back for next year, having just recently purchased three new Oreca LMP2 chassis.

“We’ve just invested in new cars and [the Ginetta] would be an unproven product,” he said.

“I think two years to do LMP2, you’d still have a value in what you had because you could potentially sell it to a team, and they’ve got two years that they can still use it.

“You could perhaps get something back, and by then the car should have done testing and been proven reliably, and things like that.

“I would think it would be perhaps of interest in 2019 because these things, you can’t rush them. Even the factory guys throw their arms in the air when people try to impose change on them quickly.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Talentless Hack

    April 13, 2017 at 11:18 am

    Smoke meet mirrors??

  2. Tyler Sanders

    April 13, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    That Rebellion R-One was such a gorgeous car to me.

  3. IMSA>WEC

    April 13, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    Why? LMP1 is manufacture dominated and always will be unless they gut the hybrid rules and the asinine prices that comes with running in LMP1

    • WEC>>IMSA

      April 13, 2017 at 1:41 pm

      Why? I tell you why: From 2018, the engagement of Ginetta and SMP will show that there is room for a privateer fight behind the factory LMP1 cars, probably added by DPi prototypes into the private LMP1 class for Le Mans. LMP2 is dominated by the “Silver”-rated drivers and is very restricted, whereas in LMP1 also a private team can be a good platform for technology with their own chassis and for good pro lineups.

      • WEC=YAWNFEST

        April 13, 2017 at 2:06 pm

        It’s not a recognized class. Right now the whole P1-P is just traffic for the hybrids to get around, and don’t tell me it’ll be close this year. There’s no way the ACO will let the privateers have a chance at overalls with the money Toyota and Porsche are bringing to the table. I don’t know how teams can go into racing spending that kind of money knowing that 1st place is NEVER going to be in reach.

        • Avery Butt

          April 13, 2017 at 2:43 pm

          It’ll be closer. 😂

          • GR88

            April 13, 2017 at 9:48 pm

            You’ve obviously not been following developments closely. The target for new P1-NH’s (non hybrids) is within 2 seconds on regular circuits and within 3-4 seconds at Le Mans.

            This pace would put them well ahead of P2 and within striking distance of P1-H. Many teams in the paddock, and beyond, want the challenge of engineering and developing cars. P2 fits a very specific role, like F2, it’s more of a driver/strategy class, than engineering expertise.

            With very serious P1-NH programs from Ginetta and SMP/Dallara, the class is gaining momentum.

      • Cactus Tony

        April 13, 2017 at 2:59 pm

        “LMP1 also a private team can be a good platform for technology with their own chassis and for good pro lineups.”

        Yeah, it’s working out like gangbusters for Kolles.

        If the 2018 P1 privateer field is bigger than 2 Ginettas, 1 SMP and 1 Kolles, I’ll eat my hat.

  4. Tyler Sanders

    April 13, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    “don’t know how teams can go into racing spending that kind of money knowing that 1st place is NEVER going to be in reach.”

    People do it all the time in F1. It’s more about private teams having more free will of creating there own car and being unique. Also not running the garbage Gibson V8 and running Ligier, Dallara or Oreca chassis.

    • Steven

      April 13, 2017 at 5:23 pm

      Yes, the same “garbage Gibson V8 and Oreca chassis” that just shattered the lap record at Silverstone by 5 seconds?

      Get the LMP2’s off that garbage Continental tire and you’ll see just how quick they are. Just like last year comparing with CotA that the WEC LMP2’s were nearly 3 seconds/lap faster than the IMSA P class.

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