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Rebellion Confirms NAEC Program; Jani, Buemi, Heidfeld for Rolex 24

Neel Jani, Sebastien Buemi, Nick Heidfeld to drive Rebellion Oreca 07…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Rebellion Racing will return to U.S. sports car racing next year, having confirmed Wednesday a Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup program with a single Oreca 07 Gibson featuring a star-studded lineup for the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Newly crowned FIA World Endurance Champion Neel Jani will return to the Anglo-Swiss squad, joined by Toyota factory driver Sebastien Buemi and ex-Formula One ace Nick Heidfeld for the twice-around-the-clock Florida endurance classic.

Its driver lineup for the remaining three rounds have yet to be announced.

The Bart Hayden-led team competed in five American Le Mans Series races between 2012-13, scoring back-to-back overall wins at the Petit Le Mans.

“After our success in America… we always wanted to find a way back to competing in the USA,” Hayden said.

“We are very excited to be able to return with a new prototype and to race in the North American Endurance Cup in 2017.

“Reuniting Nick with Neel and adding Seb gives us a top line driver lineup and signals our intention which is to compete at the highest level and hopefully to win again in the USA.”

IMSA President and COO Scott Atherton added: “Rebellion definitely fits the profile for our Prototype class as a world-class, professional prototype race team.

“We expect the level of competition to be at an all-time high in the Prototype class next year, attracting top teams from North America and Europe, and we couldn’t be more pleased to have Rebellion as part of it.”

Rebellion’s full 2017 program will be announced at a later date but is understood to include at least one full-season entry in the WEC, with a targeted two-car entry at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The team shifts its focus to LMP2 competition next year, after more than five years in the LMP1 ranks.

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

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