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DC Racing Disputing Laurent’s Rebellion Contract

Jackie Chan DCR JOTA team co-owner David Cheng alleges Thomas Laurent does not have contract with Rebellion…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Jackie Chan DCR JOTA team co-owner David Cheng is disputing Thomas Laurent’s alleged contract with Rebellion Racing for the 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship season, stating that “nothing is signed” with the Anglo-Swiss squad.

The 19-year-old Frenchman enjoyed a standout rookie season in LMP2 competition, claiming three victories, as well as leading the 24 Hours of Le Mans overall at one point, en route to a 1-2 class finish for the Chinese-backed team.

While having been announced on Wednesday as one of Rebellion’s new signings for its move back to LMP1, Cheng alleges that Laurent does not currently have a contract with the team and is still discussing his options for next  year.

The WEC Rookie-of-the-Year was not present at the team’s event in Switzerland to announce its 2018 program, despite a quote from Laurent appearing in Rebellion’s press release.

A Rebellion spokesperson, or team manager Bart Hayden, have yet to return Sportcar365’s inquiry on this matter.

“Of course for a young and upcoming driver, a move to LMP1 would be logical, as Thomas has done a great job with us through out the season, at Le Mans and was really impressive at the rookie test,” Cheng said in a statement supplied to Sportscar365.

“I knew that many people have expressed interest in Thomas, but last month we had a letter of intent already to renew Thoma’s contract for our line up of the WEC ‘Super Season.’

“I just saw Thomas last night at our team’s end of year Christmas party last night and he had told me that ‘nothing is signed with Rebellion.’ So of course the announcement came as a surprise.”

Cheng, whose team is set to remain in LMP2 next season despite evaluating a move to the top class, said he understands Laurent’s decision to look at other drives but claims the deal that was announced is not valid. 

Rebellion and DC Racing enjoyed a fierce fight for the LMP2 World Championship this year, which went in favor of Bruno Senna and Julien Canal in the No. 31 Rebellion entry following a drama-filled season finale in Bahrain.

“We developed Thomas since the beginning of his career, but we would never stop Thomas from exploring further opportunities, he’ll always be part of our family, if he chooses to race with us or at another team,” Cheng said.

“Ultimately the choice will be his where he feels he wants to go, if he chooses to go with the other team in LMP1 or GTE we will wish him the best and consequently we will have to make some adjustments for our program.

“It’s a shame how the situation developed, but we’ve been discussing as a team on potential courses of action to take, while we await final decisions and signed contracts.”

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

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Reece

    December 16, 2017 at 8:26 pm

    This is a bit of a non issue tbh, he doesn’t have a contract with either party and although it appears Rebellion jumped the gun, DC isn’t going to fight Laurent on whichever decision he makes.

    • Ben

      December 17, 2017 at 4:34 am

      Agree with Reece No issue here

    • Blaneysellstrashbags@Ring24

      December 17, 2017 at 12:10 pm

      Yea agree. My first thought is he was still under contract in P2 but since he is in effect a free agent I dont understand what the issue is and really why its even being reported in the first place.

  2. Mike S

    December 16, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    The silly season hasn’t just played a shell game with us enthusiasts. The lawyers as well. Goes to show you how much movement there has been.

  3. Matt

    December 17, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    What’s the point of letters of intent? Why even bring it up if its not legally binding

  4. Carefull with that Eugene, axe.

    December 18, 2017 at 7:08 am

    “if he chooses to go with the other team in LMP1 or GTE” Just imagine the amount of talent wasted when a guy like Laurent races in GTE.

    • David Chaste

      December 18, 2017 at 8:42 am

      When you need a pay day, many F1 hopefuls have taken the factory GT rides, or the GTE Am ride along side the billionaire guy. Darren Turner, Antonio Garcia, Oliver Gavin, Marco sorenson, Pipo Derani, Richie Stanaway, etc, etc..

      Antonio Garcia was supposed to be as similarly talented as Fernando Alonso. But Alonso had money and Garcia did not.

      But don’t worry even in GTE he will find guys who will teach him a lesson or two.

      • Carefull with that Eugene, axe.

        December 19, 2017 at 6:13 am

        I know, but still, GTEs are slow and they must be hardly frustrating for real drivers to compete with them.

        And yes, its talent wasted, imagine all that guys in real fast cars.

  5. David Chaste

    December 18, 2017 at 8:49 am

    Thomas Laurent is now a Gold rated driver. I would be scouring the GP3 or F3 paddock for fast and well backed drivers willing to make their family money go further, since they would in effect be rated silvers.

    In that LeMans wining P2, Laurent was the “am” driver with Ho Ping Tung and Oliver Jarvis. But now that he is a gold, they need to find another fast silver.

    Thomas probably to longer wants to pay for his ride either, since he is now gold rated, and has proven his speed.

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