ORECA technical director David Floury has revealed the tight timeframe for the newly announced Rebellion R13, which will only take to the track for the first time a few days prior to the Prologue in April.
The French constructor confirmed on Monday that it has been commissioned to build the Anglo-Swiss squad’s new LMP1 non-hybrid car, which will re-enter top-level prototype competition for the 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship season.
Floury said the project was only green-lighted in September, leaving less than seven months to design, build and develop the new car, the timeframe typically given for the design phase only.
“The timing is tense because the R13 will take the track shortly before the Prologue,” Floury told Endurance-Info. “This is a brand-new LMP1 project that is in a very short time.
“It’s the same as with the R-One. Each time, we say that this is the last project that can be done in such a short time.”
While technical details have yet to be released, Floury said selected components, primarily the chassis, will be carried over from its championship-winning Oreca 07 LMP2 car.
LMP1 rules, however, differ in other areas, including suspension, safety and drivetrain, which has seen ORECA develop bespoke components for the R13.
“ORECA has not started from a completely white sheet because we can draw inspiration from what we have done in the past,” Floury said.
Floury said their knowledge with the installation of Gibson’s LMP2 engine made it logical decision to go with the company’s new, upstaged LMP1 powerplant option.
“This is an evolution of the LMP2 engine that we know well,” he said. “The people at Gibson are competent, we appreciate the work with them.”
It’s expected that the car’s rollout will come at Paul Ricard, site of the two-day pre-season test, which is mandatory for all WEC competitors.
Rebellion will campaign two of the Gibson-engined cars in the entire ‘Super Season’, featuring the revised lineup headlined by Porsche LMP1 refugees Andre Lotterer and Neel Jani.
LMP2 Evo Updates on Verge of BoP
Floury, meanwhile, has criticized the FIA and ACO’s decision regarding Evo allowances for the three other LMP2 constructors, indicating that it’s now close to becoming a Balance of Performance-enforced category.
The Ligier JS P217, Dallara P217 and Riley Mk. 30 were all granted aero updates, along with significant mechanical developments for the Riley, following the first year of the new LMP2 regulations, which saw the Oreca 07 have a clear advantage.
“It’s not really my idea of motorsport,” Floury said.
“We’re playing more and more with the knobs while we’ve claimed from the beginning that LMP2 must remain outside of any BoP. We’re getting there little by little.
“I understand it for GT and touring cars because in both cases they share [a foundation] from production cars.”
Laurent Mercier contributed to this report