Rebellion Racing could make the switch to a different powerplant for the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship season, as part of its planned two-car LMP1 Privateer effort with an evolution of its Rebellion R-One cars.
The Anglo-Swiss team, which has scaled back to a single AER-powered entry for the remainder of this season, has explored multiple options, including Nissan’s V6 turbo from its now-defunct GT-R LM NISMO program, according to team manager Bart Hayden.
“We do have the option [to switch engines], and with most of the deals we do, it’s generally speaking a year-on-year basis. We can look to other options if we want to on the engine,” Hayden told Sportscar365.
It’s understood Nissan has been shopping around its three-liter powerplant to LMP1 Privateer teams, including ByKolles Racing, although Hayden said it’s only one of the options that’s out there.
Both Gibson and Judd are understood to be offering LMP1 Privateer engine options for next year as well.
“That might be something that would be quite interesting because the engines have sat there,” Hayden said of the Nissan. “I imagine it wouldn’t take a huge amount to take them up to the fuel-flow that we’re using today, so that could be one option.”
Hayden said a final decision on its 2017 package will be made this month.
“We have to think that by COTA you should have a decent idea,” he said. “We have some meetings next week that might start to narrow down the options.
“By the time we’re in COTA we should have a better idea of where we’re going to be.”
The decision for the team to reduce its 2016 program to a single car, Hayden said, was not influenced entirely by budget but rather planning for the future.”
Its No. 12 car has remained in Europe to spearhead development work, which will include revisions to the car’s aerodynamics, per the ACO’s revised LMP1 Privateer regulations for next year
“One of the reasons for us to drop down to one car was to spend more time on prepping for next year,” Hayden said.
“We’d like to get back into P1 and make use of the regulations that have been a little bit tweaked for next year.
“We’re working with ORECA at the moment, getting information back on what they think is possible, what they might give to us. We’re just processing that information at the moment.”
Hayden reaffirmed their plans to run two cars full-time next year, and remains hopeful of the subclass growing in the future.
However, with Strakka Racing ruling out a move to LMP1 and SMP Racing reportedly not yet building a car, it appears the privateer ranks may be a Rebellion and ByKolles-only affair again next year.
“I hear more rumors about people wanting to come in 2018 instead of 2017,” Hayden said.
“So you kind of think that you’re supporting the class whilst the others come, which I suppose we’ve been doing for awhile already.”