Rebellion Racing has hit major setback heading into qualifying for tomorrow’s Six Hours of Circuit of The Americas, with an engine change needed following issues in Free Practice 2.
Bruno Senna was at the wheel of the Gibson-powered No. 1 Rebellion R13 when the engine’s left bank began smoking, resulting in the Brazilian pulling off track just past the halfway mark in the two-hour session.
Co-driver Gustavo Menezes had set the quickest time of the session, a 1:48.804 lap, prior to the engine failure.
It was the quickest time of the weekend in the compressed two-day weekend that sees qualifying take place this evening.
The ORECA-run team had the car back in the garage before the end of the session, in an attempt to change engines in time for LMP qualifying that gets underway at 6:10 p.m. local time.
Menezes improved on his pace-setting time from the morning by more than 1 second and ended FP2 nearly seven-tenths quicker than the No. 8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid, which had a drama-filled session that included having its right-side door become ajar and losing bodywork while going over a curb.
The No. 7 Toyota was again amid the LMP2 field, due to its Success Handicap this weekend, having posted the seventh best time overall.
LMP2 was led by the No. 29 Racing Team Nederland Oreca 07 Gibson of Nick de Vries, who laid down a 1:49.863 lap time.
The Dutchman was only 1.059 seconds off the overall pace-setting Rebellion.
The No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR led GTE-Pro, thanks to a late flyer by Michael Christensen.
The No. 95 Aston Martin Vantage GTE had been atop the time sheets, despite bringing out a red flag early on due to a loose left-rear wheel for Marco Sorensen.
The car was recovered and returned to action in the closing minutes.
The Gianmaria Bruni and Richard Lietz-driven No. 91 Porsche was third in class, with the GTE-Am pace-setting No. 77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche good enough for fourth amongst the GTE contenders.
Corvette Racing showed improved pace with its WEC debuting Chevrolet Corvette C8.R, ending up sixth in class, eight-tenths slower than the No. 95 Aston.
However, it was one of several cars to hit curb-related issues in the session, resulting in an extended trip to the garage to replace the Corvette’s left-front shock.
The session came to an end with the No. 88 Dempsey-Proton Porsche of Adrien De Leener stopping on track with less than ten minutes to go, which led to a red flag with six minutes left on the clock.
Qualifying for the GTE class contenders gets underway at 5:40 p.m. local time.
RESULTS: Free Practice 2