Development of the new Rebellion R-One LMP1 car is on track, according to team manager Bart Hayden, who said plans are still in place for a two-car effort to debut in next year’s FIA World Endurance Championship season-opener at Silverstone.
The Anglo-Swiss squad announced the new venture with ORECA in June, which has seen the French manufacturer begin design of the all-new prototype contender that will compete in the LMP1-L category next year.
“We’ve had quite regular meetings,” Hayden told Sportscar365. “I was over in France [three] weeks ago. We had the drivers involved and took a look at what was happening. Things are progressing. The schedule is still that we’re aiming to have the first car on track in the middle of March.
“That’s obviously a little late when compared to the likes of Porsche but I think for where we are, it’s difficult to be much earlier than that.”
Hayden expects the first public debut to come at the official WEC pre-season test at Paul Ricard on March 28-29, where each team will be required to be present with at least one car.
Unlike the factory entries from Audi, Toyota and Porsche, which will run obligatory hybrid systems, the Rebellion R-One will not feature any energy recovery systems, a decision Rebellion took early in the car’s development.
“We’re hoping that having a conventional style car, i.e.: a non-hybrid, with an engine that’s an evolution of [the 2013] one, hopefully we won’t have too many teething problems,” Hayden said. “I’m sure there will be a few. But hopefully we can identify those early on and rectify those before we get into any serious testing and before the first race.”
As for potential customers, Hayden downplayed the potential of additional R-Ones on the grid next year, although the team has received inquires from teams to purchase its existing fleet of Lola B12/60 Toyotas, which will still be allowed to compete in the LMP1 class next year.
“People have approached us but more towards the interest in grandfathering the Lolas we have,” he said. “The Lola has been a good car and it’s probably an attractive proposition because it’s reliable, competitive, parts are available through Multimatic and Haas. It’s one where if people want to get involved, they can do so in a low risk way.”