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Rebellion to Withdraw from Motorsport After Le Mans

Rebellion to cease racing activities after more than a decade in motorsport…

Photo: MPS Agency

The Rebellion Corporation has announced that it will cease its motorsport business operations after this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.

This will include the end of the company’s involvement in the FIA World Endurance Championship through Rebellion Racing and the upcoming Peugeot top-level prototype.

It will also affect Rebellion’s support of entries into the Dakar Rally.

A statement issued by the Swiss company on Thursday confirmed that the decision to cease all motorsport activities was made following a strategic board meeting.

Its motorsport withdrawal will come as the parent company aims to “reorient its investment policy”, according to the statement.

Rebellion Racing currently competes in the LMP1 class of the WEC and was set to support Peugeot’s return to the top level of endurance racing in 2022.

It currently fields a single full-season car in the WEC and will add a second Rebellion R13 Gibson to its stable for the 6 Hours of Spa in May and Le Mans in June.

Rebellion Corporation president Alexandre Pesci said: “Motorsport has been a great resource for Rebellion.

“The circuits have been exceptional showcases and an important sounding board for our Brand with a very wide audience.

“The returns on investment of these activities in the motorsports business have been more than satisfactory.

“We are giving ourselves time to redefine the contours of our business, but the effects of this decision will be immediate for the racing department as soon as the WEC season ends.

“These are not easy decisions to make and we are saddened that we will not be able to meet our past commitments for the years to come.”

Rebellion’s involvement in motorsport began in 2007 when Pesci, who was then in charge of Speedy Racing, and Hugh Hayden of Sebah Automotive joined forces on a new project.

The partnership’s first full season of prototype racing came in 2008 with a Lola-Judd LMP2 before it made the step to LMP1 the following year.

The team became Rebellion Racing in 2010 and continued to run Lola prototypes full-time until the end of the 2013 season, following its second consecutive outright victory at Motul Petit Le Mans.

Rebellion introduced its own prototype, the R-One, in 2014 and campaigned it in the WEC for two and a half seasons before opting to spend the 2017 season in the WEC LMP2 class, which it won with Bruno Senna and Julien Canal.

With substantial support from its LMP2 supplier ORECA, Rebellion introduced its current R13 LMP1 car at the start of the 2018-19 WEC ‘Super Season’.

“The 24 Hours of Le Mans 2020 will be our last race and we will make it a point of honor to end the endurance adventure on a positive note and enrich an already excellent record of achievements,” said Rebellion CEO Calim Bouhadra.

“We would like to thank our partners for having trusted us and for having taken up so many challenges together with a rebellious spirit.

“As a private team, we are proud to have written a page in motorsport. I am convinced that the Peugeot brand’s challenge in WEC will be a great success in the future, which I regret not being able to attend.”

Thursday’s announcement stated that Rebellion will “eventually turn its attention to other challenges” following its exit from motorsport.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365 and e-racing365, with a focus on the FIA World Endurance Championship and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

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