Swiss team Rebellion Racing came away for the 1000km of Spa as the top petrol driven LMP1 even though both of the Lola coupe machines encountered problems during the six hour race.
It was always going to be difficult for the team – in their first year of Le Mans Series action – to make an impression on the highest echelons of the race, with seven diesel cars entered as the manufacturers prepare for Le Mans. However, the team set their sights on the honorary battle to finish as the best petrol car in the class, fighting with the Lola-Aston Martin of Signature Plus.
After managing to hold their own with the diesel army in the slippery early running the team fell back into the clutches of the French Aston Martin, battling with the black and white machine for much of the first half to the race. Unfortunately for Rebellion Racing their part in the battle was halved when the Nicolas Prost was forced to stop, just off the track after the La Source hairpin, the no.12 car having suffered transmission failure, ending its race being pulled behind the wall by the track marshalls.
Things soon got worse for the team when the no.13 car came into the pits with an electrical problem the team managed to cure and send the car and driver Andrea Belicchi back out, staying ahead of the Signature Plus car.
The race came to dramatic end for the team with Jean Christophe-Boullion, who had taken over the car during a late Safety Car period, stopped feet from the finish line with only minutes left. Happily Boullion was able to scrape out one more lap from the ailing car to finish sixth in LMP1, two laps clear of the Lola-Aston Martin to claim top LMP1 petrol honours, though not the best overall petrol, which went the way of the LMP2 class winner.
Still the result leave the no.13 car second in the LMP1 teams' championship and drivers Belicchi and Boullion third in the drivers' title, behind drivers from the diesel cars that aren't entered into the full LMS championship.
“After this race the team in second in the Le Mans Series championship,”said team manager Bart Hayden. “This puts us in position for the title with three races still to go. This title is out main goal this season.”
“The race was going to be difficult for us because of the strong opposition of Audi and Peugeot. This race was a part of our preparation for the Le Mans 24 Hours which will take place in a
month. We are already working to solve the problems we had today. We will work with our partners so that they are resolved to time for the 24 hours.”