Rebellion Racing finished fifth and sixth overall in the 6 Hours of Imola, leading both the petrol powered LMP1 entrants and the Le Mans Series regulars behind the quartet of diesels contesting the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (ILMC).
The Swiss team's two Toyota powered Lolas were the class of the petrol fuelled field, leading the class-within-a-class for almost the complete six hours as the no.12 and no.13 car fought an internecine battle for top honours.
Two hours from the end of the race that battle was ended when Neel Jani was forced into an unscheduled pitstop to clean oil from a competitor's blown engine the windscreen of closed coupe car. Refuelled, and with fresh tyres, Jani's teammate Nico Prost started to mount comeback, running just 17 seconds behind the no.13 car of Andrea Belicchi and Jean-Christophe Boullion at the end of the race.
“Of course, for me, it’s a slight disappointment,” admitted Prost. “We had good pace. With a car as good as we had, it’s impossible not to be slightly disappointed. We have the fastest petrol car of the championship but that’s the third time we finished second! This time, we lost time because of race incidents. I had to go off the track to avoid a FLM leaving the pit and another car blew its engine just in front of Neel who had to stop to clean the windscreen. It’s a pity to fight so hard during 6 hours and to finish just 17 seconds behind the winner.
The result moved the team into joint first place in the Le Mans Series teams' championship with two rounds left, the next race being at Silverstone in early September. The team lie fourth – the best petrol runner – in the teams’ standings for the ILMC.
“I am very proud of the guys,” said team manager Bart Hayden. “They have all done a fantastic job this weekend. The cars were once again well prepared and showed good reliability, the pitstops were faultless and the drivers were amazing.”
“We are now in a really good position to fight for the win in the LMS championship as we are joint leader in the teams' classification. Once again our partners at Toyota Motorsport, Lola and Michelin have helped us to achieve this result. Since the beginning of the season we've had the fastest petrol LMP car, but now we have proved twice in two races to be the best petrol team.”