With fourth place overall at the Six Hours of Fuji Rebellion Racing secured the FIA Endurance Trophy for LMP1 teams – the award given to best privateer squad in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).
Between the team’s pair to Toyota engine Lola Coupes they led the privateer race for the duration of the race, in fourth behind the trio of manufacturer backed hybrids contesting the overall win. In the early stages it was the #13 car of Harold Primat and Andrea Belicchi, but the sister car of Neel Jani and Nicolas Prost soon established itself in fourth place, eventually leading home privateer rivals JRM and – more importantly – Strakka Racing, the British team Rebellion’s nearest challengers in the points’ standings.
“By finishing in fourth place overall,” Jani said. “We achieved the maximum result we could expect in today’s race. We have had the week-end we wanted! We secured the Teams’ title, that was our main goal for this season, and are now third in the FIA WEC Drivers World Championship. The fight for the drivers’ Championship podium is in our own hands.”
Co-driver Prost added; “The team has reached its goal today! We did a perfect season this year: we secured the FIA Endurance Trophy for LMP1 Teams, winning five races in seven.”
“We’ve had a super race today. All week during the free practice sessions, we ran the car with high fuel and old tyres, so our laptimes weren’t spectacular, but we found a good setup and, in doing so, a good car for the race. The team is definitely not the same team that I joined in 2009; it has advanced and we are now a team that is able to consistently race for the top place of privateer LMP1 field”.
Their championship victory was part of a double celebration for Toyota on home soil, the manufacturer’s team winning the race overall with the TS030 Hybrid.
“The FIA Endurance Trophy for LMP1 Teams has been our target this season and we’ve won it with still one race to go!” team manager Bart Hayden beamed. “It’s an amazing result, but fully deserved by each and every member of the team who have all strived so hard for this success. The drivers drove sensibly as well as quickly today, managing to keep out of trouble, whilst still lighting up the timing screens. The engineers and mechanics have tuned and prepared the cars to the highest level all year and our finishing record and results this season show that.”
“I’d like to thank Michelin for the great tyres, Toyota Motorsport GmbH and their colleagues from Toyota Motorsport Division who have been here supporting us this weekend and our major partners at Rebellion Timepieces and LEMO Connectors; it’s a Team championship that we have won, and we have all won it together.”
“We’re also looking forward to the final WEC round in Shanghai, we’ll go there with no pressure, and perhaps we’ll even find time for a small celebration there too!”
Primat and Belecchi, having led early on fell to seventh place finish, missing out in the privateer podium.
“We didn’t get the race result that we were expecting this weekend,” said Belicchi, “we were in contention, but didn’t reach the podium. But, the team has done a good job all season and we are all rewarded by this Championship win. I’m very happy for the team.”