Rebellion Racing Signs Canal, Heinemeier Hansson for WEC

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Rebellion Racing has firmed up its LMP2 driver lineup for the upcoming World Endurance Championship season.

The former LMP1 privateer outfit confirmed that Julien Canal and David Heinemeier Hansson will be joining the team’s roster for 2017.

Three-time Le Mans class winner Canal will partner the previously announced Nicolas Prost and Bruno Senna in the #31 ORECA 07-Gibson.

Denmark’s Heinemeier Hansson is set to share the identical #13 car with Mathias Beche and Nelson Piquet Jr.

Both drivers are rated ‘silver’ by the FIA’s driver classification system. A silver driver is required for each entry in the LMP2 class of the World Endurance Championship.

“We are looking forward to a great season of racing in 2017 in the FIA World Endurance Championship and in June we hope to have another strong showing at Le Mans,” said team manager Bart Hayden.

“We are fortunate to benefit from a talented and experienced pool of drivers again this year. I’m convinced that they will all do a great job and work well together.”

Canal, 34, returns to the World Endurance Championship after a one-year spell in the European Le Mans Series with Greaves Motorsport.

The Frenchman is well-known for his LMP2 exploits, having won the WEC in 2015 with G-Drive Racing. Prior to that, Canal spent four years with GT squad Larbre Competition, with which he claimed class honours at Le Mans three years on the trot in 2010-2012.

Winning the WEC title two years ago gave Canal the impetus to return to the series for another crack with a highly-rated team.

“Rebellion Racing is a leading team and as soon as they announced their LMP2 program I contacted them”, he said.

“In addition, I know many drivers in the team who are also my friends and I had for several years positive feedback on the value of the team. After winning the WEC LMP2 in 2015, my desire to return to this championship was very high and I wanted to come back with a strong team, a team with the will to win and positive vibe. I cannot wait to drive the new Oreca 07 LMP2 car.”

“I know Bruno Senna, we get on very well, and with Nico our friendly relationship goes back for many years, I’m looking forward to sharing this car with them both. A great 2017 season awaits us !”

Like Canal, Heinemeier Hansson is a former WEC class champion, although not in the LMP2 category.

In 2014, Heinemeier Hansson helped Aston Martin to its GTE-Am class triumph, before going on to a brief one-year stint with Extreme Speed Motorsports in LMP2.

The 37-year-old’s last drive was in the GTE-Am category with Abu Dhabi Proton Racing in 2016.

“I’m thrilled to be part of Rebellion Racing’s new focus on LMP2,” said Heinemeier Hansson.

“Since I started racing at a top level, Rebellion Racing has stood at the pinnacle of the privateer tradition with pace, style, and a determination to see things through.”

I couldn’t wish for a better team to begin my fifth full season in the WEC and my sixth crack at the 24 hours of Le Mans. The competition is tougher than ever in LMP2, the cars are more exciting than ever, and together we will be ready as a team.”

Rebellion Racing will begin its 2017 season with the Rolex 24 at Daytona on January 28-29, running an ORECA 07 for Neel Jani, Sebastien Buemi, Stephane Sarrazin and Nick Heidfeld. The race is part of the team’s commitment to the four-round North American Endurance Cup this year.

The 2017 World Endurance Championship gets underway at Silverstone on April 16.

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