After not appearing on the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring grid for four years, Rebellion Racing return to the second major US endurance race with a single entry. The drivers on board the #13 Rebellion Racing Oreca 07 Gibson LMP2 for this weekend’s race are Neel Jani, Nick Heidfeld, and Sebastien Buemi.
The trio was joined by Stephane Sarrazin for the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona at the opening race of the season. Rebellion Racing finished 8th in class but 31st overall after a fault with the car saw them in the garage for a while and took them out of contention for the podium.
The last time Rebellion Racing took part in the 12 Hours of Sebring was in 2013, where they entered the Lola Toyota LMP1. 2013 was the last time that the powerful LMP1 cars race around Sebring, with the race regulations changing so that the LMP1 cars could not partake in the race anymore. It was a similar start to the race as the team have this year; on board the car was Jani, Heidfeld, and Nicolas Prost. It was a strong line-up and a fast car. The team was able to achieve an overall podium, taking third place behind an Audi 1-2, and being the first of the American Le Mans Series runners to take the checkered flag.
After a disappointing Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, Rebellion Racing are hoping that their strong driver line-up, full of very experienced endurance drivers, and their higher level of experience with the Oreca 07 will give them a more successful result come checkered flag on Sunday Morning.
Jani was a part of the original Rebellion Racing line-up that took on the 12 Hours of Sebring four years ago. Ahead of the race weekend, he expressed his excitement to be returning to the track after four years of being away. “We finished P3 overall last time we were here and the aim is clearly to do better this time. We are a bit on the backfoot compared to other teams as we missed the recent collective test session here, but we will try our best to do well.”
Heidfeld was also one of the drivers to be on the team last time Rebellion Racing took on the 12 Hours of Sebring. “The 12 Hours of Sebring is one of my favourite motorsport events in the world,” he said. “I hope the atmosphere will be as great as it was the last times when we competed here. The fans are crazy in a positive way, they are huge motorsport enthusiasts. Sebring is another circuit with a character and our target is to be in the mix for a top result.”
Buemi is the only driver on the team that has not raced around Sebring before. “I am definitely looking forward to discover this amazing circuit,” he commented. “After Daytona I am eager to jump back in the car and give my best. The target is clear we want to fight at the front with my team mates and the entire Rebellion Racing team.”
“As we always do, we are heading to the race week of the 12 Hours of Sebring focussed to achieve the best results.” Bart Hayden, the Rebellion Racing team principal said in preparation of their second race of the season. “We are absolutely delighted to be back at Sebring.
“It’s been a very busy but productive break since the last race at Daytona. We had a lot of work to do on both sides of the Atlantic ocean; in Europe to set up for the FIA World Endurance Championship and here at our base in Atlanta to get prepared for this race. We are happy with our preparations and are ready to give our best.”