Rebellion Racing have dropped back to a sole full season entry for the 2019/20 FIA World Endurance Championship.
The team have explained the withdrawal of the #3 car due to financial and logistical reasons, reminding that the #3 was never going to run at Silverstone, but a last minute turn around saw them bring the car to the British circuit. This decision, Rebellion CEO Calim Bouhadra explained to Sportscar 365, saw them make a very late call to stop their freight heading to Japan so it could bring the car back to Europe (where it had been for the WEC Prologue).
“Since the beginning, we’ve put all of our energies in the last two months to have two cars in the full championship,” Bouhadra said. “We took the risk to buy two entries for the [2019-20] championship. The problem is after [that] we had the reality of the budget, and to make it happen we had to find the proper sponsors.
“Finally it was not enough for us to do the full season. We unfortunately took the decision to say, ‘OK we can just do one car for the season and concentrate our energy on the new regulations.’”
The team are keen to run two cars at the 2020 season finale, 24 Hours of Le Mans, and believe that transporting the cars to European races will be logistically easier for them. It is understood at The Checkered Flag that to enter Le Mans as a one-off entry a team must have contested at the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, which is used as a ‘warm up’ for the blue-riband event.
“Obviously for the European races, it’s easier for us to make it happen,” Bouhadra continued. “I can confirm we’re ready to have a second car at Spa and Le Mans and now it will depend on what’s going on with the championship with the regulation and the ACO, WEC, etc.
“We have the confirmation [from WEC] that we can have two cars in Le Mans and Spa.”
Although Rebellion have been told by WEC they can have the second car at Le Mans, it is usually a rule that non full-season entries cannot compete in LMP1. It may be the case that the FIA and Automobile Club de l’Ouest will review this rule, as ByKolles Racing Team express interest last season that they would want to return for the blue-riband event.
With new regulations coming in next season, it would be very unlikely that a team would build an LMP1 car just to enter Le Mans, but if the FIA and ACO opened up the chance for single LMP1 entries we could see some returns from past cars – for example SMP Racing, Audi and Porsche all currently have cars eligible for the current regulations.