Only A Win Will Do At The 6 Hours Of Estoril.
REBELLION Racing is heading to Portugal for the 6 Hours of Estoril, the finale of the 2011 Le Mans Series.
After making Lola-Toyota the winners of the LMS LMP1 Manufacturers’ Championship with a second win in a row at the 6 Hours of Silverstone earlier this month, the Swiss team have two other titles to potentially win at the final LMS round.
For REBELLION Racing, their target is to win both the LMP1 Teams’ and LMP1 Drivers’ championships.
REBELLION Racing is leading the LMP1 Teams’ classification with a two point advantage over Pescarolo Team prior to this weekend’s final round.
In the LMP1 Drivers’ classification, Andrea Belicchi and Jean-Christophe Boullion are currently in the runner-up position just a single point behind the trio of Pescarolo (car #16) drivers.
The race strategy for #13 Lola-Toyota duo Andrea Belicchi and Jean-Christophe Boullion is quite simple, they will have no other choice than to win in front of the #16 Pescarolo-Judd squad to win the LMP1 Drivers’ championship.
With a ten point deficit over the leaders, Neel Jani and Nicolas Prost in the team’s sister car, #12 Lola-Toyota, are not mathematically out of the chase for the LMS LMP1 Drivers’ crown, but they would need to win the race with the sister car #13 and #16 Pescarolo both retiring in order to win the championship.
For the LMP1 Teams’ championship, REBELLION Racing would need to clinch the pole position to score one more point in order to target as a minimum a second place finish in the race to win the title.
Bart Hayden, REBELLION Racing Team Manager :
« We are in a strong position to potentially win both the LMS LMP1 Teams’ and LMP1 Drivers’ Championships at the 6 Hours of Estoril event. Those championship titles are our main target for this season, especially as this year is the last of the Le Mans Series with LMP1 cars. The most powerfull and impressive Le Mans Prototypes will be not be allowed to compete in the LMS next year with the new 2012 sporting regulations.
As SEBAH Racing, when my father Hugh was at the helm, this team twice won the LMS GT2 Teams’ Championship (in 2004 and 2005) and the LMS GT2 Drivers’ championship in 2005. Now, as REBELLION Racing we want to win in LMP1 before leaving a series that has been a really important part of our story over the past decade.
The team will continue in LMP1 next year, but it is too soon to say what exactly our racing programme will be. »
Before the begining of the « serious business», the Rebellion Racing drivers are showing a focused but relaxed attitude. Even though the Portuguese last round of Le Mans Series will decide the Drivers and Teams championship classifications, the Team's four drivers seem to be approaching this last meeting as any other.
Nicolas Prost, driver of the Lola-Toyota #12
« Now, for the end of the LMS championship, we are not the master of our destiny. We are in an outsider position and anything can happen. We will focus all our attention on the pole position and on our race. And we will see. »
Neel Jani, driver of the Lola-Toyota #12
« For us, it's « easy » : we « just » have to take the pole... and win the race !
This season, we took some good poles and spent a lot of time at the top of several races. But we havn't finished every time. So we have to lead and finish the race. But, lots of things can happen... »
Andrea Belicchi, driver of the Lola-Toyota #13
« The race is so long that it is always difficult to predict how it will turn out. I'm just happy to be here, in Estoril, to have a chance to win the title, it's closer than ever before. As usual, I'll do my best to win. But as you know, we race for an endurance race and anything can happen ! »
Jean-Christophe Boullion, driver of the Lola-Toyota #13
« The final round of the LMS championship is this week-end. Nevertheless, we have to approach this meeting like we do every meeting. During each race, we try to be the first, in front of our other competitors. This time, it will be the same thing. Because whatever the way you look at the situation, the best way to win the championship is to win the race ! »