REBELLION RACING - FIRST RACE, FIRST PODIUM! Jean-Christophe Boullion, the driver that qualified the ...
REBELLION RACING - FIRST RACE, FIRST PODIUM!
Jean-Christophe Boullion, the driver that qualified the #13 Lola-Rebellion in 5th place started the race for his new team. Despite being careful at the start, Jean-Christophe was pushed off the track by the Oreca No.6 in the first few hundred meters. However, he managed to recover quickly to stay with the leading group of cars. After the first hour of racing the Lola-Rebellion #13 had made its way up into a strong third place. After a double-stint that passed without any other concern, Jean- Christophe handed over to Guy Smith who also drove a double stint.
Halfway through the race, the third driver in the #13 car, Andrea Belicchi took his turn to put in a double stint behind the wheel of the Lola-Rebellion. At that stage of the race, Andrea Belicchi, Jean-Christophe Boullion and Guy Smith were still on the provisional podium.
The second part of the race was trouble free and the Lola-Rebellion #13 went on to secure the first trophy for REBELLION Racing.
The team's sister car the Lola-Rebellion #12 had a more difficult race. Neel Jani had a strong start, his first in Le Mans Series. In the first half hour of the race, whilst running in a strong fifth position, the #12 suffered broken suspension after being hit by a GT car, this damage also causing a puncture of the left rear tyre which forced the car to stop for repairs. Despite prompt attention from the REBELLION Racing crew, the car lost 18 minutes in the garage.
Neel Jani was then unlucky to be given a Stop & Go penalty of 3 minutes for spinning the wheels when leaving the pits. The team complained to the race director because marks on the ground were not from the sizes of the Lola-Rebellion tyres, but to no avail.
Nicolas Prost took over from Neel Jani after his double stint and began a strong comeback with lap times faster than the main leaders at that stage of the race. At halfway, the Lola-Rebellion #12 was down in 13th place. In the second part of the race, Neel and Nicolas continued their strong drive to earn 11th place overall and 7th in the LMP1 class.
Jean-Christophe Boullion: "This weekend is very satisfying for me. It is a faultless race week-end that ends on a good note with a place on the podium. Starting a new adventure after a relationship of 9 years in a team is not easy. Weekends like this will accelerate the integration and help the understanding with the team. This can only help us achieve our goals more quickly. "
Andrea Belicchi: "The team was really perfect both during the pit stops and during the race. The car is much more consistent than the one we had last year. We have also gained speed. I would like to thank the mechanics who worked late into the night from Friday to Saturday to allow us to finish the weekend on the podium ."
Guy Smith : "I am very pleased with our podium especially since we experienced a difficult start to the weekend. The whole team has worked hard to compensate for these problems and the result is there. I am glad I joined REBELLION Racing, their mechanics and my teammates are a great group of people. All this is very good for the future, so I look forward to Le Mans! "
Neel Jani: "We can not be satisfied with the classification we had today in the #12 car. I do not know what caused the failure of the suspension. However, we did a good race including some very quick laps. I do not understand the decision on our penalty. Luckily we were not, then fighting for a podium. Too bad we could not do better because two Lola-Rebellion on the podium would have been even better! Anyway, I congratulate my teammates. Making a podium at the start of the season is fantastic for them and good for the whole team! "
Nicolas Prost: "Our result in the #12 is disappointing because the car was very quick during the race. It's a shame to start the season on a race like this. I look foward to the rest of the championship where we can aim for good results. "
Bart Hayden, Team Manager: "This podium is a very positive result for the REBELLION Racing team. We have shown that our Lola-Rebellions are competitive and that the technical and sporting choices that we made over the closed season were good. I want to thank the whole team for the work they put in over this winter and especially throughout this weekend. It is a very good result for REBELLION, our primary partner.
Technically, it was a nearly trouble-free race for both cars and the new Michelin tyres helped us to achieve this podium result.
-source: rebellion racing