REBELLION RACING CONFIRMS THEIR DRIVER LINE-UP FOR 2011 SEASON
REBELLION Racing announced last December that the team had renewed the contracts of its regular 2010 drivers. Neel Jani / Nicolas Prost and Andrea Belicchi / Jean-Christophe Boullion will again spearhead the REBELLION Racing campaign in 2011. For the Le Mans Series, Neel Jani and Nicolas Prost will drive the #12 Lola- Toyota, Andrea Belicchi and Jean-Christophe Boullion will be in the #13 sister car.
Subject to being invited to participate by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest's Selection Committee, Guy Smith and Jeroen Bleekemolen will join the REBELLION Racing regular drivers for the 2011 Le Mans 24 Hours.
Guy Smith, 2003 Le Mans 24 Hours winner, was part of REBELLION Racing's Le Mans effort in 2010, partnering Andrea Belicchi and Jean-Christophe Boullion. Guy also helped the team score a podium finish in the Le Mans Series at the 8 Hours of Le Castellet.
Guy commented: "I am thrilled at the prospect of returning to Le Mans with REBELLION Racing, it's one of the most ambitious teams I have had the pleasure to work with and I think the addition of the Toyota engine to the Lola coupe proves that they are constantly striving to improve their package. All the guys in the team made me feel very welcome when I joined them last year and it was a very easy integration with them and also it was a real pleasure working with my co-drivers Andrea and Jean-Christophe. We have unfinished business at Le Mans and I think this year we could really be a thorn in the side of the factory teams. It's always a challenge at Le Mans, but one I am really looking forward to."
Jeroen Bleekemolen is a new addition to the team. The 2008 LMP2 Le Mans 24 Hours winner will share the seat of the #12 Lola-Toyota with Neel Jani and Nicolas Prost. Jeroen added: "I'm delighted to join REBELLION Racing. Working together with a professional team like that including the cooperation with Toyota is great. After winning Le Mans in 2008 in LMP2, I have always wanted to go back there with a prototype. The competition against the factory teams will be tough, but the team has already proven to be one of the top private teams. I know my teammates Neel and Nicolas from A1GP and I'm happy to join such a strong driver line-up. I'm looking forward to starting to work with the team."
Guy Smith will be present with the team at the Le Mans Series Test Days at Paul Ricard HTTT (on 11th-12th March) and he, along with Jeroen Bleekemolen, will, subject to being invited to participate by the ACO's Selection Committee, also be present at the Le Mans 24 Hours Test Day on the 24th of April.
REBELLION Racing Team manager Bart Hayden said: "We have another strong driver line-up for this year. Complementing our existing team, I am pleased to have Guy with us again and I welcome Jeroen aboard; between them they will bring a wealth of experience to the team."
REBELLION Racing is also pleased to announce that, subject to being selected by the ACO's Selection Committee, Neel Jani, Nicolas Prost and Jeroen Bleekemolen will compete at the Sebring 12 Hours, the first round of the 2011 Intercontinental Le Mans Cup.
Neel Jani: "I am really looking forward to the first ILMC race. Sebring 12 Hours is one of the big famous long distance races. I know part of the Sebring track as I tested there with a Champcar on the short track and I am looking forward to finally driving the big circuit. I am also looking forward to trying out our new Lola-Toyota package in race conditions. We have a lot of new additions in 2011 and there are still many developments to come so I am ready to start the new season."
Nico Prost : "Sebring is one of the legendary races in the history of motorsport. Racing there will obviously be very special. But most important is that we want to compete for the win, it is a tight and twisty circuit which should be well suited to our car and we should be able to challenge the diesels there. We do not yet know whether the new equivalences have levelled the gap between the diesel and petrol engined cars, Sebring will give us an initial view of that."
-source: rebellion racing