PROMISING START TO THE FIA WORLD ENDURANCE CHAMPIONSHIP FOR HAROLD PRIMAT AND REBELLION RACING DESPITE TECHNICAL ISSUE
Swiss LMP1 racing driver Harold Primat had a promising start to the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship, despite the Rebellion Racing car suffering a technical problem in the opening hour of the race.
Harold and his Rebellion Racing team mates; Jeroen Bleekemolen and Andrea Belicchi qualified their car comfortably in 9th place; just three tenths off the unofficial ‘petrol class’ pole position.
In Saturday morning’s warm up, the car was firmly on the pace and, with Harold behind the wheel, finished the session in P5 and second of the petrol class. Andrea Belicchi took the race start at 10.30am local time.
The car was running strongly in P6 but 44 laps into the race he was forced to pit with gear shifting pressure loss due to the failure of a blipper. The team worked hard to fix the problem but unfortunately due to nature of the problem it took 45 minutes to rectify the issue and the car rejoined the track well down the field in P59, and 28 laps down on the leader.
After 75 laps of racing, Andrea came into the pits for a driver change and handed over control of the car to Jeroen, before Harold took the wheel for his first double stint of the race. Harold was posting some solid lap times out on track while having to deal with a number of safety car restarts. Half way through the stint he suffered a puncture but was able to come into the pits for a tyre change very quickly and didn’t lose too much time. At the half way point of the race Harold then handed over to Andrea.
Harold’s second stint in the car came once night had fallen. Running another double stint, Harold continued to post some consistently strong lap times; setting one of the fastest laps of the night. Following his double stint, Harold came into the pits for a splash and dash; completing twenty further laps before taking the checkered flag after twelve hours of racing.
Harold Primat commented; “We’ve had a promising start to the season in Sebring with a strong package which allowed us to post some competitive lap times in the race, as well as in qualifying and in Saturday morning’s practice. Despite it being the first race that my team mates, engineer and I have worked together at a race weekend, we were able to achieve a strong showing;”
“Despite running last year’s car, we were still able to compete against the newer cars which gives us confidence for when we introduce the new car at the next race in Spa. To suffer a technical problem early on in the race was bad luck but overall we should be happy with how things went. This weekend has proven that we have a strong package and the potential to achieve good results in the future;” continued Harold Primat.