Andretti to drive at LeMans UPDATE
Comments from Rebellion Racing on Andretti's addition to the team for LeMans:
American Marco Andretti will drive alongside Frenchman Nicolas Prost and Neel Jani from Switzerland in the #12 Lola-Rebellion LMP1 during the legendary Le Mans race. The son of Michael Andretti and grandson of racing legend Mario Andretti will have his first drive in the Lola-Rebellion when he joins the team during the official Le Mans Series test days at the Paul Ricard High Tech Test Track on 7th and 8th March.
With their highly talented driver squads, mixing strong experience of the Le Mans
race and young guns, the Swiss team is, once again, demonstrating its ambition for
success in la Sarthe.
Team Manager, Bart Hayden, welcomed Marco to the team, "we believe that Marco will fit perfectly with his two co-drivers in the #12 Lola-Rebellion. He has shown that he has the ability to compete at the highest level of motorsport. All three drivers in the #12 car raced at the same time in the A1GP series so they know each other from those days. When we get to Le Mans, Marco will be able to draw on the experience of the rest of the guys in the team and we are looking forward to seeing him in the car at the Paul Ricard test in March."
Today Alexandre Pesci confirmed that Marco Andretti will join Rebellion Racing at the Le Mans 24 Hours as well as the official test days at Paul Ricard. Pesci announced signing the American driver during the ‘Motors’ radio show of French broadcaster RMC. After his father and grandfather took part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans years ago, Marco Andretti will make his debut in France in June, just over two years after making his sportscar debut with the Andretti Green Racing Acura in the 2008 American Le Mans Series.
|Rebellion Lola testing in Portugal this week|
Andretti joins former A1GP and Champ Car driver Neel Jani and second-generation racer Nicolas Prost in the Anglo-Swiss team’s No. 12 Lola B10/60 Rebellion. Andrea Belicchi, Jean-Christophe Boullion and American Le Mans Series veteran Guy Smith complete the lineup in the sister No. 13 machine.
Andretti is expected to climb behind the wheel of the car for the official Le Mans Series pre-season test at Paul Ricard on March 7-8. zzzz
The team tested at the Algarve circuit this past week. On Wednesday, February 17, in the morning the there was light rain and scattered clouds meaning that track conditions were far from optimal and so the drivers only drove a few cautious laps. By late afternoon the track had dried up, enabling Neel Jani / Nicolas Prost in the #12 Lola-Rebellion and Andrea Belicchi / Jean-Christophe Boullion in the #13 car to drive on slick tires and validate some new technical solutions. The Swiss team went on to complete the first day of running by carrying out some night testing.
On Thursday, February 18, the weather had deteriorated and heavy rain fell on the Algarve circuit for most of the day. The Lola-Rebellions did however venture out in the wet conditions and actually managed to complete a good number of laps whilst working on traction control and other wet weather settings.
After two days of testing, the team was satisfied with the work done as outlined by Team Manager Bart Hayden: "These tests were very positive despite the weather, we made good progress in the understanding of our new Lola B10/60s and we experienced no problems with new Rebellion engines. Of course, we would have liked to have had more dry running but we are satisfied with the work done on the cars and the data we have collected.
More favorable weather conditions are expected near Seville for the second session of private testing at the Monteblanco Circuit on 20 and 21 February.