Was an overall victory at Road Atlanta the first of many to come for Rebellion Racing in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n? We may soon find out.
The Swiss squad will compete as a full-time entry in the 2013 ALMS championship with one of its Toyota-powered Lola coupes. Sports car racing in North America is getting a proven winner as evidenced by a three-lap victory in the ALMS’s 2012 finale at Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda. Andrea Belicchi, Nico Prost and Neel Jani drove the car at Road Atlanta. Jani earned pole position for the race and also set the fastest lap in the 1,000-mile enduro.
“This is great news and we welcome everyone at Rebellion Racing back to the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n with open arms,” said Scott Atherton, ALMS President and CEO. “The team's presence as a full-season entry will provide ALMS fans with not just another world-class competitor but a fascinating championship fight in our premier P1 class. This news - with more to follow – only adds to the anticipation for a great 2013 season.”
In addition to its full-season entry, Rebellion plans to run a second car at the season-opening 61st Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida in March. The team also is targeting a return to the FIA World Endurance Championship where it won the LMP1 Trophy for Privateer Teams.
As a result, the fight for next season’s ALMS P1 championship is much tougher. Defending champion Muscle Milk Pickett Racing expects to return in 2013 as does 2011 champion Dyson Racing. Last season saw the two teams race to the end at Road Atlanta before Muscle Milk clinched its first ALMS title.
"We want to build upon those results in 2013 and aim to add to our tally of overall race wins,” said team manager Bart Hayden. “The visibility generated by overall wins is more in line with what our partners require and desire. The WEC is a World Championship and we would like to find a way to continue racing there too. Over the coming weeks, we will be striving to put together a program to complement our presence in the ALMS. We are a team that has grown up with the Le Mans spirit since our involvement in the GT class in the early 2000s and we want to continue racing in championships that mix the very best professional prototype and GT teams. I will be particularly pleased if we can succeed in finding a way to run cars in both the ALMS and the FIA WEC in 2013.”
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