Tag Archives: Rebellion Racing

12 Hours of Sebring

Audi sebring 2013

AUDI TAKES THE 12 HOURS OF SEBRING.

After 12 hours of intense racing, the winners of the 61st Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring were greeted by fireworks as they crossed the finish line at Sebring International Raceway.  America’s oldest circuit is also one of the world’s most challenging, in part owing to the flat and featureless landscape.  Long straightaways, tight corners and switchbacks contribute to driver fatigue making concentration paramount to staying on the bumpy track which itself generates tremendous stress on the suspension and produces a skittering effect under braking.   A handful of laps on this track requires skill and talent, 12 hours of racing on it demands superior endurance from both driver and machine.

After trading first and second throughout the race with their teammates in the #2 car, the #1 Joest Audi R18 e-tron Quattro, that had started from pole position, took the P1 win by a mere 7.68 seconds.  Winning driver Benoit Treluyer (Alecon, FRA) shared the car with Marcel Fassler (Gross, SUI) and Oliver Jarvis (Burwell, GBR).  The #2 car, driven by Lucas di Grassi (MON), Tom Kristensen (DEN) and Allan McNish (GBR) finished second.  Taking third, five laps behind the leader, was the #12 Rebellion Racing Lola B12/60 driven by Nicolas Prost (Fechy, FRA), Nick Heidfeld (Monchengladbach, GER) and Neel Jani (Jens, SUI).

“For me, a fantastic week and a fantastic couple of months,” said Jarvis with a nod to his GT win in January at the Rolex 24 At Daytona in the #24 Audi R8.  “It’s been a fantastic start to the year for me.  I could never have dreamed of this. To win at Daytona was unexpected, but to come here and win again is a dream come true.  It was a privilege to be invited to race here.  When I got the call I put the phone down and started jumping.  I’ve had two races in America and two wins.  I hope to come back in the future.”

Fassler, who had earned the pole during qualifying, noted that winning the pole was a great thing, but that it was just one lap compared to a 12 hour race.  “The Race is always quite tough,” said Fassler.  “To leave Sebring as a winner is a great feeling.  Sebring is well known in Europe and to win a big race is good for a driver.”

Treluyer, who brought it home tonight, gave credit to his co-drivers.  “Marcel did a really great job on the pole position and Oliver did a great job through the night…he pulled away, and I just had to keep the gap.”

In the P2 class the victory was also claimed by the pole starting car.  The #551 Level 5 Motorsports HPD ARX-03B, driven by Scott Tucker (Leawood, Kan.), Marino Franchitti (Edinburgh, GBR) and pole winner Ryan Briscoe (Sydney, AUS), finished ahead of their teammates in the  #552 car driven by Tucker, Ryan Hunter-Reay (Boca Raton, Fla.) and Simon Pagenaud (Montmorillon, FRA).  Third in class was the #41 Greaves Motorsport Zylek Z11SN with the driving team of Tom Kimber-Smith (Reading, GBR), Christian Zugel (Holmdel, N.J.) and Eric Lux (Williamsville, N.Y.).

With Tucker driving stints in both the #551 and #552 cars, he takes home not only two trophies, but also a Rolex watch which each driver in the five class-winning cars were presented.  Additionally, he is the fourth driver in the race’s history to win the 12 Hours of Sebring four years in a row. 

The PC class win went to the #52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports entry driven by David Cheng (Samamish, Wash.), Mike Guasch  (Pleasant Hill, Calif.) and David Ostella (CAN), followed by the #8 BAR1 Motorsports car driven by Kyle Marcelli (CAN), Chris Cumming (CAN) and Stefan Johansson (Los Angeles, Calif.).  The #500 Performance Tech Motorsports car driven by Tristan Nunez (Boca Raton, Fla.), Charlie Shears (Houston, Texas) and David Heinemeier Hansson (Chicago, Ill.) took the third spot on the podium.

Oliver Gavin (Northhamptonshire, GBR), Tommy Milner (Leesburg, Va.) and Richard Westbrook (London, GBR), in the #4 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1, edged out the #62 Risi Competizione Ferrari F458 Italia driven by Gianmaria Bruni (Rome, ITA), Olivier Beretta (Monte Carlo, MON) and Matteo Malucelli (Meldola, ITA) for the win in the GT class.  Taking third in class was  the #17 Team Falcon Tire Porsche 911 GT3 RSR driven by Wolf Henzler (Nürtingen, GER), Bryan Sellers (Atlanta, Ga.) and Nick Tandy (Bedford, GBR),

“It certainly seemed like we were making it harder for us than we wanted to at times,” said Gavin.  “We had some issues with the car and got a lap and a bit down and then we got a penalty for something, I’m not entirely sure what, but that cost us 60 seconds.  The crew were absolutely fantastic today, but more so Tommy and Richard drove fantastically, especially Tommy at the end of the race, he was amazing.  He put so much pressure on the Ferrari that towards the end the Ferrari made a mistake and we took the lead.  It was an amazing 12 hours of us never giving up. I’m delighted for everybody at Corvette Racing.”

Tommy Milner acknowledged that the team was off to a great start to the season.  “I’m still a bit lost for words.  After my first stint we were about a minute behind the Ferrari and I wasn’t able to close the gap much but when we made our next two pit stops our Corvette crew did an absolutely incredible job.  I think the first one was about 20 seconds and the second one was 10 seconds.  After the first one it gave me so much confidence I just kept pushing, it was an unbelievable finish.”

Richard Westbrook said that it was clear from the beginning that they had a good car.  “When I had the problem with the dashboard it put us two laps down, but after a few yellow flag periods and great driving stints by these two guys we got back on the lead lap and of course thanks to those two great pit stops we managed to get in the lead.  At one point I was concerned because we weren’t getting the expected yellow flag periods and in fact I think we had, at one point, five hours of green flag running and it was then that I felt maybe this is just not going to be our day.  Then came the amazing pit stops and Tommy’s great driving at the end.  On the balance of things I believe we deserved this win, we did it the hard way.”

Eleven Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars ran in the GTC class with the win going to Alex Job Racing’s #22 car driven by Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill.), Jeroen Bleekemolen (Monte Carlo, MON) and Dion von Moltke (Coral Gables, Fla.).  Nelson Canache Jr. (Caracas, VEN), Spencer Pumpelly (Atlanta, Ga.) and Brian Wong (Newport Beach, Calif.) were second in the #45 Flying Lizard Motorsorts entry, followed by Henrique Cisneros (Miami, Fla.), Marco Seefried (Wemding, GER) and Sean Edwards (MON) in NGT Motorsport’s #30

WEC

6 HOURS OF SHANGHAI, FIA WEC FINALE…
 
Teams participating in the inaugural edition of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) have made their way to China for the deciding race of the series, the 6 Hours of Shanghai. Racing is set for this Sunday and 28 teams are expected on the start grid for the title-awarding, final endurance challenge of the season.The 2012 FIA WEC was comprised of eight races run on three continents and, inspired by its cornerstone race Les 24 Heures du Mans, this series represents the highest global level of modern endurance racing. Rolex is proud to support this groundbreaking international trial of team precision, passion and stamina.

LMP1: TOYOTA TAKES ON THE AUDI CHALLENGE

At stake in the series are multiple FIA trophies, including the coveted Endurance Champion LM P1 Manufacturer title, to be awarded following the 6-hour showdown in Shanghai. Current standings for the LM P1 Manufacturers show Audi on top with an unbeatable 191 points, followed by Japanese rival Toyota with 70 points.

Toyota has a storied past in endurance racing, with their first involvement in the FIA World Endurance Championship dating back to 1983. This marked the start of a long period of involvement in the sport that included several editions of the famed 24 Heures du Mans. This year was particularly special because, following a 12-year hiatus, the 2012 season has marked Toyota’s return to the endurance-racing scene.

Although the original plan for the team was to compete in selected races only, Toyota stepped up their game in order to fully compete on the manufacturer platform with Audi. Toyota has since given the German manufacturer a run for their money having already taken two podiums in five races, most notably at their home track during the last WEC race in Fuji, and is slated as the favourite for the race here in Shanghai. “It has been an emotional and successful first season in the FIA World Endurance Championship for TOYOTA Racing,” said Team President Yoshiaki Kinoshita. “We have achieved more than we expected [and] to be able to compete with a competitor as strong as Audi in such a short timeframe is a great credit to all involved in the project. Now we look forward to the final race of this exciting season and we want to finish with a strong performance.”

SEEKING WORLD CHAMPIONS: ENDURANCE REQUIRED

While all eyes will be on the LM P1 Audi-Toyota challenge, every team and driver participating in the 6 Hours of Shanghai will have to perform their best in order to take home a FIA World Champion title. Beyond the LM P1 Manufacturer Award, titles in each category (Private LM P1, LM P2, LM GTE Pro, LM GTE Am and LM GTE Manufacturer) will be awarded here in Shanghai following Sunday’s race.

Current standings see Rebellion Racing (CHE) leading the Private LM P1 category, with the winning title in their name all but guaranteed as Rebellion has a 47-point lead over their next closest rival, Strakka Racing (GBR). The LM P2 trophy title is in a similar situation, with Starworks Motorsports (USA) heading up their category with an unbeatable lead (159 points), while the second place position is up for grabs between Pecom Racing (ARG) and ADR-Delta (GBR), two teams currently tied with 129 points each.

In the LM GTE categories there are still some things to be decided. While the Pro category title has been determined pre-race, along with the LM GTE Manufacturers’ Cup, the LM GTE Am championship title is still up for the taking. AF Corse (ITA) leads the Pro category with a solid 186 points and their closest rivals are separated from one another by just one point, with Aston Martin Racing (GBR) at 116 and Team Felbermayr-Proton (DEU) at 115.  In the LM GTE Am category, Larbre Competition (FRA) is in the top position with 154 points, separated from the current second place team, Team Felbermayr-Proton (DEU), by only 20 points, ensuring tight competition for the Am championship title. In the Manufacturer category the fight for the world endurance title will more than likely go to Ferrari, currently at the top of the standings with 310 points, while Porsche will likely take second (196 points).

A FINAL FACE-OFF FOR THE ENDURANCE CROWN

Having come full circle, the FIA WEC series now comes to a close in Shanghai, China’s economic capital, where participating teams will partake in the final showdown to determine this year’s world endurance champions. All of the action for the WEC finale will take place at Shanghai International Circuit in the Jiading District of Shanghai. Completed in 2004, this track is widely known as the main Chinese hub for Grand Prix racing, and the 6 Hours of Shanghai represents the arrival of a new kind of competition at this famed location: endurance racing.

Today saw the start of Scrutineering on-site and drivers had an opportunity to walk the track ahead of tomorrow’s Free Practice Sessions (10:35 – 12:05 and 15:30 – 17:00). Qualifying will take place on Saturday and the race start is set for Sunday at 11:00 local time.