REBELLION Racing has sadly announced that Hugh Hayden, team principal and founder of SEBAH Automotive, passed away late last month in Portugal after suffering a suspected heart attack whilst driving a kart in a post-season team-building event.
Hayden was a natural born leader and a real racer until the end, and in tribute to him, REBELLION Racing team owner Alexandre Pesci and team manager Bart Hayden – Hugh's son, and director of SEBAH Automotive – have decided that the team's activities will continue in his memory and because it is what he would have wanted.
Hugh Hayden founded SEBAH Automotive in 1995. At first, SEBAH successfully ran Caterham sportscars in the UK, winning the British Superlight Championship in 1999 before the team moved into international endurance racing, running GT Porsches in both Europe and the USA from 2001 to 2007. Hugh and Bart recorded the first international podium in the team's history at Most in the Czech Republic in 2001.
As owner and team manager of SEBAH Racing, Hugh won two Le Mans Series team championships in the LMGT2 class in 2004 and 2005. In 2007, as 'The Captain' at Felbermayr-Proton, he oversaw the first international victory of the new Porsche 997 RSR, and the team finished the Le Mans Series as vice-champions that year.
In 2008, Hugh and Alexandre Pesci joined forces to create SPEEDY RACING TEAM SEBAH. Boosted by a positive debut in 2008 with the Lola B08/80 LMP2, earning a podium finish in their very first race, SPEEDY RACING TEAM SEBAH stepped up to running two Le Mans prototypes in 2009 – a Lola-Aston Martin LMP1 and a Lola-Judd LMP2.
The team triumphed in the MICHELIN Green X Challenge, finished second in the LMP2 category in the Le Mans 24 Hours and second in both the teams' and drivers' Le Mans Series LMP2 title chases, earning the runner-up laurels in the 1,000km of Spa en route
and claiming the trophy in the Silverstone finale.
For 2010, Hayden and Alexandre Pesci decided to rename SPEEDY RACING TEAM SEBAH to REBELLION Racing. The progression of the team continued as they opted to run two Lola-Rebellion LMP1s in both the Le Mans Series and Le Mans 24 Hours. REBELLION Racing finished second in the Le Mans Series LMP1 manufacturers' classification and third in the Le Mans Series LMP1 teams' championship, notching up three podiums.
Hugh's inspirational leadership will be carried forward by Bart as the team moves on into 2011. The Hayden family would like to thank the many friends and acquaintances who have offered their condolences at this difficult time – and all of us at Crash.net
would like to offer our sincerest respects.