25 March 2015
WEC: Rebellion tweaks line-up ahead of 2015 campaign
Rebellion Racing will head into the new FIA World Endurance Championship season with a reworked line-up featuring two new faces.
Rebellion Racing has confirmed the six drivers in whose hands it will place its bid for 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship success, and the line-up features a couple of new faces.
The Swiss squad will again field two entries in both the WEC and Le Mans 24 Hours, with its now AER-powered R-One LMP1 prototypes to be driven by Nicolas Prost, Nick Heidfeld and Mathias Beche – who will again unite to share the #12 entry – and the all-new trio of Dominik Kraihamer, Alexandre Imperatori and Daniel Abt sharing the #13 machine.
“We are very pleased to confirm our driver line-up for the 2015 season and it's nice to have a good level of continuity,” team manager Bart Hayden commented, “We have a good base of experience and speed with Nico, Nick, Mathias and Dominik, who are all with us again, and we welcome Alexandre and Daniel to our team. We are confident that they will be positive additions and that they will help us to take the challenge to our competitors in the LMP1 field.
“We are a little late out of the starting blocks this year, but we firmly believe that our 2015 LMP1 cars will be even more competitive, so we are looking forward to getting the cars onto the tracks soon.”
Kraihamer joined Rebellion last season and enjoyed a positive first year with the Swiss team, securing three LMP1-L class wins at Fuji, Bahrain and Sao Paulo. Imperatori and Abt are new to Rebellion this season, meanwhile, replacing long-time team favourite Andrea Belicchi and former GP2 Series champion Fabio Leimer.
Imperatori started his career in Asia, rising from Formula Renault in 2004 to Formula Nippon in 2011, before switching to sportscar and winning the 2012 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Championship. More recently, he enjoyed success in LMP2, finishing third in the 2014 WEC, taking class wins at Bahrain and Sao Paulo.
“First of all, I want to thank the Rebellion Racing team for the trust they place in me this season and I look forward to joining the team,” Imperatori said, “The pleasure is all the more important that this is a Swiss team that does a lot to promote motorsport in our country at the highest level. I am very eager to start working with my new team-mates and contribute to the development of the car to get good results this season.”
Abt, meanwhile, makes the switch from single-seaters after a career that took him from ADAC Formel Masters championship success in 2009 through runners-up campaigns in both German F3 and GP3 to two seasons in GP2, the second of which he combined with ongoing outings in the new Formula E championship. While Imperatori already has two appearances at Le Mans under his belt, 22-year old Abt will make his debut in the French classic this summer.
“This additional programme alongside Formula E is an enormous boost for me,” Abt admitted, “I'll drive a closed cockpit sportscar for the first time, share driving duties with two other team-mates and also make my debut at Le Mans in the 24 Hour race.
“Le Mans is an enduring motorsport legend and it's a fabulous feeling to know that I'll be there this year. Even though the majority of this will be new to me, as far as power and downforce is concerned my experience from GP2 will certainly help in sportscars.”
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