Rebellion Racing has withdrawn the #12 LMP1 privateer machine in order to shift more of its focus towards 2017 ahead of the regulations revamp, keeping just the #13 in action for the rest of the campaign.
Rebellion, the most successful LMP1 privateer squad in the class' history, has opted to stop running the #12 – driven by Nicolas Prost, Nick Heidfeld and Matthias Beche (who replaced Nelson Piquet Jr) – for the flyaway races for the remainder of the WEC season.
After changes to the technical regulations were confirmed by the ACO and FIA for 2017, Rebellion will be required to make significant weight and aerodynamic changes, while the engine regulations have also been modified.
In order to be competitive for next season the team has opted to halve its racing operation in order to push more into the development for next year.
Rebellion says the #13 AER P60 will see out the remainder of the campaign with drivers Dominik Kraihamer, Alexandre Imperatori and Matheo Tuscher.
“The level of competition in LMP1 is being taken to ever greater heights by the Manufacturer entrants, so to improve our own competitiveness in the category, we feel the need to invest more time and resources into updating the Rebellion R-One cars ready for the 2017 season,” Bart Hayden, Rebellion Racing team manager, confirmed.
“As a small private team with limited resources, we have decided to focus on racing one car rather than two in the remaining FIA WEC events and this will allow us to put more effort into updating the cars for 2017.
“Earlier this year at Le Mans, the FIA and the ACO announced some changes to the regulations for privateer LMP1 cars for 2017 and we need to take those changes and make them into reality to put us in a more competitive position going forward.
“Splitting our focus between running one car in the remaining races and on updating the cars for next year will mean that we can continue to be a part of the World Endurance Championship whilst at the same time making sure that we are as competitive as possible next year.”
Interestingly, Rebellion has opted to withdraw the LMP1 privateer leaders rather than its second place car to make the battle for the title 'a bigger challenge'. The trio of drivers in the #13 car currently leads the ByKolles Racing Team entry by 35 points.
“We have decided to continue racing with the Rebellion R-One number 13 as that car is closer in the LMP1 Privateer Teams championship points standings to our rivals at ByKolles and it makes the fight for the championship a bigger challenge,” Hayden said.