Rebellion Racing won a historic victory at 4 o’clock in ShanghaiNovember 10, 2019
The Rebellion Racing team sensationally won the “4 Hours of Shanghai”, becoming the first private trader who managed to win the stage of the World Endurance Championship in LMP1 in the struggle on the track.
The Swiss team was considered a favorite even before the start of the race weekend in China. After victories in the first two stages of the 2019 season, the factory Toyota received a “ballast of success”, because of which Japanese sports prototypes became 28 kg heavier, lost 45% of the power of the hybrid engine and 7.5% of the fuel consumption in the circle. Because of this, Toyota drove three seconds slower, which gave the LMP1 traders a unique chance to compete for the victory. Indeed, private traders competed with the only factory team in the main class.
The Rebellion Racing crew, consisting of Bruno Senna, Gustavo Menezes and Norman Nato, started from the pole position. Due to problems with heating the tires, they rolled to sixth place in the first lap. The race was led by two LNT team prototypes, which by the end of the first segment were ahead of Toyota’s best crew by 20 seconds. But in the future, the first three crews received a penalty on the pit lane because, as it turned out, they overtook the owners of the pole even before the start line. Penalizing competitors allowed Bruno Senna and his partners to rise to second place. And at the beginning of the second hour, Nato overtook Sebastien Buemi and returned to the leaders. After that, Rebellion Racing broke away for about half a minute and thus secured itself on the first line.
Toyota tried to beat the leaders at the expense of fewer pit stops, but the tactics of the Japanese destroyed the regime of yellow flags at the beginning of the final hour. And Rebellion Racing has further strengthened its leadership. The crew of the Swiss team crossed the finish line with an advantage of one minute. For the first time in WEC history, a private team defeated LMP1 in a real fight. A year ago, at Silverstone, Rebellion Racing was the first, but inherited a victory after the disqualification of both Toyota sport prototypes.
Sebestyen Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Brandon Hartley were second, and their teammates Mike Conway, Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi, who lost to the winners, finished third.
The best LNT crew consisting of Yegor Orujov, Jordan King and Ben Hanley ended up being fourth with one lag.
In LMP2, Jackie Chan DC Racing riders Ho Ping Tong, Gabriel Aubrey and Will Stevens celebrated their victory, with United Autosports and Signatech Alpine pilots taking the podium. James Calado and Alessandro Piergvidi from the team of AF Corse Ferrari won the GTE Pro, while Salih Yoluch, Charlie Eastwood and Jonathan Adam in the TF Sport Aston Martin car became the best in the semi-amateur GTE Am class.
The next stage of the WEC will be held December 14 in Bahrain.
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