Rebellion Racing shelves ALMS challenge to focus on 2014 WEC bid
|By Gary Watkins||Tuesday, July 23rd 2013, 11:03 GMT|
The Anglo-Swiss Rebellion Racing squad has called time on its American Le Mans Series challenge in order to focus on the World Endurance Championship.
Rebellion had planned to race in the remaining five ALMS events with one of its fleet of Lola-Toyota B12/60s, but will now only contest the Petit Le Mans series finale at Road Atlanta in October.
The decision reflects a desire to focus the team's resources on its 2014 WEC bid with its own Toyota-engined chassis built by the French ORECA organisation.
Team manager Bart Hayden said: "The new programme is a big commitment and we are looking at ways of saving a bit of cash for the new year."
Hayden stressed that the championship situation, in which Rebellion drivers Neel Jani and Nick Heidfeld lie 42 points behind leaders Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr from Muscle Milk/Pickett Racing, was not a factor.
"We never planned to go over to the US to try to win the championship," he explained. "We went to try to win races, and we got very close at Laguna Seca and Long Beach."
Rebellion fielded two Lola-Toyotas in the Sebring 12 Hours in March, the opening round of the ALMS, and then ran a solo car for Jani and Heidfeld at the Long Beach and Laguna Seca rounds.
It never intended to contest the most recent two rounds of the ALMS, at Lime Rock and Mosport, because of their proximity to the Le Mans 24 Hours in June.
A final decision on who will race the solo WEC entry, whose regular drivers would have been Mathias Beche, Nicolas Prost and Andrea Belicchi, over the final five races has yet to be made.
Hayden suggested that it was likely that most of its six-strong line-up would see action in the car before the end of the season.
"All permutations are possible," he said. "We are not making our final plan until the second week of August."
Teams have until August 14 to nominate their drivers for the next round of the WEC at Interlagos in Brazil on September 1.