Nelson Piquet Jr teams up with Rebellion for Le Mans, WEC rounds

Ex-Formula 1 driver Nelson Piquet Jr will return to the Le Mans 24 Hours with the Rebellion Racing LMP1 privateer squad this year

The former Renault driver will race the #12 Rebellion-AER R-One together with Formula E rivals Nick Heidfeld and Nicolas Prost at Le Mans and the opening two rounds of the World Endurance Championship.

The inaugural Formula E champion will take the place of Mathias Beche, who had already been loaned to the TDS Racing LMP2 squad for the 24 Hours and the European Le Mans Series, at the Silverstone and Spa WEC rounds in April and May respectively.

The deal marks a return to Le Mans for 30-year-old Piquet after an absence of 10 years, having raced the Team Modena-run Russian Age Aston Martin DBR9 in the French enduro in 2006.

Piquet Jr said: "That race is one of the most special motorsport events in the world, and I loved it so much when I raced there in 2006 that it has been very high on my list ever since to do it again.

"I couldn't be happier than to be doing it with such a great team and together with Nico [Prost] and Nick as my team-mates."

Rebellion team manager Bart Hayden said he was "pleased to welcome" Piquet Jr to the squad.

"Le Mans requires the best level of preparation, so we are also pleased that Nelson will be able to drive at the prologue [the official pre-season WEC test at Paul Ricard later this month] and the first two rounds of the series," he continued.

Piquet Jr's sportscar experience encompasses a victory in the Mil Milhas 1000-mile race at Interlagos in 2006 aboard the same Aston (run by the Cirtek team in Brazil) that he raced at Le Mans, one appearance in the Daytona 24 Hours in 2013 and two rounds of the Blancpain Sprint Series with the AH Competicoes BMW team in 2014.

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