Silverstone WEC: Toyota - Rebellion "consistently faster" than us

Rebellion Racing has already shown race-winning pace at Silverstone this weekend ahead of Sunday's opening round of the 2019/20 World Endurance Championship, according to Toyota

Silverstone WEC: Toyota - Rebellion "consistently faster" than us

Toyota Motorsport GmbH technical director Pascal Vasselon pointed to the speed of the #1 Rebellion-Gibson R-13 in qualifying on Saturday and in free practice on Friday as evidence that it will challenge his TS050 HYBRIDs in the Silverstone 4 Hours.

"If you look at the ideal times, putting all three sectors together, the top three cars are within one tenth in qualifying," he said.

"If you look at free practice two, the Rebellion is actually faster than us on traffic-free laps, consistently faster."

The #1 Rebellion qualified by Bruno Senna and Gustavo Menezes ended up half a second behind Toyota's pole winners Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi, but Vasselon revealed that the best hypothetical lap for the fastest of the R-13s was only 0.092s off.

"Toyota #7 was at 1m35.993s, Toyota #8 at 1m35.983s and Rebellion #1 at 1m36.025s," he explained.

"We managed to be one-two on the grid because our drivers combined their best sectors and because the two drivers were very those together.

"This is good news for the Equivalence of Technology."

Vasselon suggested that the Rebellion could potentially win the's race, but said it was more likely to happen at round two at Fuji when the new system of success handicaps introduced in LMP1 in the WEC kicks in.

"A privateer could win here at Silverstone, but at Fuji they should be strong for sure," he said.

Vasselon conceded that Toyota's hybrid system should give the Japanese cars an advantage in traffic in the race.

"We have a bit more flexibility on traffic which compensates for the fact that we have slightly less pace in free air, but on the other hand they have higher top speed - they can pass in places we cannot," he said.

Menezes, who shares the #1 Rebellion with Senna and Norman Nato, said the WEC "had done a good job of closing the gap" between the factory Toyotas and the privateers.

Asked if Rebellion could finish better than third, he said: "We're still hoping for more; right now it is uncertain."

Changes to the EoT, the means by which the rulemakers are trying to equate hybrid and non-hybrid cars, have resulted in the minimum weight of the Toyotas increasing by 28kg over the off season.

The Silverstone 4 Hours WEC round starts at midday local time.


shares
comments
WEC outlines final success handicap details for LMP1 cars
Previous article

WEC outlines final success handicap details for LMP1 cars

Next article

Injured Anthony Davidson pulls out of WEC opener at Silverstone

Injured Anthony Davidson pulls out of WEC opener at Silverstone
Load comments
Why Le Mans didn't decide Toyota's WEC title outcome in 2021 Plus

Why Le Mans didn't decide Toyota's WEC title outcome in 2021

Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez scored a second successive World Endurance Championship title in the #7 Toyota, as its new Le Mans Hypercar went unbeaten. Autosport recaps how each of the four classes in the 2021 season were won and picks out the best LMH and GTE drivers

WEC
Nov 28, 2021
The unanswered questions that define WEC 2021's controversial ending Plus

The unanswered questions that define WEC 2021's controversial ending

OPINION: The deeply unsatisfying ending to a brilliant World Endurance Championship GTE Pro battle in Bahrain had Ferrari provisionally heading back from the desert as the victor. But Porsche plans to appeal the outcome, which rests on a number of confusing elements that have yet to be satisfactorily explained

WEC
Nov 9, 2021
How the WEC's heavyweight duel reached its controversial flashpoint Plus

How the WEC's heavyweight duel reached its controversial flashpoint

The Ferrari versus Porsche fight for the World Endurance Championship's GTE Pro title had been a finely-poised affair, right up until Alessandro Pier Guidi's punt on Michael Christensen in the closing stages of the Bahrain 8 Hours handed Ferrari a provisional title, pending Porsche's appeal. Here's how the controversy played out

WEC
Nov 8, 2021
The remarkable fixes Toyota used to avert another Le Mans disaster Plus

The remarkable fixes Toyota used to avert another Le Mans disaster

The 1-2 finish achieved by Toyota at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours was a result that will have surprised few, given its status as pre-event favourite. But the result was anything but straightforward, as worsening fuel pressure concerns required the team's drivers and engineers to pursue "creative fixes" on the fly. Here is the full story of how it reached the end without a lengthy pit visit

Le Mans
Nov 3, 2021
How the #7 Toyota squad moved closer to clinching WEC's 2021 title Plus

How the #7 Toyota squad moved closer to clinching WEC's 2021 title

In the penultimate round of the 2021 World Endurance Championship, a better run of tyre wear for Mike Conway, Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi brought the Toyota trio its third win from five events, as the #7 squad put one hand on the title. Here's how the first of the WEC's two Bahrain enduros played out

WEC
Nov 1, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Plus

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood Plus

Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood

Team WRT has been at the forefront of GT racing for years and made a successful move to prototypes for 2021, capped by an LMP2 win on its Le Mans debut. It could've been even better had the race been one lap shorter, when its cars ran 1-2, but the stranger-than-fiction reality has spurred the team to reach greater heights

Le Mans
Oct 16, 2021
The standout memories of Le Mans 2021 Plus

The standout memories of Le Mans 2021

OPINION: With four of the five Hypercar entries unproven in a 24-hour race, it would not have been unexpected for at least one of them to suffer serious reliability trouble. That they all managed to make it through the race relatively unscathed, says GARY WATKINS, was something of a surprise.

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021