WEC LMP1 privateer Rebellion Racing switching to LMP2 in 2017

Top World Endurance Championship LMP1 privateer Rebellion Racing is pulling out of the category for next season to race in LMP2

WEC LMP1 privateer Rebellion Racing switching to LMP2 in 2017

The Anglo-Swiss team, winner of every WEC privateer P1 title since the rebirth of the series in 2012, is putting its programme with the ORECA-built Rebellion R-One on hold for '17 and will instead compete in P2 in a series that has yet to be finalised.

Rebellion team boss Bart Hayden told Autosport: "The decision has only been made in the past couple of days and the precise plans are still coming together."

"We think doing the WEC is very likely, but we need to look at when cars can be delivered and things like that.

"Continuing our relationship with ORECA [one of the four constructors licensed to build P2 cars to the new-for-2017 regulations] is likely, but again not decided."

Hayden said that the projected pace of the new breed of P2 car and a desire to face a higher level of opposition than in the privateer P1 ranks were factors in Rebellion's decision.

"The new LMP2 is going to be significantly quicker than the existing cars, which makes it difficult to justify the additional spend required for P1 when we won't be going that much faster," he explained.

"We also want to face more opposition in the races and we don't see any increase in the privateer P1 grid for next season."

Another factor in Rebellion's decision was the opportunity to race an LMP2 car in the big enduros in North America and compete for overall victory.

"That is definitely one of the attractions of going to P2 and if we didn't do it immediately, I would imagine it is something that we would do in the future," said Hayden.

Rebellion won the Petit Le Mans enduro at Road Atlanta in 2012 when it fielded a Lola-Toyota B12/60 in the America Le Mans Series event in addition to its WEC assault, and repeated the feat the following year when it mounted a partial programme in North America.

Hayden stressed that Rebellion could return to the privateer ranks if more teams were to sign up for the category.

Rebellion's decision comes in the face of a raft of rule changes announced in June to try to move the non-hybrid privateers closer to the factory LMP1 cars.

The move leaves the ByKolles operation as the only team with an LMP1 privateer programme planned for 2017.

Rebellion is on course to take the drivers' and teams' titles in this year's WEC, despite trimming its programme to one car for the final five races outside Europe.

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