The third race of the season took place on the Shanghai circuit. Gustavo Menezes and Bruno Senna took part in the qualifying session on Saturday. All-two performed very good lap times, the Rebells achieved the first pole position of a non-Hybrid car since 2012 and the first one for a Privateer Team.
Sunday, Norman Nato started the 4 Hours of Shanghai since the first position on the starting grid. A tire temperature problem considerably slowed the REBELLION R-13, which was relegated to sixth position in the first lap. Three cars, however, overtook the REBELLION R-13 car N. 1 before the starting line and were penalized by a Drive Through. Gradually, the French driver managed to get a good pace and climbed up the rankings until overtaking the Toyota Hybrid car N. 7 after 40 minutes of racing. He gave the wheel five minutes later to Gustavo Menezes who entered the track P5. In a good pace too, the American driver took the lead at 1:20 race. Bruno Senna took the wheel at 2:15 and left the pit lane P3 behind the Toyota Hybrids cars. Ten minutes later, REBELLION Racing was back leader. The REBELLION R-13 N.1 crossed the finish line at the same position. The efforts paid off in the best way for REBELLION Racing, which signed its first victory of the season.
This is Bruno Senna’s tenth victory in the FIA World Endurance Championship WEC. The Brazilian becomes the only driver to win a race in each of the four categories of the competition.
The whole Team is counting on your support on December 14th for the 8 Hours of Bahrain.
“This is a historic victory for REBELLION Racing! A big thank you to Toyota for pushing us to constantly surpass ourselves to compete with them. Despite a complicated start because of the tires problem, the race was perfectly conducted by our trio of drivers and the whole Team. Congratulations to each member of the Team who has shown extreme resilience. The REBELLION Racing family dedicates this victory to its fans who have been supporting the Rebells for a long time.”
Alexandre Pesci, President and Owner of REBELLION Racing
“Happy day, the Team nailed it today. Perfect pit stops, great strategy, the car was strong and reliable. We kept pushing all along the race to overcome the difficulties with the tires in the beginning of the race. Norman and Gustavo did a very good job. Today was our day and we are very happy to bring this one home. It is a real historic moment and we can be proud of it.”
Bruno Senna, R-13 N. 1 driver
“I am super excited to say that we finally won the overall race in the World Endurance Championship. I am extremely grateful for all the Team, they did an amazing job. It was an incredible weekend from the beginning to the end, having P1 in free practice 1, P1 in qualifying session and eventually winning the race. Norman got some problems with the tires but he drove very well throughout the weekend and he gave me the car P5. We drove it to the front and I was able to build the margin for Bruno so that he could bring the car home. I am really happy today achieve it with all the Team. I hope that we could keep the momentum to the future.”
Gustavo Menezes, R-13 N. 1 driver
“Very good weekend with the pole position and the victory! We could not dream better. It was a complicated start, even though cars overtaking me were penalized. We also took some time to put the tires in temperature. Despite these minor complications, we made a no-fault race, we made no mistake whether it was the Team or the drivers. That was the goal and it’s done. It’s REBELLION’s first victory this season, hoping it will not be the last one! Thanks to all the Team and sponsors who make this possible.”
Norman Nato, R-13 N. 1 driver
Results and chronos
Free practice 1 – P1 (1:48.761)
Fre practice 2 – P3 (1:48.288)
Free practice 3 – P4 (1:49.450)
Qualifying session – P1 (1:45.892)
Race – P1 (1:49.701)
Classification – 4 Hours of Shanghai 2019
1. REBELLION Racing N.1 (1:49.701)
B. Senna, G. Menezes, N. Nato
2. Toyota Gazoo Racing N.8 (1:50.330)
B. Hartley, S. Buemi, K. Nakajima
3. Toyota Gazoo Racing N.7 (1:50.159)
JM. Lopez, K. Kobayashi, M. Conway
4. Team LNT N. 5 (1:49.235)
J. King, B. Hanley, E. Orudzhev
5. Team LNT N.6 (1:48.428)
C. Robertson, M. Simpson, G. Smith