Rebellion Racing has scored its first FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) win of 2019/20 season in 4 Hours of Shanghai in LMP1, ending Toyota dominance.
It wasn’t a straightforward start to WEC 4 Hours of Shanghai as Rebellion crew of Bruno Senna, Norman Nato and Gustavo Menezes bogged down due to tyre issues, with Team LNT’s #6 crew of Michael Simpson, Guy Smith and Charlie Robertson taking lead.
They had the sister #5 crew of Ben Hanley, Jordan King and Egor Orudzhev behind with the #7 Toyota of Mike Conway, Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi ahead of the #8 crew of Sebastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Kazuki Nakajima in the LMP1 class.
Both the Team LNT Ginettas and the #7 Toyota were then handed a drive-through penalty, which dropped them in the order as #8 Toyota led #1 Rebellion. But it wasn’t for long as the Rebellion was back upto speed and passed the Toyota in the second hour.
It was then to see-through the challenge until the end as #1 Rebellion scored its first WEC LMP1 win in 4 Hours of Shanghai, since last year’s inherited victory at Silverstone. The handicap system worked its wonders with Toyota losing out to a non-hybrid car.
It was the #8 crew in second on the lead lap, with the #7 ending up a lap behind in third along with the #5 Team LNT as the sister #6 car was fifth, two laps down, after pit dramas. The LMP2 class, meanwhile, saw a dominant win from #38 Jota Oreca.
The crew of Antonio Felix da Costa, Anthony Davidson and Roberto Gonzalez finished four laps down on the LMP1 leaders but were well clear of LMP2 rivals and sister #37 Jack Chan DC Racing Oreca of Will Stevens, Ho-Pin Tung and Gabriel Aubry.
They challenged Jota initially but lost pace in the middle as they held off #22 United Autsports Oreca of Filipe Albquerque, Phil Hanson and Paul di Resta in the fight for second. It was a recovery drive from #36 Signatech Alpine in fourth.
They were five laps down on the leaders as they held off #29 Racing Team Nederland Oreca, who also had to fight through from last, which included a drive-through penalty. The #33 High Class Racing Oreca and #47 Cetilar Racing Dallara were sixth and seventh.
LMGTE Pro and LMGTE Am
The #95 Aston Martin Racing of Marco Sorensen and Nicki Thiim led the way in LMGTE Pro in WEC 4 Hours of Shanghai but a puncture derailed its victory charge as #51 AF Corse Ferrari of Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado, took the lead then.
The buffer was enough for Ferrari to register its first win of the 2019/20 WEC season as despite a late charge from the #92 Porsche of Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen wasn’t enough. The Porsche also had to serve a penalty due to unsafe release.
It ended up being a double Porsche podium with the sister #91 crew of Gianmaria Bruni and Richard Lietz ending up third as the #97 Aston Martin was fourth from its sister #95 car and the #71 AF Corse Ferrari.
In the LMGTE Am class, the #90 TF Sport Aston Martin of Charlie Eastwood, Jonathan Adam and Salih Yoluc secured its second win of 2019/20 WEC season in 4 Hours of Shanghai ahead of the #57 Team Project 1 Porsche.
The podium was rounded out by the #98 Aston Martin Racing, with the Top 5 completed by #88 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche and #70 MR Racing Ferrari.
UPDATE: Following the end of the WEC 4 Hours of Shanghai race, the LMGTE Pro class winners, #51 AF Corse Ferrari, were stripped off its win due to not adhering to ‘minimum ground clearance’ which was ‘found lower than 50mm’.
This handed the win to #92 Porsche as sister #91 ended up second with #97 Aston Martin in third ahead of the sister #95 and the #71 AF Corse Ferrari.
The full results can be found, here.
Here’s how they stacked up in qualifying