P1 Upset and P2 Triumph
P1 Upset and P2 Triumph
Rebellion Racing came to American Le Mans and conquered the 10 hour Petit Le Mans endurance race, winning with their Lola B12/6 Toyota with efforts from Neel Jani, Nicolas Prost, and Nick Heidfeld.
The team beat the Muscle Milk Pickett Racing HPD ARX-03c of Lucas Luhr, Klaus Graf, and Romain Dumas. An overheating engine forced the 2013 championship into an early retirement.
In P2, Ryan Briscoe held off fellow countryman and ESM driver David Brabham to take the class victory for Level 5 Motorsports. More importantly, the effort by Briscoe allowed fellow driver—and team owner—Scott Tucker to clinch his 10th drivers’ championship in ALMS series racing.
The Swiss squad of Rebellion Racing came to America from Europe and the WEC season to challenge the Muscle Milk Pickett Racing team at the 12 turn 2.54 mile Road Atlanta track. Jani led the race when the green flag fell, but was soon overtaken by the Muscle Milk car.
The Swiss squad’s bad fortunes were exasperated when Jani made contact with the PC car of Dane Cameron at the top of turn 1. Driving to avoid the Delta Wing, Jani had no view of the PC to his right and contact between the two caused enough damage to necessitate a pit stop for a new nose.
A lap later Jani was assessed a stop plus 60 second penalty for avoidable contact.
That put Rebellion a lap and a half down on the Muscle Milk Team.
Intermittent rain brought both P1 cars in to change from slick to wet weather tires, and the gap between the two teams closed thanks to a lengthy pit stop from Muscle Milk when a rear wing adjustment at the 2 hour 20 minute mark proved more difficult than expected.
The racing remained competitive until the 5 hour mark, when Muscle Milk unexpectedly pitted their car and mechanics removed the engine cover to inspect a more serious problem.
Rebellion passed the stationary champions, and six minutes later Muscle Milk officially retired their entry in the 2013 race.
Rebellion raced incident free and easily defeated the Dyson and DeltaWing P1 challengers.
P2, the title was Scott Tucker’s to lose. He was 5 points ahead of his closest rival, ESM driver Scott Sharp at the start of the day . If Sharp won, Tucker needed 2nd place to consolidate his 10th championship.
Tucker made his night all the easier by driving well, and getting great drives by teammates Ryan Broscoe and Marino Franchitti. The trio took to take the class win, and Tucker the championship.
ALMS won’t return for another race. We come back next season as the TUDOR United SportsCar Championchip.