WEC Fuji Dunlop: Rebellion claims 2016 WEC LMP1 Privateer title

© DR

G-Drive Racing takes Fuji LMP2 victory
Japan saw a 6 hour race with varied fortunes through the classes for Dunlop FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) teams. The 6 Hours of Fuji saw different LMP2 pit-stop strategies keep the suspense to the last minutes of the race, Aston Martin, although happy with tyre performance, battled against regulations in addition to the on track competitions while Rebellion Racing claimed the Endurance Trophy for LMP1 Teams still with two races remaining.

All teams used Dunlop’s medium compound tyre with some using strategies involving four-stints on the tyres.

LMP1 Private Teams
Rebellion Racing has been rewarded for their hard work this season with an early title. The team has worked with Dunlop to develop tyres and the partnership has resulted in strong on-track performance. The Imperatori, Kraihamer and Tuscher driver line-up took another class win this weekend in the Rebellion R-One and Rebellion now has a large enough points margin to be named champions.

Fuji proved to be an epic LMP2 battleground with varied pit-stop strategies making onlookers wait until the last stop was complete before the real track order could be established. That order saw RGR Sport’s Ligier just ahead of G-Drive Racing’s Oreca. G-Drive’s Will Stevens overtook Bruno Senna but the move was deemed outside track limited and Stevens gave back the place, to then retake the lead with a clean move down the start/finish straight. At the flag, Stevens was 1.38 seconds ahead of RGR’s Senna with championship leaders Signatech Alpine 26 seconds later. With two rounds remaining Signatech leads with a 35 point advantage from the RGR Sport team, the two being the only remaining championship contenders.

Aston Martin Racing was happy with the tyre performance, but today’s battle was against the adjusted balance of performance regulations that affected the cars at the Fuji track. The #95 and #97 Vantages finished fifth and sixth, scoring enough points for Thiim and Sørensen to remain at the top of the Drivers’ rankings.
Mike McGregor, Dunlop Manager Testing & Track Support : « “Today it was great for Rebellion to be able to take the title. It was disappointing that Aston couldn’t take a podium finish this weekend when we were close to the Ferraris on pace but we will work hard to be back in the top-three in China. Everyone’s medium tyres worked well.
« LMP2 provided plenty of excitement with it not becoming apparent who was going to be leading after the final stops until the very end. It’s good for Jota’s G-Drive squad to get the win and maintaining the championship fight for Signatech Alpine and RGR Sport. We also had some great performances from finishers further down the filed; Alex Lynn set the fastest lap of the race in the #45 Manor Racing Oreca while ESM’s Antonio Giovinazzi and Pipo Derani both put in impressive stint averages proving their places in the LMP1 official “Rookie Test” at the end of the season along with Signatech’s Le Mans and four-race winning Gustavo Menezes.” »

James Bailey,