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Austin WEC: Rebellion eases to dominant victory

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Feb 24, 2020, 12:05 AM

Rebellion Racing took a dominant second victory of the FIA World Endurance Championship season at the Circuit of the Americas, easily beating Toyota's more severely handicapped cars.

Gustavo Menezes, Bruno Senna and Norman Nato had a trouble-free run in the polesitting #1 Rebellion R-13, taking advantage of being slowed only by 0.55 seconds a lap under the system of LMP1 success handicaps introduced for the 2019/20 season.

The more lightly-penalised of the two Toyota TS050 Hybrids, the #8 car shared by Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Brendon Hartley, was powerless to challenge the Rebellion, with Buemi dropping back to the tune of 23s in the opening hour.

In the end, Hartley brought the car home 51s down on the Rebellion, which scored only its second on-the-road outright WEC win following its first triumph last year in Shanghai.

Points leaders Mike Conway, Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi took the final podium spot in the #7 Toyota which was slowed by 2.77s a lap, versus 2.21s for the sister #8 car, albeit a full two laps down on the winning car.

LMP2: United Autosports takes back-to-back wins

Paul di Resta, Filipe Albuquerque and Phil Hanson delivered a second win in a row for the United Autosports squad, backing up their first WEC victory in Bahrain.

It was a win that had seemed unlikely in the early stages when di Resta dropped down the order, prompting an early changeover to Hanson that put the team off-sequence.

But consistent pace from all three drivers steadily put the United Oreca back into contention, and by the time di Resta brought the car in for a splash-and-dash with 20 minutes to go the #22 car was 1m20s up on its nearest rival, the #37 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca.

Ex-Formula 1 driver di Resta ultimately brought the car home by 24s ahead of the car shared by Will Stevens, Ho-Pin Tung and Gabriel Aubry, which was delayed early on when Stevens was punted into a spin by the Racing Team Nederland car of Frits van Eerd.

JOTA Sport's #38 Oreca of Anthony Davidson, Antonio Felix da Costa and Roberto Gonzalez finished third, while a late battle for fourth between Nicolas Lapierre's pole-winning Cool Racing car and Nyck de Vries in the RTN entry went the way of Lapierre.

The Signatech Alpine Oreca lost two laps with a brake failure in the second hour, ultimately finishing sixth in class, while the one-off DragonSpeed entry was dropped to ninth and last in class by a brake problem with just 10 minutes remaining.

GTE: Aston Martin's #95 crew victorious again

Aston Martin's championship-leading #95 crew of Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen secured their third victory of the season in dominant fashion.

Thiim was able to establish a buffer out front in the opening stint, and resisted a late charge from the #92 Porsche of Michael Christensen and Kevin Estre, which finished only 4s in arrears.

Alex Lynn and Maxime Martin had run second in the #97 Vantage for much of the race, but Martin dropped behind Estre in the penultimate hour before Lynn conceded a position to the #51 Ferrari of James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi in the final half hour, finishing fourth.

The second Porsche 911 RSR-19 of Gianmaria Bruni and Richard Lietz was in the mix for a podium finish as well before a battery problem caused the #91 car to stop on track with just over an hour to go, dropping the pair to seventh and last in class behind the solo Corvette C8.R.

Aston Martin took a double victory in the GTE ranks as the #90 TF Sport entry of Charlie Eastwood, Salih Yoluc and Jonathan Adam scored a third Am win in four races.

The TF car battled the works Am Aston for much of the race, and a faster final stop catapulted the #98 machine of Paul Dalla Lana, Ross Gunn and Darren Turner ahead with an hour to go.

But Eastwood subsequently caught Gunn and passed with just over 20 minutes to run, pulling away to win by just over three seconds.

The #57 Project 1 Porsche of Egidio Perfetti, Matteo Cairoli and newcomer Laurents Horr - replacing David Heinemeier Hansson for the remainder of the season - took third ahead of the AF Corse Ferrari of Francois Perrodo, Nicklas Nielsen and Emmanuel Collard.

Bahrain winners Ben Keating and Jeroen Bleekemolen, joined again by Felipe Fraga at COTA, finished 11th and last in class after losing 20 minutes due to a gearbox problem.

Race results:

Cla # Drivers Car Class Laps Gap
1 1 Brazil Bruno Senna
United States Gustavo Menezes
France Norman Nato
Rebellion R13 LMP1 189
2 8 Switzerland Sébastien Buemi
Japan Kazuki Nakajima
New Zealand Brendon Hartley
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 189 51.524
3 7 United Kingdom Mike Conway
Japan Kamui Kobayashi
Argentina Jose Maria Lopez
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 187
4 22 United Kingdom Philip Hanson
Portugal Filipe Albuquerque
United Kingdom Paul di Resta
Oreca 07 LMP2 182
5 37 China Ho-Pin Tung
France Gabriel Aubry
United Kingdom Will Stevens
Oreca 07 LMP2 182
6 38 Mexico Roberto Gonzalez
Portugal Antonio Felix da Costa
United Kingdom Anthony Davidson
Oreca 07 LMP2 181
7 42 France Nicolas Lapierre
Switzerland Antonin Borga
Switzerland Alexandre Coigny
Oreca 07 LMP2 181
8 29 Netherlands Frits van Eerd
Netherlands Giedo van der Garde
Netherlands Nyck de Vries
Oreca 07 LMP2 181
9 36 France Thomas Laurent
Brazil Andre Negrao
France Pierre Ragues
Alpine A470 LMP2 180
10 33 United States Mark Patterson
Japan Kenta Yamashita
Denmark Anders Fjordbach
Oreca 07 LMP2 179
11 47 Italy Roberto Lacorte
Italy Andrea Belicchi
Italy Giorgio Sernagiotto
Dallara P217 LMP2 178
12 21 Sweden Henrik Hedman
United Kingdom Ben Hanley
United States Colin Braun
Oreca 07 LMP2 177
13 95 Denmark Marco Sorensen
Denmark Nicki Thiim
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE PRO 173
14 92 Denmark Michael Christensen
France Kevin Estre
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE PRO 172
15 51 United Kingdom James Calado
Italy Alessandro Pier Guidi
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 172
16 97 United Kingdom Alex Lynn
Belgium Maxime Martin
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE PRO 172
17 71 Italy Davide Rigon
Spain Miguel Molina
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE PRO 172
18 63 Denmark Jan Magnussen
Germany Mike Rockenfeller
Chevrolet Corvette C8.R LMGTE PRO 170
19 90 Turkey Salih Yoluc
Ireland Charles Eastwood
United Kingdom Jonathan Adam
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 170
20 98 Canada Paul Dalla Lana
United Kingdom Darren Turner
United Kingdom Ross Gunn
Aston Martin Vantage AMR LMGTE AM 170
21 91 Italy Gianmaria Bruni
Austria Richard Lietz
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 LMGTE PRO 170
22 56 Norway Egidio Perfetti
Germany Laurents Hörr
Italy Matteo Cairoli
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 170
23 83 France François Perrodo
France Emmanuel Collard
Denmark Nicklas Nielsen
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 170
24 77 Germany Christian Ried
Italy Riccardo Pera
Australia Matt Campbell
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 169
25 86 United Kingdom Michael Wainwright
United Kingdom Andrew Watson
United Kingdom Benjamin Barker
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 169
26 54 Switzerland Thomas Flohr
Italy Francesco Castellacci
Italy Giancarlo Fisichella
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 168
27 62 United Kingdom Bonamy Grimes
United Kingdom Johnny Mowlem
United Kingdom Charles Hollings
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 168
28 88 United States Bret Curtis
Belgium Adrien de Leener
Austria Thomas Preining
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 168
29 70 Japan Motoaki Ishikawa
Monaco Olivier Beretta
Japan Kei Cozzolino
Ferrari 488 GTE EVO LMGTE AM 168
30 57 United States Ben Keating
Brazil Felipe Fraga
Netherlands Jeroen Bleekemolen
Porsche 911 RSR LMGTE AM 160
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About this article

Series WEC
Event COTA
Sub-event Race
Author Jamie Klein