The no1 Rebellion Racing R13-Gibson completed a perfect weekend for the Swiss team with their second overall win of the season from pole position in the 6 Hours of Circuit of The Americas, Round 5 of the 2019/20 FIA World Endurance Championship.
Bruno Senna, Gustavo Menezes and Norman Nato celebrated on the top step of the podium alongside the two crews from Toyota Gazoo Racing after finishing 51 seconds ahead of the no8 Toyota of Brendon Hartley, Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima, while championship leaders Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez in the no7 TS050 finished two laps down.
Bruno Senna – no1 Rebellion Racing R13-Gibson – 1st Place LMP1
“Yes, for me it was important to pull away from the Toyotas as much as possible. We knew they had a few more laps per stint than us, which meant they wouldn’t have to do a splash and we would probably have to. So, I wanted to build a big gap to make sure we had a big enough cushion behind us to do the splash if we needed to and for safety cars or anything else that could happen.
“Also, on the race start with the cold tyres and the low speed of the safety car, it was tricky. But our first pole position in Shanghai has put a lot of doubt in people’s minds on the race starts so when I went the Toyotas were not immediately going with me, so that made it a bit easier.
“In any case it was a great job from the team, and I think we did a good race with no mistakes and here we are. Happy days!”
The no95 Aston Martin Racing Vantage of Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen also enjoyed a lights-to-flag victory, finishing the 6 Hour race one lap ahead of the no92 Porsche 911 RSR-19 of reigning world champions Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen. The no51 AF Corse Ferrari of James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi made it three different manufacturers on the podium, finishing just 7.9 seconds behind the no92 Porsche.
Marco Sorensen – no95 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage – 1st Place LMGTE Pro
“The Dane Train is really on a roll right now, so we just have to keep that going obviously. The car was really, really good today. We had some small issues with the brakes but the good car make up for that. All in all it was really good, we’re happy for the team and we have to keep it going as we have a championship to win
The no22 United Autosports Oreca 07-Gibson of Filipe Albuquerque, Phil Hanson and Paul Di Resta claimed their second LMP2 victory in a row. The Anglo-Portuguese trio dropped back to seventh at the start but a great fight back saw the no22 Oreca take the chequered flag 24.1 seconds ahead of the no29 Racing Team Nederlands Oreca of Guido Van der Garde, Nyck De Vries and Frits Van Eerd, with the no37 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca of Ho Pin Tung, Will Stevens and Gaby Aubry a lap behind the all Dutch team.
Paul Di Resta – no22 United Autosports Oreca 07 – Gibson – 1st Place LMP2
“These guys (Filipe Albuquerque and Phil Hanson) nearly got pole position yesterday, but a bit of traffic put us out of position. I made a good start, but we had a bit of a miscalculation on something in the first two stints, which meant we had to stop 11 laps early in the second stint just to ensure we didn’t get any punctures.
“Once we resolved that issue we were always going to be fighting back. Fortunately, we left all of the strong points in terms of strategy until the end, which made a difference. It’s a shame the first two stints did go like that, but that’s racing and sometimes you get it wrong.
“From there on it we had a strong race. Back to back wins is key for our championship. Obviously, there is a short break until Sebring, momentum is on our side and hopefully we can go there and complete our hat-trick.”
Aston Martin held a double LMGTE celebration as the British manufacturer added a 1-2 finish in LMGTE Am to their LMGTE Pro win. The no90 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage took the top spot on the podium after Salih Yoluc, Jonny Adam and Charlie Eastwood brought the car home to take the chequered flag just 3.6 seconds ahead of the no98 Vantage of Paul Dalla Lana, Darren Turner and Ross Gunn after a long-term battle for the win. The final podium place went to the no56 Team Project 1 Porsche 911 RSR of Edigio Perfetti, Matteo Cairoli and Laurents Hörr, which had started the race on pole position.
Jonny Adam – no90 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage – 1st LMGTE AM
“It was good fun racing against Darren [Turner]. We had a battle like that in Shanghai too. It’s been a tough day as the battle between us and the No98 has been right through the six hours. Bahrain was a bit of a disaster to have a DNF and lose quite a lot of points, so to bounce back with another win is good for the championship. We’re up to second now and have got some momentum. These guys drove so well, and the team’s pit stops were nice and clean. I think Charlie’s move with 22 minutes to go was quite special. It was a hard-fought win but we’re very happy.”
Round 6 of the 2019/20 FIA World Endurance Championship will be the 1000 Miles of Sebring in Florida on Friday 20 March.
CLICK HERE for the result from the 6 Hours of Circuit of The Americas