The Oreca 07 #31 Vaillante REBELLION wins its second consecutive race becoming leader of the LMP2 Championship before going on to Bahrain for the last round of the 2017 FIA WEC season. Vaillante REBELLION #13 finishes in third position.
11:00 am local time, was the start of the 6 Hours of Shanghai. The two Brazilian drivers Bruno Senna and Nelson Piquet Jr started the race on the Chinese circuit for Vaillante REBELLION. Twenty minutes into the race, whilst in third position, a contact with a GT car relegated the #13 from P3 to P7, meaning the driver crew would need to haul the car back into the leading positions.
After 1h25 of the race, when back into position 5, Piquet Jr handed over to Mathias Beche and Julien Canal took the wheel of the #31, still P1. The French driver continued the momentum of Bruno Senna by maintaining the Oreca 07 #31 at the top of the category in front of the #36 Signatech Alpine Matmut. Mathias Beche, at the wheel of #13 kept pushing for the comeback of the car to the podium after two hours of racing.
After handing over to Nicolas Prost soon after the third hour, the #31 was in second and the #13 in fourth with David Heinemeier Hansson then driving. The fight for the LMP2 podium raged between both Vaillante REBELLION cars, Jackie Chan DC Racing #38 and Signatech Alpine Matmut #36.
One hour and a half from the end of the race, the two Brazilian drivers Bruno Senna and Nelson Piquet Jr were back at the wheel after quality stints by their teammates. In the last hour of racing in Shanghai, nothing was certain in the LMP2 category. Bruno Senna was pushing behind Jackie Chan DC Racing #38 for first position. Nelson Piquet Jr, currently off the podium, was doing everything to overtake the #36 Signatech Alpine Matmut.
At 5h05 into the race, #31 was back in the lead, where it remained in P1 until the chequered flag. Shortly afterwards, it was #13′s turn to overtake the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing and claim the third position in the LMP2 category after an incredible race!
See you in two weeks in Bahrain for the last race of the FIA WEC season!
Bart Hayden, team manager:
“Today’s race in LMP2 in Shanghai showed how competitive this formula is, so it makes us feel really proud and very happy to take the win and also the third place on the podium. >From a Championship point of view, car #31 is now leading, and that’s fantastic considering the difference in the points that there was before the “fly-away” part of the season started. The whole team deserves a result like today’s, we’ve all worked really hard to lift our performance through the year. It sets everything up for a thrilling season finale in Bahrain.”
Bruno Senna, #31 driver:
“It was a tough race on the tires for sure. We managed to have performing tires during the major part of the race. Our car was fantastic. It became more performing throughout the season and it makes the difference today. The team did a really good job and the most important thing is the struggle for lead of the championship. Bahrain will be tough too but we all know what we need to do and I’m sure we will.”
Julien Canal, #31 driver:
“In my first stints it was really good. I kept the car in a good pace. Even if the race was tough, we kept the lead during a long part of it and my teammate did an amazing job. The team really increased the setup level of the car and I think that now we just have to keep this momentum for Bahrain.”
Nicolas Prost, #31 driver:
“Another very good weekend, a strong race without any mistake. Win 3 times in 4 races is pretty amazing. Now we have to stay focused on Bahrain!”
David Heinemeier Hansson, #13 driver:
“I had so much fun racing Nico Müller here in Shanghai. Probably my best battle ever in WEC. So wonderful to cap that fight off with a podium. Big thanks to the crew and team for giving it all, and congrats to #31 for the win.”