First round of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship
to take place at Silverstone on 14-16 April.
VAILLANTE REBELLION to campaign two Oreca 07 LMP2 cars.
#13 : Mathias beche, Nelson Piquet jr, David Heinemeier Hansson.
#31 : Nicolas Prost, Bruno Senna, Julien Canal.
On April 16th in Silverstone, at the first round of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), VAILLANTE REBELLION will begin its new challenge in the LMP2 class.
As announced at the end of last season, after the team won its fifth straight LMP1 Privateer world title, REBELLION Racing will focus their 2017 FIA WEC racing programme as VAILLANTE REBELLION in the new LMP2 category with ORECA 07 LMP2 cars, putting their participation in the LMP1 category on hold.
This year, REBELLION Racing and Editions Graton are joining forces to bring Michel Vaillant back to life for the FIA WEC World Endurance Championship and the prestigious Le Mans 24 Hours, a highly original partnership at the crossroads of fiction and reality to pay tribute to the most famous of all fictional racing drivers.
A dedicated Vaillante Le Mans livery for the team’s two cars will be unveiled on April 27th in Brussels.
The VAILLANTE REBELLION team will tackle the 2017 FIA WEC with new driver combinations as half
of the six drivers are new to the team.
Drivers for the VAILLANTE REBELLION Oreca 07 car #13 are Mathias Beche, Nelson Piquet jr and David Heinemeier Hansson.
Mathias Beche was selected by REBELLION Racing in 2013 after he won the 2012 Le Mans Series LMP2 Drivers Championship. Since then, he has become an eleven times LMP1 Privateer class winner with the Swiss team and finished fourth overall at the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours.
Nelson is back with the team for a full season programme. After becoming the first champion of the FIA Formula E championship, Nelson Piquet Jr joined the Swiss team in 2016 and raced in the three opening rounds of the FIA WEC, including Le Mans 24 Hours. He won the LMP1 Privateer class at Le Mans with Nicolas Prost and Nick Heidfeld and secured two class podiums.
David Heinemeier Hansson is new to the Swiss team. David ended the 2013 FIA WEC in second place of the LMP2 drivers classification, he won the GTE-AM Championship with Aston Martin in 2014 and finished runner-up in 2016 in the GTE-AM class with Porsche. At Le Mans 24 Hours, David has won the GTE-AM class in 2013 with Aston Martin. He secured a second place finish in LMP2 in 2013 and an additional podium in GTE-AM in 2016 with Porsche.
The VAILLANTE REBELLION Oreca 07 car #31 will feature Nicolas Prost, Bruno Senna and Julien Canal
Nicolas Prost has been a REBELLION Racing driver since the team’s debut in LMP1 in 2009. In the FIA WEC between 2012 and 2016, he has collected 17 LMP1 Privateer class wins and two 4th place overall finishes at Le Mans 24 Hours. He was back-to-back winner of the Petit Le Mans in 2012 and 2013 and added an overall podium finish at the 12 Hours of Sebring in 2013.
Bruno Senna is a new addition to the team’s driver line-up for the 2017 FIA WEC campaign. Bruno has proved to be a first class driver in endurance racing. He already competed four times at Le Mans 24 Hours and was very successful in his 2016 LMP2 car, he secured second place in the drivers classification, he won twice in class at the 6 Hours of Silverstone and the 6 Hours of Mexico and secured four class podiums.
Julien Canal is the third driver to be added to the team’s 2017 driver squad, he has strong experience in FIA WEC and at Le Mans 24 Hours with seven starts already. Julien won the FIA WEC LMP2 World championship in 2015 and was runner-up in 2014. Julien won the GTE-AM World title in 2012 (Corvette). At Le Mans 24 Hours, Julien has won three times in GT class (GT1 and GTE) and secured a podium finish in LMP2 in 2015.
The 6 Hours of Silverstone has been a regular fixture on the FIA WEC calendar since 2012. The race will start on Sunday April 16th at 12h00 GMT.
Bart Hayden, REBELLION Racing Team Manager : «It’s a great honour to start this new season as Vaillante Rebellion. We are coming to the 6 Hours of Silverstone strongly determined to achieve the best results. We have made the choice to race this year in LMP2 to face more competition than we had in LMP1 Privateer during the last three years. Targeting the best results in such a competitive class as LMP2 means that we are here to win. This will be the first race event with our new driver line-ups after the positive test in Monza two weeks ago.
THE MOTOR RACING GRAPHIC NOVEL
Michel Vaillant is a very talented driver, at ease on two or four wheels.
His father, Henri Vaillant, is the manufacturer of the Vaillante automobiles
driven by his son throughout his 76 comic books.
Created in 1957 by French author Jean Graton and continued by his son Philippe, the Adventures of Michel Vaillant represent a unique work in the history of comic strips and motorsports.
Unique, because if the Adventures of Michel Vaillant are all fiction, they invite the reader into the real world of motor racing that both Jean and Philippe Graton have been acquainted with for the past 60 years.
Unique, because Michel Vaillant has revealed the world of motor racing to readers of all ages. Some even admit their passion began with Michel Vaillant books. These include Alain Prost, 5 times F1 World Champion, Tom Kristensen, recordman of victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, or Luc Donckerwolke, the most renowned car designer of his generation.
If the great Belgian champion Jacky Ickx was the first driver to play his own role, we also find in the pages of this saga other well-known characters that span from Fangio to Lewis Hamilton, including Jackie Stewart, Mario Andretti and Dan Gurney, who once stated that “ inclusion in one of Graton’s novels is considered the highest recognition for a professional racing driver ”.
Michel Vaillant has been adapted into a television series, several animated pictures and into a feature movie written and produced by Luc Besson. But it is in its original form (graphic novels) that the saga weaves its magic. The realistic drawings constitue an exceptional encyclopaedia of 60 years of motor racing.
This imaginary hero, recognised by the world of racing (Henry Ford II and Enzo Ferrari personaly wished him a happy 20th birthday), defends the fundamental sporting values that have survived all the different trends.
Today, the most famous of the French comic heroes passes from paper to the track. And its famous Vaillante car becomes reality, thanks to the Vaillante Rebellion team.