The LMP1 class in the American Le Mans Series has been a ‘two’s company’ affair for the past few years, with only the Dyson Racing Team in its Mazda-powered Lola chassis and the Muscle Milk Pickett Racing Team in its Honda chassis and engine running in 2011 and 2012. The class will officially become a crowd in 2013, though, when it’s joined by the Toyota-engined Lola chassis of Rebellion Racing. The Anglo-Swiss team only ran one race in the ALMS last year, the year’s finale at Petit Le Mans, that it won.
The move appears to be about visibility. Rebellion invested most of its 2012 contesting the FIA’s World Endurance Championship series, where it won the Endurance Trophy for Private LMP1 Teams. Yet six wins in eight races and a class win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans didn’t result in the kind of attention or visibility that the team is after – it’s said that the manufacturer teams still fill the spotlights. Rebellion team manager Bart Hayden said of the ALMS, “The visibility generated by overall wins is more in line with what our partners require and desire.”
Rebellion wants to remain in the WEC and is looking for a way to run a parallel program alongside its ALMS entry next year. The team will bring two cars to next year’s opening round at the 12 Hours of Sebring to get things started in the US. The full driver line-up for its US series entry haven’t been announced, but Speed reports that 2012 European Le Mans Series champion Mathias Beche is already on the roster.