Jani to exit Rebellion after ALMS finale

Jani to exit Rebellion after ALMS finale

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Jani to exit Rebellion after ALMS finale

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Neel Jani is set to bid farewell to the Rebellion Racing LMP1 squad at the Petit Le Mans enduro at Road Atlanta in October.

The American Le Mans Series finale on Oct. 19 is scheduled to be Jani’s only remaining appearance with the team that brought him into sports car racing in 2009. He is not expected to contest any of the final five rounds of the World Endurance Championship with Rebellion.

Jani, who will share the team’s Lola-Toyota B12/60 at Road Atlanta with Nick Heidfeld and Nicolas Prost, said: “It is a good way to go out because we are sure to have a good fight with the Muscle Milk [Pickett Racing] HPD.

“In the WEC, the team will be racing against itself [after the withdrawal of Strakka Racing, the only other privateer LMP1 entry].”

Jani, who will test the new Porsche LMP1 hybrid for the first time next week at the German manufacturer’s Weissach development facility, explained that his target was to end his five-year stint with Rebellion by repeating the team’s 2012 victory at Petit.

“It would be nice to end with a victory,” he said. “Alexandre Pesci [the team owner] brought me into sportscars at a time when I wasn’t very keen to do it. He gave me a platform to present my talents, which has allowed me to get the Porsche drive.

“The team has come a long way since 2009. They benefited from me, but I definitely benefited from them. A lot of thanks go to them.”

Jani said that the highlights of his time with Rebellion were the Petit victory with Prost and Andrea Belicchi and fourth place in the 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours, sharing with Prost and Heidfeld.

Heidfeld, Prost and Mathias Beche will drive Rebellion Racing’s solo Lola-Toyota in the next two rounds of the WEC at Interlagos and Circuit of The Americas in September. Beche will be joined by Andrea Belicchi for the Fuji round in October, which clashes with Petit. The team expects to take part in the final two WEC races at the Shanghai and Bahrain circuits in November with Prost, Beche and Belicchi driving.

Rebellion team manager Bart Hayden said: “We wanted to make sure that the drivers were each able to keep their eye in and also make room in the program for Neel to go and test the new Porsche LMP1.”

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