Vaillante Rebellion secured its first LMP2 title at he World Endurance Championship finale in Bahrain. Julien Canal and Bruno Senna in the No. 31 had a stellar run in the flyaway races, nullifying a points deficit that at one point was over 50 points after the Nurburgring to the No. 38 Jackie Chan DC Racing car by winning four of the last five races.
It continues the Anglo-Swiss team’s remarkable record of championship wins, the team having secured a title in every season of the WEC so far; five in LMP1 Privateer and now one in LMP2.
Senna explained just how tough it was at the end of the race, with the power steering failing in the No. 31 car and Oliver Jarvis in the No. 38 Jackie Chan DC car catching fast.
“The steering was impossibly heavy on the fast corners – it was made worse because it kept cutting back,” he told RACER. “I was turning into corners and it was turning on and off, so I went off a couple of times. It was so stressful, and I was losing my confidence.
“Then I damaged the tires a lot because of that, but suddenly in the cockpit I worked out that if I reset it on the straights it would work through the corners. That helped me pick up the pace. We need to find out why it failed, but it doesn’t really matter now.
“I’m speechless – it’s unbelievable. We pulled over 50 points on car No. 38 and the team did an exceptional job; we all got stronger throughout the year and when we got to the overseas season we got into the groove and started to win races.
“I’ve waited 14 years to win a championship – this is my first time. I’ve been close a few times, but this is the one. I can’t thank everyone enough for what we’ve done this year.”
Canal meanwhile, was overwhelmed with emotion as the race finished, the Frenchman securing his second WEC LMP2 title in style.
“To be honest after my stint I wasn’t thinking about the win, but after the amazing job by my teammates, later in the race, I gradually started to think about it. My teammates are great guys and some of my best friends away from the track, too. We did it!”