Allmendinger praises competition after Barber test

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Since it’s been seven years since AJ Allmendinger was last in an open-wheel cockpit, you could forgive him if he’s a bit rusty. Still, Allmendinger did well to end his two-day test at Barber Motorsports Park with Team Penske just slightly over one second behind erstwhile dominant teammate Will Power.

Power led all four sessions held, while Allmendinger clocked in in mid-pack. He praised the competitive nature of this year’s field in a handful of tweets after the day’s work.

“Two days of testing done with. Solid days but def have a lot of work ahead. Loving the challenge and ready to work my ass off to get better,” he tweeted. “Can’t say enough how much talent and depth the @IndyCar series field has. Love it. Everyone needs to watch this year. Will be great racing.”

Allmendinger heads back to NASCAR this weekend, for his second Sprint Cup Series start this year aboard Phoenix Racing’s No. 51 GUY Roofing Chevrolet.

 

Rebellion confirms LMP1 return, all-star line-up for WEC super season

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Rebellion Racing has confirmed it will return to the LMP1 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship for the 2018/19 ‘super season’ with an all-star line-up featuring Le Mans winners Neel Jani and Andre Lotterer.

Rebellion raced in LMP1 as a privateer between 2009 and 2016 before stepping down to LMP2 for the most recent season, capturing the class titles at the first attempt.

Following a push from the WEC and Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) to make LMP1 more appealing to privateer teams, Rebellion announced on Wednesday it would return to the premier class for the 2018/19 season with a two-car effort.

WEC LMP2 champion Bruno Senna will return with Rebellion next year, as will Mathias Beche, with the pair set to be joined by four new faces.

The most notable arrivals are Porsche factory drivers Lotterer and Jani, both of whom were left without an LMP1 drive following the closure of the German manufacturer’s program at the end of the season.

American racer Gustavo Menezes will also join Rebellion, stepping up after two years in LMP2, while outstanding 2017 rookie Thomas Laurent completes the Swiss team’s line-up.

“I am looking forward to coming back where my endurance career started nine years ago,” said Jani.

“Rebellion Racing played a huge role in my career and also helped me become a factory driver for Porsche. When Porsche stopped in LMP1, it was clear for me that I wanted to race again for Rebellion.

“With the new regulations, I hope we can reach the overall podium at Le Mans and with a bit of luck, maybe we can even grab some wins during the super season of WEC.”

“I am very happy to join the champion Rebellion team,” added three-time Le Mans winner Lotterer.

“The LMP1 project is very exciting and to be able to go on with the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA WEC challenge is something I did not want to miss.

“I am motivated and looking forward to have a great time with great people there.”