Lotus pleased with progress, eyeing more points in Monaco

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After such a terrible start to the 2014 season, Lotus finally found its feet and scored some points at the Spanish Grand Prix thanks to Romain Grosjean’s eighth place finish.

However, technical director Nick Chester has no plans of stopping there, and believes that the tight and twisty nature of the circuit for next weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix will suit the E22 car.

“Monaco is a bit of a strange place – a one off – so it’s always dangerous to assume your car will be good there,” he said. “But I think it will suit the E22 and we should go fairly well.

“We’ll also be bringing some specific parts aimed at giving us more downforce at what is the highest downforce track of the year. Other new parts will help tune the car for the bumpy and low speed track characteristics.”

The team missed the first test in Jerez in January, and has been on the back foot ever since. The problems were exacerbated by engine supplier Renault starting its own development late, but the right steps have been taken.

“The parts we’ve tested so far look good and we’ll also have a new fuel from Total which should further improve power and driveability,” Chester explained. “There will also be a small modification to the cooling system and there are other aerodynamic developments aimed at making the car more stable.”

Grosjean’s run to eighth in Spain finally got the team off the mark in 2014, but teammate Pastor Maldonado is still yet to finish inside the top ten.

The Venezuelan driver has won few plaudits this season after a number of unavoidable incidents, but if the pace of the E22 is there, he could soon join Grosjean in the points.

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.”