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Speed legend Craig Breedlove sues museum for damage to car that first broke 500 mph barrier

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The first man to surpass 500 mph and 600 mph in a vehicle is suing the museum that housed one of his record-breaking vehicles for 50 years.

According to the Chicago Tribune, a judge will allow a lawsuit to go forward by legendary speed record holder Craig Breedlove, 79, who alleges that Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry damaged one of his race cars after being housed in the museum for the last 50 years.

Breedlove was the first driver to pass the 500 and 600 mph barriers in his turbo-jet versions of vehicles known as Spirit of America.

In his suit, Breedlove alleges the Museum caused nearly $400,000 in damage to his historic speed machine, which broke the 500 mph barrier (526.26 mph) in 1964 at Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.

Breedlove loaned the record-setting car to the Museum in 1965, which had it on display for 50 years until 2015, when it was returned to Breedlove.

The Museum had Breedlove’s first lawsuit – alleging negligence and breach of fiduciary duty – dismissed, but an amended complaint by the driver and his attorney was given permission in October to go forward in the courts.

“They didn’t live up to museum standards,” Breedlove’s attorney, Steve Young, told the Tribune.

Breedlove alleges in his suit that the car was returned in damaged condition including graffiti, a re-welded frame and a missing seat.

A settlement meeting between the Museum and Breedlove is scheduled for Jan. 23.

If the Museum doesn’t settle, Young told The Tribune, “We will go forward … and ultimately, we will see the museum in court.”

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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.”