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Rebellion drops to one car for remainder of WEC season

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Rebellion Racing has confirmed it will enter just one car into the remaining five rounds of the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship season as it shifts focus to 2017.

Rebellion races in the LMP1 privateer sub-class alongside ByKolles with two cars, and picked up overall podiums at Silverstone and Spa as well as winning the LMP1-L class at Le Mans.

However, with new technical regulations set to be introduced for privateer LMP1 teams for 2017, Rebellion has opted to scale back its involvement to just a single car for the rest of the season.

The no. 13 car shared by Alexandre Imperatori, Dominik Kraihamer and Matheo Tuscher will take part in the final five rounds, leaving the no. 12 most recently raced by Nico Prost, Nick Heidfeld and Mathias Beche on the sideline.

“The level of competition in LMP1 is being taken to ever greater heights by the Manufacturer entrants, so to improve our own competitiveness in the category, we feel the need to invest more time and resources into updating the Rebellion R-One cars ready for the 2017 season,” Rebellion team manager Bart Hayden said.

“As a small private team with limited resources, we have decided to focus on racing one car rather than two in the remaining FIA WEC events and this will allow us to put more effort into updating the cars for 2017.

“Earlier this year at Le Mans, the FIA and the ACO announced some changes to the regulations for privateer LMP1 cars for 2017 and we need to take those changes and make them into reality to put us in a more competitive position going forward.

“Splitting our focus between running one car in the remaining races and on updating the cars for next year will mean that we can continue to be a part of the World Endurance Championship whilst at the same time making sure that we are as competitive as possible next year.

“We have decided to continue racing with the Rebellion R-One number 13 as that car is closer in the LMP1 Privateer Teams championship points standings to our rivals at ByKolles and it makes the fight for the championship a bigger challenge.”

The next FIA WEC round takes place in Mexico City on September 4.

Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

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As his season gathers steam, Helio Castroneves said his prospects for finding new rides for 2021 in IMSA and IndyCar also are gaining momentum.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Monday he is optimistic about landing in either or perhaps a combination of both series when Team Penske and Acura end their DPi partnership after this season.

“A lot of people I spoke with, four to five teams, are interested,” Castroneves said. “Whether it’s doing Indy 500 only, whether it’s pushing to do full time or do the sports cars as well. It’s been a very nice conversation.

LOOKING AHEADTeam Penske drivers seeking new rides for 2021

“I have a lot of respect for all the teams that have been talking, and I feel the same feedback. We just have to wait for their (sponsor) connections, and I’m also looking for some connections on my side as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to put this together and get something very soon.”

Given two decades of success with Penske in IndyCar and IMSA, Castroneves’ resume hardly needs burnishing. But the Brazilian has combined with co-driver Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura DPi to win the past two overall victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

But Castroneves, who doesn’t have a manager, said he has been working the phones hard rather than wait for the strong results to bring in the calls.

“At this point, I feel like I’m the one who needs to be talking to them because people need to know I want to continue racing and understand my desire,” Castroneves, 45, said. “There is opportunity, no question, in both (IndyCar and IMSA), which I’m really happy about it. However, because of the COVID-19, a lot of things sometimes have to be a little delayed. But I’m excited. Whatever the opportunity and whatever destiny guides me, whether IndyCar or sports cars, trust me I’ll be as happy as it could be and doing my 100 percent like I always did.

“It’s like politics, you need to be out there, good news or bad news. People have to make notice of your presence. I’m hustling. I want to continue to keep it going. Hopefully, we’ll have good news very soon.”

The news has been all good lately on track for Castroneves and Taylor, who hope to continue their run Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The No. 6 duo has surged to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 10 points out of the lead with four races remaining. After thinking there was “no hope” to be competitive after opening the season with three consecutive poor finishes, Taylor now sees an opportunity for a happy ending.

“With the program going away, Helio has won all the big races and given so much back to the team and left such a mark, he’s really part of Penske history,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of it. I’d like to leave my little mark as well. Helio has won everything except for a championship.

“Obviously, we’ve won races already together, but we can win a championship now. I think if both of us can do that together and both win our first championship for ‘The Captain,’ that would be an absolute dream come true, and we can tie a bow on it and be happy.”