Toyota insists Rebellion is serious threat for LMP1 title

Rachit Thukral

Rebellion drivers Bruno Senna, Norman Nato and Gustavo Menezes overcame a per lap penalty of 1.36s to secure pole position in the 8 Hours of Bahrain, comfortably outpacing the #5 Ginetta of Charlie Robertson, Ben Hanley and Jordan King that was pegged back by only 0.024s per lap.

The Swiss squad would have also been a strong contender for victory, had its race not been “destroyed” by contact from Robertson’s Ginetta on the opening lap.

.

Asked if Rebellion is now a serious threat in the championship fight, Toyota team director Rob Leupen told Motorsport.com. “If they can continue like this they are. 

“But they need to win some races and I would [have] expect[ed] them here [in Bahrain] to be bit stronger. At least they were quicker as us. 

“They had their issues, which you need to sort it out. Also we had some problems in the race but they were not as dramatic as Rebellion encountered. 

“So from that point of view, yes they are a threat. They are a competitor, they should be. And the regulations are made in the direction that they have to be. So look for some interesting races in Austin and after that Sebring and Spa and then Le Mans.”

#7 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050: Mike Conway, Jose Maria Lopez, Kamui Kobayashi

#7 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050: Mike Conway, Jose Maria Lopez, Kamui Kobayashi JEP / Motorsport Images

JEP / Motorsport Images