Vaillante Rebellion celebrated a memorable first LMP2 championship success after a tense and thrilling finale at the Bapco 6 Hours of Bahrain on Saturday evening. Bruno Senna and Julien Canal claimed the crown after they sealed a fourth win of the season and a third in succession along with their teammate Nicolas Prost.
Senna and Canal lifted the championship trophy and, although Prost will not be crowned champion due to missing the Nurburgring race in July, his teammates and team praised his massive contribution to the success. The No.31 Vaillante Rebellion ORECA-Gibson was engaged in a fascinating race long duel with the No.38 Jackie Chan DC Racing car crewed by Oliver Jarvis, Thomas Laurent and Ho-Pin Tung.
The race between the two title protagonists swung several ways throughout the six hour race but ultimately came down to a final thrilling hour when Bruno Senna had to adapt to a temporary loss of power steering. As well as a five second time penalty received for contact with Jean-Eric Vegne’s CEFC Manor TRS car earlier in the race, the Vaillante Rebellion team were forced to work extra hard for what will be remembered as a famous championship success. The Swiss entered team also took the 2017 LMP2 FIA World Endurance Teams Trophy to complete an ultra-successful season.
Canal became a double LMP2 champion in Bahrain today emulating his success with the G-Drive Racing team two season ago. Despite Oliver Jarvis’ blistering final stint charge, the Jackie Chan DC Racing squad just missed out on the title and crossed the line just shy of Senna’s car. After 72 Hours of racing throughout the 2017 season the margin between the two battling LMP2 cars was just 10.6 seconds! Although there was some understandable disappointment in missing out on the championship, the Chinese team can be justifiably proud of their debut WEC season, in which they took a 1-2 LMP2 success at Le Mans.
Completing the podium in Bahrain was the No.13 Vaillante Rebellion crew of Nelson Piquet Jr, Mathias Beche and David Heinemeier-Hansson who took a third podium finish of the campaign.