Race officials for the 24 Hours of Le Mans announced today they have stripped the number 13 Rebellion LMP2 Oreca 07-Gibson of its overall third position podium finish after discovering the team had modified a piece of bodywork during the race.
The number 13 LMP2 team, along with the number 38 DC Racing LMP2 car, finished in the bottom two spots of the podium overall mainly thanks to mechanical failures suffered by the Toyota and Porsche LMP1 teams throughout the race.
The Rebellion car, driven by Nelson Piquet Jr, David Heinemeier Hansson, and Mathias Beche, was found to be guilty of "modifying a homologated part and using it partly during the race," according to report of the race official's statement.
The modification, which officials said was a "hole that [had] been fashioned by the competitor in the right-hand side of the engine cover," gave access to the car's starter motor without having to remove the entire rear bodywork.
The car, which reports as having starter motor issues early in the race, ran a portion of the 24 hours with this modified bodywork, which is strictly against the rules. And then there's an even more damning issue: the team tried to cover the hole after the race.
that the tech inspectors saw the Valliante Rebellion team "attempt to cover the hole in Parc Ferme." Think of Parc Ferme as a hermetically sealed chamber, once cars enter it after a race, they aren't to be touched by members of the team until tech inspection is complete.
Rebellion's loss of position means the #37 Jackie Chan DC Racing car driven by Tristan Gomendy, David Cheng, and Alex Brundle move up onto the podium, and take a second place finish in LMP2.