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Porsche's Lotterer, Jani set for 2018/19 LMP1 stay with Rebellion

Lotterer Jani Porsche WEC 2017

Porsche drivers Andre Lotterer and Neel Jani are set for an immediate return to LMP1 in the World Endurance Championship with the privateer Rebellion squad next year.

The Le Mans 24 Hours winners, who have been left without LMP1 drives by Porsche's withdrawal from the category, are understood to have agreed to join Rebellion for its switch back to the LMP1 ranks from LMP2 for the 2018/19 superseason.

Both drivers, who remain under contract to Porsche, have found seats in the 2017/18 Formula E Championship, but there are no calendar clashes that would preclude them driving in any of the five WEC races next year.

No comment was available from Rebellion regarding the LMP1 move or its projected driver line-up, though it appears that the programme could be confirmed as early as this week.

Team boss Bart Hayden admitted at last month's Bahrain WEC finale that Rebellion was leaning towards ending its successful one-season foray in the LMP2 category of the WEC to move back into the premier class.

An appetite to return has coincided with a commitment from the rulemakers to give LMP1 privateers lap-time parity with factory hybrid cars and an upturn in interest in the class.

Hayden suggested in Bahrain that a decision could be made by the middle of this month.

Lotterer and Jani, who was part of Rebellion's LMP1 programme from 2009 until signing for Porsche for 2014, would join a driving roster made up of a mixture of team regulars and new faces.

Neel Jani Rebellion Autosport 1000km Silverstone 2010

Bruno Senna, part of Rebellion's LMP2 title-winning line-up this year, is set to stay along with Swiss driver Mathias Beche.

Gustavo Menezes and Thomas Laurent, LMP2 frontrunners with their respective Signatech and Jackie Chan DC Racing teams, appear likely to complete the line-up.

American Menezes already has links with the Rebellion after making a one-off with the team at the Petit Le Mans IMSA SportsCar Championship finale at Road Atlanta in October.

It is believed that Rebellion will continue its relationship with ORECA, which built the team's R-One contender of 2014-16 and supplied the chassis for this year's LMP2 campaign.

Hayden has previously ruled out updating the R-Ones, as well as suggesting that the team "would want our own car" rather than buying an off-the-shelf car from Ginetta or BR Engineering.

An increased-capacity version of the normally-aspirated Gibson V8 LMP2 powerplant appears to be the most likely choice of engine.

Rebellion in LMP1 - by the numbers

LMS titles 1
Overall WEC podiums 2
Top-six Le Mans finishes 3
WEC titles 8
WEC victories 31
Win percentage 79

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