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ByKolles, SMP Continue Testing Programs

ByKolles, SMP Racing complete tests ahead of 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship season…

Photo: ByKolles

SMP Racing and ByKolles Racing have both completed tests this week with its new and upgraded LMP1 cars, in preparation for the 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship season.

The Russian-backed squad took part in a three-day test at Portimao with its new BR Engineering BR1 AER, which saw a host of drivers take the wheel, including Renault F1 development driver Sergey Sirotkin.

Sirotkin was joined by Mikhail Aleshin, Vitaly Petrov as well as European Le Mans Series LMP2 race winners Egor Orudzhev and Matevos Isaakyan.

While drivers have yet to be announced for the two-car program, it’s understood both Aleshin and Petrov have been confirmed to race, in what could be an all-Russian lineup.

A number of drivers also sampled ByKolles’ CLM P1/01 NISMO this week at Circuito de Almeria in Spain, including Paolo Ruberti and Chinese driver Ling Kang.

The pairing joined team regulars Oliver Webb and Pierre Kaffer, plus the returning Tom Dillmann, who completed tests in the team’s upgraded LMP1 non-hybrid in September, as well as last month at Motorland Aragon.

A “strong run plan” totaling mileage equal to three races, was completed in the three-day test, which focused on new aero and engine mapping developments.

It marked the team’s final test before plans to roll out a new aero package in February.

Manor Ginetta in Build

Ginetta’s new LMP1 car, meanwhile, has yet to hit the track, with the first chassis currently still under build in the UK.

Manor is so far the only confirmed customer for the yet-to-be-named car, which will be formally presented at the Autosport International Show next month.

While Ginetta announced that an undisclosed team had placed an order for two cars, it’s understood those plans have not materialized.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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