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BR Engineering BR1 Unveiled

BR Engineering takes wraps off BR1 LMP1 non-hybrid for 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship season…

Photo: John Dagys

BR Engineering has taken the wraps off it’s new LMP1 non-hybrid contender, the BR1, which will make its debut in the 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship season.

The Dallara-built car will become the first Russian prototype to compete in the WEC’s top class, with two entries fielded by SMP Racing.

Vitaly Petrov, Mikhail Aleshin and Sergey Sirotkin have all completed testing in the BR1 alongside regular SMP sports car drivers Kirill Ladygin and Victor Shaytar.

The BR1 will race with an AER engine, and has parts designed by Russian students. More than 1,000 km has been completed with the car in testing so far following a two-day test at Motorland Aragon.

The announcement also delivered confirmation that DragonSpeed will race with the BR1 when it steps up to the LMP1 class for the ‘Super Season’.

“After Porsche left, the challenge became even higher, and this is the approach of SMP. We are taking maximum challenges,” team founder Boris Rotenberg said.

“This is my approach and character. I set maximum goals for myself and for the team. The harder the challenges, the better it is for us.”

Rotenberg confirmed the team had sacrificed a bit of its initial testing program in Spain in order to bring the BR1 car to Bahrain for the official launch, but plans are afoot to get back on-track soon.

“Definitely it will run again because the car will fly back in a couple of days,” Rotenberg said. “We will continue running in December, probably catch some days in November.

“We will do a 24-hour simulation definitely. We just need to find the right location with the right weather. I don’t want 24 hours of rain.”

When asked if other customer cars would be made available beyond the DragonSpeed deal, Rotenberg said: “Yes, absolutely yes. We are open. But you have to hurry! First come, first served.

“DragonSpeed just bought the car. We roll it out of the gate, and it’s theirs. It’s absolutely for them, they will manage the car completely themselves.

“Of course BR Engineering and Dallara will do on-track support as a manufacturer. But they’re running their own team and their own car.”

Luke Smith is a British motorsport journalist who has served as NBC Sports’ lead Formula 1 writer since 2013, as well as working on its online sports car coverage.

19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Luc

    November 17, 2017 at 11:16 am

    AER meaning they will not be competitive – shame.

    • Mamozrenesis

      November 17, 2017 at 11:29 am

      Yes, I agree, the AER engine doesn’t make me 100% happy.
      ByKolles struggled while running the AER engine in 2016 both on performance and reliabilty side.
      As soon as they switched to the Nismo unit things went better.

      • Tyler Sanders

        November 17, 2017 at 11:35 am

        The Aer was not that bad in the Rebellion R One

        • Michal Baranowski

          November 17, 2017 at 11:53 am

          But still it was unreliable, especially in a longer race than 6 hours. Rebellion failed to score a decent result at Le Mans in 2015 and 2016 – exactly when R-One was fitted with AER engine. Maybe the engine in BR1 is going to be different (bigger cubic capacity maybe?).

          • AF

            November 17, 2017 at 1:20 pm

            The problem wasn’t the power. The main issue was that the car was not built to use the AER engine, meaning that the cooling wasn’t what it needed to be. The additional fuel-flow that they’ll get next year will also help no end.

  2. Michael Sørensen

    November 17, 2017 at 11:35 am

    At least Dragonspeed will have the new Gibson P1 engine

  3. Tyler Sanders

    November 17, 2017 at 11:41 am

    Is ART Grand Prix running this car also in the SuperSeason.

    • Chris

      November 17, 2017 at 11:51 am

      I have never seen ART state any intentions to run in LMP1, but as SMP has always been paying other teams to be SMP, i’d expect ART to run the cars as SMP.

      • Tyler Sanders

        November 17, 2017 at 11:55 am

        I see thank you for telling me.

    • KW

      November 17, 2017 at 1:36 pm

      ART is the partner team for SMP to run the BR’s, like ORECA is for Toyota. So ART Grand Prix is part of the Boris Rotenberg project.

      • TF110

        November 18, 2017 at 3:54 am

        Oreca isn’t running the Toyota’s, Toyota/TMG runs them. Hughes de Chaunac is in their garage but they only help out with staff personnel and other minor things like that. This situation is different.

  4. Antonio Desmond Miles

    November 17, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    Where did you hear that Michael? I haven’t seen or heard announcements from Dragonspeed confirming which chassis and engine they’ve chosen yet. Unless I missed it.

  5. Antonio Desmond Miles

    November 17, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    Never mind. I see it now. Alright bring ’em on!! I can’t wait until next year! Hope these new-gen LMP1’s will be quicker than the LMP2’s. They need to be at least 4-5 seconds a lap quicker.

    • Tyler Sanders

      November 17, 2017 at 12:53 pm

      They definitely should be The ACO will let them produce more power than the previous LMP1-P

      • AudiTT

        November 17, 2017 at 2:50 pm

        And are 100kg’s lighter.

  6. Prototype 1

    November 17, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    I hope BR Engineering makes a updated LMP2 car along with its LMP1 car.

    The BR Engineering BR01 LMP2 car was one of my favourites.

    • Steven

      November 17, 2017 at 4:43 pm

      BR Engineering does not have an LMP2 car anymore. They were not one of the 4 chassis manufacturers selected which was a shame, but this is why they went to LMP1.

    • seriously?

      November 23, 2017 at 8:19 pm

      Have you been paying attention for the last 1.5 years?????????

  7. seriously?

    November 23, 2017 at 8:20 pm

    steven, that was meant for the genius to whom you replied, not you.

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