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SMP Racing Finalizes Rolex 24 Driver Lineups

Mikhail Aleshin (BR01), James Calado (Ferrari) join SMP Racing effort for Daytona…

Photo: SMP Racing

Photo: SMP Racing

SMP Racing has finalized its driver lineups for next month’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, which will see the Russian squad take part in both the Prototype and GT Le Mans classes.

Russian open-wheel star Mikhail Aleshin will join Nic Minassian, Maurizio Mediani and Kirill Ladygin behind the wheel of the BR Engineering BR01 Nissan, which will make its North American debut in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season opener.

Aleshin, who recently announced his return to the Verizon IndyCar Series for 2016, is coming off a season with the Paolo Catone-designed prototype in the European Le Mans Series and has been replaced by Vitaly Petrov in the team’s full-season LMP2 lineup next year due to his IndyCar commitments.

The lineup in the team’s GT Le Mans class entry with the new Ferrari 488 GTE, meanwhile, has been adjusted, with Ferrari factory driver James Calado replacing Toni Vilander for the twice-around-the-clock endurance classic.

Calado joins Gianmaria Bruni and SMP’s 2015 World Endurance GTE-Am Champions, Andrea Bertolini and Victor Shaytar, in the turbocharged Prancing Horse, which will make its competition debut.

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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