While being the newest manufacturer in the prototype ranks, BR Engineering is hopeful of becoming one of the four approved LMP2 constructors in the recently announced, new-for-2017 regulations. (En Français)
The Russian firm confirmed that it submitted an expression of interest to the FIA and ACO last week, just days before the current generation SMP Racing-run BR01-Nissans debuted in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
“BR Engineering has demonstrated its ability to build a LMP2 car and the necessary resources were made for this,” SMP Racing Managing Director Benjamin Durand told Endurance-Info.
“The BR01 is the only true LMP2 in the class and of course, BR Engineering hopes to be selected as constructor.
“The business plan [for 2017] is the road with a guarantee to deliver cars and provide support to customers.”
While the four selected constructors will be announced next month, Durand said they’re also open to options in LMP1 and LMP3, should it not secure one of the highly sought-after LMP2 licenses.
“Endurance racing is a logical sector,” Durand said. “Personally, I believe in the future of LMP1 non-hybrid as LMP2 will become more and more restrictive. What hinders [LMP1 non-hybrid] is the lack of competitors.
“The advantage LMP2 has is the number of championships where cars can race. But the BR01 still has at least two more years [life].”
While currently facing little customer interest, Durand believes the LMP1 privateer category could see a resurgence in the years to come, largely due to the evolving LMP2 regulations.
“BR Engineering wants to be a constructor in its own right,” he said. “Rebellion Racing shows this in LMP1, which is interesting.
“What was P2 could become the P1 non-hybrid. All P2 manufacturers [that won’t be selected for 2017] would have to propose a new car.”
BR’s sister organization, SMP Racing, is coming off a successful 24-hour race debut with the Paolo Catone-designed BR01 prototype, with a sixth place class finish for the No. 27 car of Maurizio Mediani, David Markosov and Nic Minassian.
Durand said the Russian squad has the capability to build up to five of the current-generation BR01s, depending on the level of customer interest.
“Teams wishing to change chassis for 2016 have already made inquiries,” he said. “There is clearly a sales potential for the BR01. The project is very serious and well-equipped.
“Now we have to be competitive to find the first sale. It’s possible to see a BR01 equipped with a Judd engine, while it would also be interesting to see where it fits in with another tire manufacturer.”
BR Engineering joins Onroak Automotive, ORECA, Dallara, Riley Technologies, Ginetta, Gibson and Wolf as manufacturers all understood to have placed bids for the new LMP2 platform.