SMP Racing has taken the wraps off its new LMP2 contender, the BR01, which will debut in next year’s FIA World Endurance Championship. (En Français)
In a Sportscar365 and Endurance-Info exclusive, the Russian-backed organization has revealed the first photos of a wind tunnel scale model of the car.
Designed by Peugeot 908 architect Paolo Catone, the BR01 is being manufactured by BR Engineering, which recently relocated from Italy to the South of France.
“Early on as a team, we wanted to produce our own car,” team principal Boris Rotenberg said in an exclusive interview.
The Russian squad, which recently captured the 2014 European Le Mans Series GTE and GTC championships, currently leads the FIA WEC LMP2 standings in its first year in global prototype competition.
Its 2015 race program has yet to be 100 percent confirmed but the team is working towards a two-car presence in the FIA WEC, as was the case this year with its pair of Oreca 03Rs.
Drivers will be announced at a later date but Rotenberg said Nicolas Minassian, Mika Salo and Maurizio Mediani will all be part of the BR01’s development program.
“The goal is to advance the team over time,” Rotenberg said. “The first step is LMP2, but nothing says that in the long-term, we do not step up to LMP1.
“For the moment, we’re fully focused on the development of the BR01, whose first laps are scheduled for December. There’s still a lot of work to do with various partners.”
Rotenberg said the car, which can be fitted with multiple engine and tire options, could be seen on both sides of the Atlantic, as discussions already underway with prospective customers to run the new prototype with Russian origin.
“The car is designed to appeal to gentlemen drivers,” he said. “Consider that LMP2 is the playground of the gentlemen, who must feel comfortable in the cockpit.
“We are optimistic about the potential of the BR01.”
While much of the focus will be on the new prototype, Rotenberg confirmed its GT program will also continue, with more details to follow shortly.
The SMP F4 Championship, meanwhile, will debut next year, aimed to develop the next generation of Russian open-wheel and sports car racing drivers.