There will be another ex-Formula One driver on the grid of the FIA World Endurance Championship next year, with Vitaly Petrov having signed with SMP Racing for its expanded LMP2 program.
The 31-year-old Russian, who made a total of 58 Grand Prix starts between 2010-12, will be one of the drivers in the Russian squad’s two-car BR Engineering BR01 effort, replacing Mikhail Aleshin, who will return to IndyCar competition in 2016.
Petrov is no stranger to sports car racing, having taken part in the 2007 Le Mans 24 Hours at the wheel of a Courage LC75-AER. More recently, he completed a season of DTM with Muecke Motorsport.
He is expected to join team veterans Nicolas Minassian, Maurizio Mediani, among others, in the pair of Russian prototypes next year.
In addition to the WEC drive, Petrov will also participate in SMP’s driver development program, in helping young Russians through the motorsports ladder.
The announcement was made Friday during an end-of-year SMP Racing press conference in Russia.