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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.


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