Former Formula 1 driver Vitaly Petrov is expected to join the ranks of the World Endurance Championship in 2016, having held negotiations with SMP Racing's LMP2 squad.
Petrov, who scored Russia's first F1 podium in the 2011 Australian Grand Prix with Lotus, has been largely sidelined after losing his Caterham seat at the end of 2012 - albeit contested a sole DTM season with Mercedes in 2014.
But he could now find himself replacing Mikhail Aleshin in SMP's new BR01 programme, as the latter is set to make a return to IndyCar.
"It is possible that Petrov will replace Aleshin at the wheel of the BR01," confirmed SMP boss Boris Rotenberg.
"We negotiated on the phone and he agreed. He wants to represent a Russian team and help develop our project.
"All that's left is to meet up and sign the contract."
SMP's LMP2 BR01 prototype contested four ELMS rounds in 2015, making the podium on three occasions.
The car finished sixth in class on its Le Mans debut in June with Nicolas Minassian, Maurizio Mediani and David Markozov at the wheel, and finished fifth in class in the Bahrain WEC finale.
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