Petrov to join WEC grid with SMP Racing

Former Formula 1 driver Vitaly Petrov will compete in the LMP2 class of the World Endurance Championship in 2016, having signed with SMP Racing.

Petrov to join WEC grid with SMP Racing
Vitaly Petrov,
Podium: third place Vitaly Petrov, Lotus Renault GP
#44 SMP Racing BR01 Nissan: Mikhail Aleshin, Nicolas Minassian, David Markozov
#20 SMP Racing BR01 Nissan: Maurizio Mediani, David Markozov, Nicolas Minassian

Petrov, 31, will pilot the BR Engineering BR01 machine, which spent a development year in the European Le Mans Series in 2015.

The Russian driver raced in F1 between 2010 and 2012, securing a maiden podium in the 2011 Australian Grand Prix.

Petrov's previous experience in endurance racing is made up of select races in the 2007 Le Mans Series and an LMP2 assault on the 2007 24 Hours of Le Mans - a race from which he retired early due to car trouble.

In effect, the former F1 driver replaces another single-seater convert Mikhail Aleshin, who spent much of 2015 developing the BR01 but will turn his attention to a return campaign in IndyCar in 2016.

The WEC season kicks off with the 6 Hours of Silverstone on April 16, although the SMP squad will also contest Rolex 24 at Daytona in preparation.

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