Two squads of the Russian SMP Racing team took part in two free practice sessions before the sixth round of the World Endurance Championship, which will take place on Friday, 15 March 2019 in the USA.Two Russian prototypes BR1 showed the third and fourth results in the overall standings and in their LMP1 class. Each SMP Racing squad has a newcomer in the line-up: Brandon Hartley, who replaces Jenson Button for two races, joined the car #11 and Sergey Sirotkin is behind the wheel of the car number 17. This year Sergey combines the participation in the FIA WEC with the role of Renault third and reserve driver in Formula 1.
“We did a good job, we successfully drove the evening session at long distances,” Sergey Sirotkin said. “I enjoyed driving along the track in the evening. Of course, the first two laps felt a bit unusual, some places are not very visible, but then I got used and figured it out. Those improvements that we have found for ourselves during the previous tests are beneficial. I think there are a lot of positive moments in the behavior of the machine. The most interesting part of these two weeks awaits us and I really hope that we are fully prepared for the race and look forward to seeing the results of our work.”
“If you look at the results table, you can see how teams are close to each other, and it is clear that the fight will be interesting, especially with Rebellion,” Vitaly Petrov commented. “Yes, Toyota is a little ahead, and it will be difficult for us to catch up with them if they do not make a mistake. I think the fight will be tough. The track at Sebring is narrow, slippery and dangerous, so it will not be easy this weekend. As I noted earlier, we need to set up the car for this track in a different special way. We worked on this on tests, and the suspension gets better with each lap. We have another training ahead, and we still have a lot to do. In general, this track is a good experience that we can use afterwards in other competitions, so we continue to work."
The start at the 1,000 Miles of Sebring, sixth round of the World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC), will be given on Friday, 15 March 2019 (at 23:00 Moscow time).