Hartley to replace Jenson Button at SMP Racing for Sebring and Spa

The Russian SMP team in action
The Russian SMP team in action

Brandon Hartley will replace Jenson Button in the two upcoming races of the World Endurance Races behind the wheel of the Russian sports prototype BR1 No. 11 of the Russian SMP Racing team.

Hartley will race in Sebring (USA) and Spa (Belgium) teamed with Vitaly Petrov and Mikhail Aleshin. Button will return for the Le Mans 24 Hours race.

The founder and head of the SMP Racing program, Boris Rotenberg: “Greetings to Brendon as part of our SMP Racing crew. He is a very experienced and successful racer – he twice won the World Endurance Championship, became the winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. We are sure that together our guys will make a great contribution to our future victories. I think, Brandon will be interesting to drive behind the wheel of our new Russian sport prototype BR1 and compete with rivals in the highest class LMP1. "

Brandon Hartley: “I am very pleased to join SMP Racing in the two upcoming FIA WEC races in Sebring and Spa. The team has a good technique and a great composition of the pilots, so I think we will have a great opportunity to compete for the podiums. This means my return to the WEC, and I'm really looking forward to being able to be back in the paddock, where there are so many familiar faces. "

The pilot of the SMP Racing program Mikhail Aleshin: “We are pleased to welcome Brandon to the SMP Racing team. I think Hartley will be a great addition to our team. He is an experienced pilot, took part in different types of competitions. Brandon successfully performed in the youth series, and I fully believe that his potential was fully revealed in endurance races – he won this championship in the overall standings. His participation in Formula 1, I think, is also certainly a positive fact, including for us, because it means that a very experienced pilot will go with us. "

The pilot of the SMP Racing program Vitaly Petrov: “This is great news for the entire SMP Racing team. Brandon has a lot of experience and many victories in the World Endurance Championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans Marathon. He played for the legendary Porsche brand, worked with strong pilots. Therefore, I think he will be able to suggest something interesting to us, so that we can even add to the development of our sport prototype BR1. Brandon, welcome to SMP Racing. "

The pilot of the SMP Racing program Sergey Sirotkin: “I want to welcome Brandon Hartley, who joined our team. I know Brandon a long time ago, we communicate very well, he is an excellent pilot who will certainly benefit our team. "

29-year-old New Zealand racer Brendon Hartley is a two-time champion in endurance racing (2015 and 2017) in the LMP1 class, winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans (2017), Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 champion (2007). Hartley also became the prize-winner of various European and New Zealand formula series, since 2008 he was a reserve and test-pilot of Red Bull Racing, Toro Rosso and Mercedes Formula 1. In 2017-2018, Hartley performed in Formula 1 as part of the Toro Rosso team.

Calendar of the upcoming stages of the FIA ​​WEC Superseason 2018-2019:
March 17, 2019 – “1000 miles of Sebring" (USA),
May 4, 2019 – “6 hours of Spa" (Belgium),
June 16, 2019 – “24 hours of Le Mans" (France).

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