SMP Racing to withdraw from 2019/20 WEC season

SMP Racing has announced that it will not compete in the 2019/20 FIA World Endurance Championship.

The announcement by the Russian outfit contradicts the provisional entry list that was released at Le Mans last month, on which the team was listed with its BR Engineering BR1-AERs in LMP1 class. But weeks before the Prologue in Barcelona, the team has announced it will not be taking part.

"For us it was a difficult season," Boris Rotenberg, SMP Racing founder, said. "We worked a lot on our BR1 prototype. As a result, we were able to show and prove to everyone that the Russian team, Russian drivers and the Russian car are capable of achieving the highest results in the most difficult world championships and in such a prestigious race as the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

"This is a well-deserved success of everyone who participated in this ambitious project - drivers, SMP Racing and ART GP, BR Engineering and Dallara. Our goal has always been only a victory, and we believe that we achieved this victory with the highest possible result in the given circumstances. After the final race at Le Mans we decided that SMP Racing will leave the FIA WEC. Our team will not race in 2019-2020 season."

SMP Racing stepped up to the LMP1 class for the 2018/19 Super Season, scoring a total of five podium finishes, including a third place in last month's 24 Hours of Le Mans. The team's departure leaves just three teams and six cars entered in the LMP1 class, with Toyota and Rebellion Racing joined by Team LNT, who will be returning with a pair of Ginettas.