Sergey Sirotkin has been confirmed with SMP Racing for remainder of the FIA World Endurance Championship season, starting with the 1000 Miles of Sebring.
Ex-F1 racer Sirotkin has been confirmed to make his first WEC appearance outside the Le Mans 24 Hours race in 1000 Miles of Sebring on March 15 in the #17 SMP Racing BR Engineering BR1 – AER alongside Stephane Sarrazin and Egor Orudzhev.
The Russian will replace fellow countryman Matevos Isaakyan in his first competitive race after F1’s Abu Dhabi GP in 2018. Sirotkin has tested in DTM with Audi and Formula E with Mahindra Racing in between but hasn’t had a competitive outing thus far.
“I am very glad that I have the honour of defending the colours of the Russian flag on the Russian prototype as part of the Russian SMP Racing team in the World Endurance Championship,” said the 23-year-old.
“We have outstanding line-ups and excellent cars, with which, I am sure, we will be able to fight for the win, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans.” As mentioned, Sirotkin will not only race in Sebring but also in Spa and in Le Mans to end the 2018/19 season.
While SMP Racing has named Sirotkin to join Sarrazin and Orudzhev, it looks like the #11 car will feature only Vitaly Petrov and Mikhail Aleshin for the rounds in Sebring and Spa after Jenson Button decided to pull out due to Super GT commitment.
It is expected for the former F1 champion to return to the cockpit for the Le Mans 24 Hours race but his future beyond the 2018/19 season remains uncertain as indications are that he will solely focus on his Super GT title defence rather than dovetail with WEC.
Elsewhere, the entry list for Sebring doesn’t feature any drivers to race for the #4 ByKolles Racing Team. The LMP2 class sees a big change for the #37 Jackie Chan DC Racing which has an all-new line-up of Will Stevens, Jordan King and David Heinemeier Hansson.
The line-up will feature in the rest of the season with Stevens to be replaced for the Le Mans event. This brings an end to the all-Malaysian effort which is said is because of a ‘commercial’ issue beyond the team’s control.
#1000MSebring race is approaching! An updated entry list has today been released with some new names plus some returning favourites…A warm #WEC welcome to former #F1 driver @sirotkin_sergey who joins @SMP_Racing 🙌 More details 👉https://t.co/XA2Cza8kMC pic.twitter.com/7y6n8Sroer
— WEC (@FIAWEC) January 29, 2019