Russian outfit SMP Racing has decided to pull the plug on its FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) LMP1 campaign.
In a surprise news, SMP Racing confirmed its intentions to not compete in the 2019/20 WEC superseason on Monday, after stepping up to the LMP1 category only in 2018/19 season, where it scored five podiums in the lead category.
The Russian outfit were named in the provisional entry list for the 2019/20 WEC season alongside Toyota, Rebellion Racing and Team LNT (all fielding two cars each), but with only two weeks to go for the Prologue, it has decided to pull-out from the series.
In fact, SMP Racing founder Boris Rotenberg stated that they already decided to stop its activities after the 2019 Le Mans 24 Hours race. With Toyota far ahead, the real fight for them was against Rebellion as they fell short by 25 points to end up third overall.
“For us it was a difficult season,” said Rotenberg. “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.” As things stand, there will only be six cars in LMP1 category, provided the two Ginettas are able to start and finish the season.