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Strong race for SMP as they look to Le Mans

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In the LMP1 debate there is the Rebellion and on the other side of the battle is the SMP Racing team.

#11 SMP Racing BR Engineering BR1: Mikhail Aleshin, Vitaly Petrov, Stoffel Vandoorne Free Practice 2, 6 Hours of Spa Francorchamps, Circuit De Spa-Francorchamps, Route du Circuit, Francorchamps, Belgium

They came to Spa last year and it was a little bit of a disaster with a flying car casting a shadow over the program but ultimately they were up to the hard work to make the car fast and reliable.

Over the last three rounds they have had the edge on Rebellion, beating them at Shanghai and Sebring. This time around, at Spa, they had the pace but in a wild race, they lost out to the #3 Rebellion.

As reported on Dailysportscar.com they suffered a gearbox issue, having only four gears for the final two hours.

As driver Mikhail Aleshin said, the team improved all weekend, important at this end of the FIA WEC Superseason, also considering that Le Mans is next on the calendar.

“It is very important for us to finish good here as the next race is Le Mans. Our competitors will only be stronger,” Aleshin said.

With new recruit, Stoffel Vandoorne in the car alongside Aleshin and Vitaly Petrov, the team managed the race well to step onto the podium for the third race in a row.

“My teammates made it easy for me, they did most of the job.

“The car was great and the team did a fantastic job all weekend…the next race is at Le Mans it was very important to have a good race, it is very important and our opposition will only get stronger.”

#11 SMP Racing BR Engineering BR1: Mikhail Aleshin, Vitaly Petrov, Stoffel Vandoorne Free Practice 1, 6 Hours of Spa Francorchamps, Circuit De Spa-Francorchamps, Route du Circuit, Francorchamps, Belgium

They also look to the Toyota as a yardstick. There is a lot of effort that goes into each of the teams efforts and to be able to inch closer to the factory hybrid team is a feather in the cap for any team.

“Every race we were finding something, every race we were getting closer to Toyota. Obviously we can’t fight with them but you see with the margin to them you can see that we are making progress. 

“This is important to the team, we work hard and that is great.”

Come Le Mans, the SMP Racing outfit have to be considered as a good chance for podium. The 24 hour race is obviously something different entirely, their race with Rebellion will be one to watch.


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By Sam Tickell, Photos from Paul Foster

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