BR Engineering and Dallara have announced the launch of a new LMP1 prototype for the 2018 World Endurance Championship.
The BR1 racer will spend 2017 under research and development at Dallara’s base in Italy prior to homologation.
Racing operations will be coordinated by British outfit ART Grand Prix, after AF Corse ran the BR Engineering entries in the past.
The new BR1 prototype will represent the next stage in BR Engineering’s aim of boosting the global standing of Russian motorsport and technology.
“We raised a challenge to ourselves,” said BR Engineering president Boris Rotenberg.
“BR1 is the continuation of the BR01 project, aimed primarily at attracting higher technology in our country.”
“Dallara’s name is known to anyone who is familiar with motor racing. Now we have become partners, and BR Engineering’s new project has started here in Italy, where the best designers and engineers, both from Russia and from Europe will create a Russian prototype for Russian team SMP Racing.”
The announcement of a new LMP1 prototype comes after the recent withdrawals of Audi and Rebellion Racing from the WEC’s top category.
Rebellion Racing’s departure reduced the class to just one entry, with Bykolles Racing still running its CLM P1/01.
BR Engineering previously built its own LMP2 chassis – the BR01 – which finished third at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2015.
The onset of the new spec LMP2 regulations means the BR01 will not be eligible to race in 2017 and beyond without being grandfathered into the major championships.
That rule change prompted BR Engineering to consider its own future in sportscar racing, with its two main options being to enter LMP1 as a constructor or to conform with the new LMP2 system as a customer.
“It was possible to buy a chassis of one of the four manufacturers of LMP2 for a season, also it was possible to leave for good, but we have always chosen our own path,” said Rotenberg.
“It is not the easiest, but it is for sure the most interesting and promising option.”
“The aim of the project was and remains the development of Russian motorsport, including the technology sector. We invest a lot in support of the Russian drivers to help talented children to start a career in karting and successfully continue into GT, prototypes or single seaters.”
BR Engineering will have a presence at this weekend’s 6 Hours of Bahrain WEC finale, with two BR01-Nissans on the entry list.