RCR, Germain to enter technical alliance next season

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As part of Germain Racing’s jump to Chevrolet next season, the team – which currently fields the No. 13 Toyota for Casey Mears in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series – will form a technical alliance with powerhouse Richard Childress Racing starting next year.

According to an RCR release, the alliance will feature technology sharing, engineering, research and development, and also see the Germain No. 13 use ECR Engines. Germain has fielded a Sprint Cup program since the 2009 campaign, and has earned two Camping World Truck Series championships (2006, 2010) in its history.

“Richard Childress and RCR have an extremely competitive program with a long history of winning races and championships,” Germain Racing team owner Bob Germain, Jr. said in a statement. “They have great people and tremendous resources which will allow us to continue to improve our GEICO team’s performance in 2014 and beyond.”

Mears and Germain have just one Top-10 this season, a ninth-place result in July’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona. However, the alliance will allow Mears to get re-acquainted with RCR after he ran for them in 2009; he collected four Top-10s that year in the No. 07 Chevy.

“We are very pleased to have a team like Germain Racing become our partner,” RCR owner Richard Childress said. “Bob and his team have been very committed to this sport and worked hard to improve every year.

“We have worked with Casey before and he’s a very talented driver. We look forward to working with him and his crew chief Bootie Barker.”

SMP Racing unveils BR1 LMP1 car in Bahrain ahead of WEC entry

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SMP Racing has publicly unveiled its new BR1 LMP1 car that will enter the FIA World Endurance Championship from 2018.

SMP Racing opted to pull out of racing full-time in the WEC for 2017 in order to focus on its preparations for an LMP1 entry the following year, with the decision being taken long in advance of Porsche’s exit announcement.

Officials from the Russian-backed SMP Racing, as well as drivers including recent IndyCar racer Mikhail Aleshin (sporting a broken arm in a sling), Vitaly Petrov and Sergey Sirotkin were all on hand to unveil the car on Friday in the Bahrain International Circuit paddock ahead of this weekend’s WEC finale.

The BR Engineering BR1 features a Dallara chassis and an AER engine, and has completed over 2,000 km in private testing, with further running set to be completed in the coming weeks.

SMP Racing plans to field two cars in the WEC’s LMP1 class next year, and is keen to get as many Russian drivers as possible in the seats from its wide pool of talent.

Even with Porsche’s departure from LMP1, the class is set to feature a bigger field thanks to the increased number of privateers moving up, with Toyota set to remain the sole manufacturer in the class.