RCR camp gains new sponsor for 2014 Cup campaign

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A bit of NASCAR sponsor news that we missed during the week: Wix Filters is now on board at Richard Childress Racing as both a sponsor and as a technical partner.

Next year, the company will serve as primary sponsor for Ryan Newman’s No. 31 Chevrolet at Pocono Raceway in June, the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona in July, and Michigan International Speedway in August. Wix has supported Newman, formerly of Stewart-Haas Racing, since the 2010 season.

“We’ve had a lot of fun together racing the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour,” Newman said in a team release. “I look forward to representing them at RCR and getting the WIX Filters Chevrolet into Victory Lane.”

Additionally, Wix will sponsor Brendan Gaughan in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Auto Club Speedway next March. Gaughan is moving up to the NNS in 2014 after running with RCR’s Camping World Truck Series program this past year.

As part of the deal, Wix also moves into a technical partnership role with both RCR and ECR Engines. The company will provide the team with air and oil filters as well as research-and-development support.

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

SMP Racing
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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.