Vitaly Petrov links up with Manor in WEC for 2017

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Ex-Formula 1 driver Vitaly Petrov will race for the CEFC Manor TRS Racing team in the FIA World Endurance Championship this year following the announcement of a deal on Friday.

Petrov raced in F1 between 2010 and 2012, scoring one podium finish for Renault and becoming Russia’s first representative in the world championship. A grandstand at the Sochi Autodrom was recently named in his honor.

Petrov moved into the WEC last year with SMP Racing in the LMP2 class, claiming a class podium at Le Mans alongside Kirill Ladygin and Viktor Shaitar.

The Russian driver will remain in LMP2 for 2017, switching to Manor following SMP Racing’s exit from the series as it prepares to step up to the LMP1 privateer class for 2018.

Petrov will race in the No. 25 ORECA 07 car alongside Simon Trummer and Roberto Gonzalez, with his public debut coming at Monza this weekend in the pre-season Prologue test.

“We are very happy to have Vitaly join our team, it is great to add another big talent to our driver line up,” Manor president Graeme Lowdon said.

“Vitaly has experience in WEC and at the 24 Hours of Le Mans so he is a very good addition to our team. We know Vitaly from our time in Formula 1, he is a very competitive driver and we are really looking forward to going racing with him in 2017.”

Petrov completes Manor’s WEC line-up for 2017, with the No. 25 car featuring fellow ex-F1 racer Jean-Eric Vergne alongside Jonathan Hirschi and the returning Tor Graves.