Vandorn replace Button in the SMP RacingApril 21, 2019
Stoffel Vandorn will join the Russian SMP Racing team in the upcoming two stages of the World Endurance Championship. The Belgian will perform in the same crew with Vitaly Petrov and Mikhail Aleshin on the sport prototype BR1 in Spa and in the “24 Hours of Le Mans”.
Brandon Hartley, who was previously declared a SMP Racing pilot at the Spa race, has other commitments during the race week at Le Mans, so he agreed to give his place to Stoffel in order to give him and the team better preparation for the upcoming 24-hour marathon.
Jenson Button “I got great pleasure from playing for SMP Racing and was happy to get up with the team on the podium, but decided to refuse to participate in the race” 24 Hours of Le Mans. ” It was easier for me to make such a decision, including due to the fact that at present it is simply impossible to fight Toyota. In addition, I realized that I wanted to devote more time to my pregnant bride, rather than spend two weeks at Le Mans. ”
Stoffel Vandorn: “I am very happy to join SMP Racing and get behind the wheel of the sport prototype BR1 at number 11 already in my home race in Belgium and in the legendary marathon“ 24 Hours of Le Mans ”. As far as I know, cars of the LMP1 class are very demanding and are very similar in behavior to Formula 1 cars.
I am also glad that I have the opportunity to re-join the ART Grand Prix team and many people with whom I worked before during my successful campaign in the GP2 series. It will be very cool to work with such famous and experienced pilots as Vitaly Petrov and Mikhail Aleshin. My goal is to contribute to the team performance, develop the BR1 prototype and make a good impression. ”
Mikhail Alyoshin, SMP Racing pilot: “I want to welcome Stoffel in our team and our crew. Vandorn is a high-class professional and it’s great that he will spend two stages with us, including a challenging 24-hour marathon. Stoffel has a good racing experience, including Formula 1, where he played for McLaren. We thank Brandon for helping us get up to the podium at Sebring. He piloted and made a valuable contribution to our work with BR1. ”
Vitaly Petrov, pilot of the program SMP Racing: “I understand the decision of Jenson Button, I wish him and his family well-being. At the end of the WEC superseason, our SMP Racing team needs a pilot who can successfully complete the two remaining races. And I am glad to come to our team Stoffel Vandorn. So that he could prepare for Le Mans, he needs to get to Spa and get to know the championship. I hope he quickly mastered, and we, for our part, will always help him. ”
As emphasized in the SMP Racing, Jenson Button decided to refuse to participate in the “24 hours of Le Mans” primarily on the circumstances of a family nature.
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