SMP prepared to modify LMP1 car after airborne crash

SMP Racing has stated it is prepared to modify its BR1 LMP1 car if necessary as it investigates the dramatic airborne crash one of its cars suffered at Spa.

SMP prepared to modify LMP1 car after airborne crash
#17 SMP Racing BR Engineering BR1: Stéphane Sarrazin, Egor Orudzhev, Matevos Isaakyan, crash
#17 SMP Racing BR Engineering BR1: Stéphane Sarrazin, Egor Orudzhev, Matevos Isaakyan
#17 SMP Racing BR Engineering BR1: Matevos Isaakyan
#35 SMP Racing Dallara P217 - Gibson: Victor Shaitar, Egor Orudzhev, Matevos Isaakyan
#17 SMP Racing BR Engineering BR1: Stéphane Sarrazin, Egor Orudzhev, Matevos Isaakyan
#17 SMP Racing BR Engineering BR1: Stéphane Sarrazin, Egor Orudzhev, Matevos Isaakyan
#10 Dragonspeed BR Engineering BR1: Henrik Hedman, Ben Hanley, Pietro Fittipaldi
Pietro Fittipaldi, Dragonspeed BR Engineering BR1 suffers a huge crash
#10 Dragonspeed BR Engineering BR1: Henrik Hedman, Ben Hanley, Pietro Fittipaldi

Matevos Isaakyan was behind the wheel of SMP’s #17 BR Engineering BR1-AER during last weekend's FIA World Endurance Championship opener when it lifted off the ground at the top of Eau Rouge and backflipped at least twice before hitting the barriers. 

A statement provided to Motorsport.com said that the Russian squad is still working to determine the cause for the incident, adding that it is working with chassis partner Dallara to implement any fixes that may be needed.

The cars are next due to race at the Le Mans 24 Hours next month, when ex-Formula 1 champion Jenson Button is set to join the squad after testing the BR1 at Magny-Cours for the first time on Wednesday.

“It is [still too] early to make a final statement on the Matevos’s crash in the race as we need to investigate more,” said an SMP representative.

“Many assumptions may be made now regarding the airborne car, [but] a lot [has] to be analysed before a conclusion is made. The team is working on this together with Dallara. Should the car need any modification, such will be made.

“Matevos was driving at the limit and while following [a] Toyota his car went out of control. Eau Rouge is a very tricky corner and this is not the first airborne car there.

“We believe that a rare and complicated coincidence of many factors may lead to any race car lifting off the ground, and this corner is more likely to be a place for such [a] case.

“[There is] not too much time left to the race in Le Mans, but we are confident that we have enough time to prepare. The car and the team will be ready for the race.”

Fittipaldi crash still being investigated

Isaakyan’s crash followed a heavy impact for Pietro Fittipaldi in DragonSpeed’s customer BR1 at Eau Rouge in qualifying, which left the Brazilian with a fractured left leg and broken right ankle.

Team boss Elton Julian said power steering issues were likely the cause of the crash, although SMP says it is still investigating the incident.

“We assume that there was an electronic component failure in the DragonSpeed car which may have caused the driver to lose control of the car,” continued the statement.

“We keep investigating the issue and we are in [an] open and professional dialogue with DragonSpeed; all their questions will be answered.  

“BR Engineering together with Dallara will undertake all effort to ensure that the DragonSpeed car is fully ready to race in Le Mans.”

shares
comments
Ferrari at negotiating table for 2020/21 LMP1 regs

Previous article

Ferrari at negotiating table for 2020/21 LMP1 regs

Next article

G-Drive could add more WEC races to 2018 schedule

G-Drive could add more WEC races to 2018 schedule
Load comments
The understated Le Mans legend who has earned a testimonial Prime

The understated Le Mans legend who has earned a testimonial

OPINION: After 24 Le Mans 24 Hours participations, 50-year-old Emmanuel Collard will be absent from the grid this year, stuck at the mercy of his gold driver grading. But, while he's not motivated by breaking start records, the French veteran is determined to return to the field next year.

WEC
Jul 24, 2021
How glitches threatened Toyota's unbeaten WEC streak Prime

How glitches threatened Toyota's unbeaten WEC streak

The FIA World Endurance Championship's long-awaited return to Monza posed the sternest test yet for Toyota's new hypercar. Although the Japanese marque's GR010 Hybrid remains unbeaten, the victory for Mike Conway, Jose Maria Lopez and Kamui Kobayashi was far from plain sailing.

WEC
Jul 19, 2021
The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence Prime

The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence

Following the latest convergence connection permitting Le Mans Hypercars from the FIA World Endurance Championship to compete against LMDh entries in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship from 2023, it could open up enticing options not only to manufacturers but also for the calendar and race formats

WEC
Jul 13, 2021
How overlooked Mazda produced one of Le Mans' greatest shocks Prime

How overlooked Mazda produced one of Le Mans' greatest shocks

The screaming rotary-engined Mazda 787 is regarded as one of the most popular Le Mans 24 Hours-winning cars, but until its surprise success on this day 30 years ago it was never regarded as a likely victor. But that reckoned without a new technical partner, some canny political manoeuvring and a rival's bizarre self-inflicted weakness.

Le Mans
Jun 23, 2021
How Alpine's stunted Portimao charge kept Toyota clear Prime

How Alpine's stunted Portimao charge kept Toyota clear

Despite going stride for stride for pace at Portimao, Alpine’s grandfathered LMP1 couldn’t convert pole position into a sustained victory fight against Toyota. And due to rules and car limitations that are set in stone, the French manufacturer will be searching for solutions in its own battle of endurance.

WEC
Jun 14, 2021
Charting 100 world championship sportscar starts for Toyota Prime

Charting 100 world championship sportscar starts for Toyota

This weekend's Portimao 8 Hours round of the FIA World Endurance Championship marks the 100th world champion prototype start for Toyota. Here are the major milestones on the road to three figures since the earliest low-key days of its entry into the Group C arena nearly 40 years ago.

WEC
Jun 12, 2021
The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing Prime

The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing

Most of the column inches after the World Endurance Championship's opener were centred around the relative pace of the Hypercar class and the LMP2s, but there's another question that needs addressing in order for the new division to have a successful future

WEC
May 7, 2021
How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era Prime

How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era

Amid concerns that the new Hypercar class would be upstaged on debut by the spec LMP2 machines at Spa, Toyota delivered the pole and victory that the vast majority of observers expected. But neither car had a clean run, which gave the grandfathered Alpine LMP1 an unexpected shot at glory.

WEC
May 4, 2021