Vitaly Petrov will make his Blancpain GT Series debut in 2018 as part of an expanded effort by SMP Racing.
The Russian driver has been confirmed for the five-round Endurance Cup schedule in a Mercedes-AMG GT3 fielded by AKKA-ASP team and carrying the SMP Racing colours.
Petrov is set to lead a three-man crew that also features Russian teenager Denis Bulatov and AKKA-ASP regular Michael Meadows. The team will be present at Circuit Paul Ricard next week for the official Blancpain GT Series test days (13/14 March).
Petrov comes with a wealth of competitive experience, including a three-year stint in Formula 1 that saw him become Russia’s first grand prix driver and its first podium finisher.
The SMP entry forms part of an ambitious 2018 schedule for Jerome Policand’s AKKA-ASP outfit, which is set to field four Endurance Cup cars and three Sprint efforts across multiple classes this year.
The Petrov-Bulatov-Meadows car represents the second SMP-backed entry that will compete in the Endurance Cup this term. Last week, the Russian squad confirmed that Mikhail Aleshin will drive their AF Corse-run effort alongside Ferrari factory drivers Davide Rigon and Miguel Molina.