After a complicated day for COOL RACING in ELMS yesterday, where the team was forced to withdraw from the race following the accident of Alexandre Coigny, the team was motivated to get back on track and do all they could for their first FIA World Endurance Championship race. And they did with a masterclass result, when Nicolas Lapierre and Antonin Borga offered LMP2 victory to their injured team mate Alexandre Coigny.
With strengthened motivation and determination, Antonin Borga and Nicolas Lapierre completed the 4 Hours of Silverstone FIAWEC without Alexandre as he was not allowed by medical staff to take part in the race. Nevertheless he was in the garage supporting his teammates in the launch of their new FIAWEC adventure.
The three free practice sessions allowed the drivers to set-up the new Oreca07 #42. The team had been only able to make a “shake-down” at Le Castellet in France, but no further running before the Silverstone event. In the practice session Alexandre was able to discover the track “for real”, as he had only run it on simulator before. The drivers also had to understand and discover the new tire regulation that is quite different from the ELMS ones.
New Championship, new rules: in the world championship the qualification is made with average of two driver’s best laps, Antonin was therefore qualifying the LMP2 for the first time. With Nico, they reached 4th place on the LMP2 starting grid (out of 8 LMP2s).
What they said…
Patrick Barbier (FRA) – Team Principal
“There are ups and downs in motorsport, and for sure we had all of that during this weekend. When there are downs, you have to accept it, and we did. Therefore, first of all I want to thank every single one in the team. I am very proud of our drivers and very proud of the team members. The victory today is a true reward for all the hard work they did to prepare two cars and the start of a World Championship as we have started quite late. Bravo to all of them. I am truly happy.”
Antonin Borga (CHE) – Silver Driver
“This is just fantastic and almost unreal… First of all to take part of the qualification was impressive for me, then starting our first WEC LMP2 race was a very strong feeling, and now we are on the highest step of the podium… this is truly fantastic. All along the race I was thinking of Alex who could not share the race with us, and I was thinking it’s hard for him to not be part of this part of our adventure. And now I just want to say I am proud of what we managed to reach, and proud of the team who did all they could to give us the possibility to make it happen. In addition, we were a little unlucky, we had two punctures, and DriveThrough, which means 3 pitstops more than our rivals. After our bad race yesterday in ELMS, we also decided to be cautious, as endurance racing need cautiousness. I am very happy even if I don’t quite realize what is happening to us.”
Nicolas Lapierre (FRA) – Platinium Driver
“This race was very particular for all of us, as it was not nice to leave Alex on the side. We started this great adventure all together, and not having him in the car was strange, nevertheless it was important to do well for the team. The race was really hectic, first Antonin had a puncture at the start, which changed completely our strategy, but we managed the tire choice very well as well as the new decisions we had to take with the rain coming. The team was great, fast, and performant. Thank you to all of them because they were the key to our success. After that we had a DriveThrough because of a small misunderstanding from me under SafetyCar, and then another puncture at the end… Even though we had all this, we win our first WEC race, and this is truly motivating for the season to come.”
Alexandre Coigny (CHE) – Bronze Driver
“What can I say other than BRAVO guys! Antonin and Nico did a fantastic job, I am really proud of their performances. This weekend was hard to deal with two races in two championships and yesterday’s accident in ELMS made us all feel down. But in the end the team did a great great job and worked hard to make this result happen. It’s a very nice reward, I can’t really find the right words. This adventure we are building is taking us places where we did not plan to go to since we started, let’s see where the COOL RACING story takes us further…”
Beautiful sunny weather welcomed the 4 Hours of Silverstone competitors this morning. Antonin Borga started from second LMP2 row, and after two laps only, the Safety Car was deployed to clear off a P2 (United #33) stopped on the track. After 8mn of Safety car and 12 laps, Antonin was forced to come to the stand to change tires, having a puncture at front right tire. The young Swiss driver went back on track fiercely determined to grab his position back. Several incidents caused FCY, but Antonin managed in the best possible way all along the further 36 laps, and handed the car to Nico in P3. When the race director declared the track WET (meaning the teams were allowed to start changing tires), Nico came to the box for a very quick and efficient pitstop. As he lapped the track, the French driver was gaining positions until he was P2 when the second Safety Car came out (accident between a GTE and a P2) for 23 minutes. Six laps only after the safety car came in and with 1:30 hour to go, Nicolas and the #42 Cool Racing Oreca07 were first on the LMP2 classification. After three hours of the race, Antonin went back behind the wheel with a 33 second lead to the next P2 (#29 Racing Team Netherland), and he took the car to the chequered flag catching the first ever WEC victory of the new COOL Racing team.
Source. Mapidu Media