COOL Racing took podiums in both the LMP2 Pro-Am and LMP3 categories at the 4 Hours of Le Castellet, completing an excellent weekend for the team that included podium finishes in every race it entered across the European Le Mans Series, Michelin Le Mans Cup and Ligier European Series.
After Nicolas Lapierre put in a great lap to take LMP2 Pro-Am pole and fourth overall, Antonin Borga started the race strongly and Alex Coigny continued the momentum. Lapierre showed good pace at the wheel of the #37 Oreca 07 before Coigny finished the race, bringing the car home third in the Pro-Am class and taking the team’s second podium finish of the season.
Matt Bell qualified the #19 Ligier JS P320 in eighth place for the third race of the season, with Nicolas Maulini taking the start and making good progress. The pit crew called the car in for fuel under the first Full Course Yellow, helping the team to gain ground on those in front. 18-year-old Niklas Krütten picked up where Maulini left off, passing others before handing over to Matt Bell, who crossed the line in second. Combined with its two victories in the first two races of the season, the crew extends their championship lead to 27 points.
The next event on the European Le Mans Series calendar is at Monza on 9-11 July.
“The race was complicated, and we are very happy with the performance this weekend, in both qualifying and the race. The team worked hard and gave us a great car. It felt much better in qualifying and I was happy with my lap, it put us in a good position for the race. Antonin and Alex both had strong stints and it feels good to be back on the podium after a challenging race.”
“Overall we are satisfied with the result. It was important to get back on the podium to maintain our momentum in the championship. I’m disappointed with my performance, but Nico and Antonin drove brilliantly. The car was very good and we have made a big step forward since the last event. It was a really successful weekend for the whole team so we leave Paul Ricard happy and excited for the next round at Monza.”
“I’m pleased with our performance this weekend, the team did a great job and provided us with a really good car. The pit crew were excellent and timed our stops to perfection. I am happy to have driven a faultless race and to be on the podium. It’s an important result for the championship, we are now going to focus on Monza and improving even further.”
“The weekend ended on a positive note, taking another strong result to add to our great start to the season. The weekend was quite difficult in terms of pace, especially for pure performance over one flying lap, but the team did a great job. The strategy was great, pitting for fuel under the first Full Course Yellow. Without the great calls from the team we probably wouldn’t have been on the podium, so we’re really happy with the result.”
“Another great finish for us, we didn’t quite have the pace for the win this weekend but we’re very happy with second. We kept it consistent and the team made some great strategy calls in the early stages to get us in contention. We were able to secure the podium and extend our lead in the championship, so thanks to COOL Racing for their work and I’m looking forward to the next event.”
“The race went pretty well, Nicolas did a great job in at the start, he had good pace before my stint. I gave everything I had and we were catching the leader. The car felt brilliant and the strategy was perfect again. Matt finished the race off well but couldn’t quite catch the eventual winner, but we’re really happy to take the podium and continue our great start to the season.”
NICOLAS LAPIERRE, MANAGING DIRECTOR
“The #19 team did a really good job to pick up another podium. They didn’t quite have the pace they had in Austria but all three drivers performed well to extend their championship lead. The programme for this car is unfolding nicely and I am delighted with the entire team. Today capped off a very successful weekend for COOL Racing, picking up podiums in every race across the Ligier European Series, Michelin Le Mans Cup and European Le Mans Series. I’m extremely proud of the whole team for this achievement and we’ll look to carry this momentum to Monza next month.”
Source. SAS CLX MOTORSPORT/Photo. Jules Beaumont/AF300