COOL Racing picked up a pair of fourth place finishes during the 4 Hours of Monza in a battling performance at the Temple of Speed.
After Nicolas Lapierre qualified the #37 Oreca 07 in fourth place in the LMP2 Pro-Am category, Alexandre Coigny took the start and navigated early dramas, handing the car over to Antonin Borga after an hour. The Swiss driver led the class at the midway stage, but was hit from behind by another car, sustaining damage and losing performance. Nicolas Lapierre put in a strong drive in the circumstances, with Coigny finishing the race off, crossing the line fourth in class.
In LMP3, Nicolas Maulini made strong progress in the #19 Ligier JS P320, moving from ninth on the grid to third by the time his two-hour drive concluded. Matt Bell took over and kept consistent pace, despite the car being damaged after contact with another car. Niklas Krütten engaged in a battle for the final spot on the podium, just missing out on the rostrum for the first time this season. Despite this, the crew still holds a 13-point lead at the top of the championship standings.
“We started the race with good pace, unfortunately we were hit from behind by another competitor when Antonin was in the car and the contact damaged the left rear, costing us a lot of pace every lap. We tried our best to limit the damage and managed to secure fourth in class.”
“The team did a great job this weekend. We had good pace and were competitive until we got hit from behind. It’s disappointing as we were in a great position with a perfect strategy. I’m happy with the way I drove in the final stint. It was difficult to keep the speed up with the damage, but I worked hard and drove consistently. The team is improving race by race and I am now looking forward to Spa.”
“First of all I want to thank the mechanics for fixing the car after my accident in FP1. They always do a great job and this weekend was no different. In the race we were in a good position but I was hit from behind and the car was damaged, making it difficult to drive. It’s a shame as we had a great strategy and the timing of the Safety Car and Full Course Yellows went our way, but we’ll come back fighting in Spa.”
“It was a difficult weekend, we didn’t have the pace of some of our rivals but we still took a decent result. It’s a shame to miss out on the podium late on but these things happen. I’m pleased with my performance, starting ninth and handing the car over in third. The start was fun, although it was difficult to find a rhythm thanks to all the Safety Car and Full Course Yellow periods.”
“It was a shame we couldn’t keep the podium run going today but we still took a good haul of points and held the championship lead. It was a crazy race and I still don’t really know what happened! But the COOL Racing team kept us in the fight the whole way to the end. We will keep working ahead of the next round and go to Spa aiming for the top step again.”
“It was a pretty tough weekend for us but we still leave Monza with good points for the championship. I think we maximised everything in the race, Nico did a great job at the start, getting the car into third. Matt also had a good stint, but unfortunately our car suffered quite a bit of damage after contact with other cars. I got in for the last stint and there wasn’t a lot I could do. I pushed as hard as possible, I gave everything but it wasn’t enough in the end and we finished fourth. We’re still in the championship lead so hopefully we can defend it in the last two rounds and take the title.”
NICOLAS LAPIERRE, MANAGING DIRECTOR
“The LMP3 crew had a solid weekend, despite just missing out on the podium. We knew this circuit wouldn’t be the ideal fit for us, but the team put their best into it and came out with a decent result. We are now focusing on Spa and we will make sure we move forward and aim to return to the podium there.”
Source. Pole/Photo. Matthias Schrütt