Double podium for Cool Racing!
Cool Racing enjoyed a successful weekend at round three of the 2021 European Le Mans Series, the 4 Hours of Le Castellet, as the team took a fine third place in the LMP2 Pro-Am with Nicolas Lapierre, Alexandre Coigny and Antonin Borga, whilst Nicolas Maulini, Matt Bell and Niklas Krütten finished second in the LMP3 class.
The Cool Racing crews had made the perfect start to the weekend. Nicolas Lapierre was in scintillating form as he produced an excellent lap in qualifying to claim pole position in the LMP2 Pro-Am and fourth overall in the Oreca 07 #37. However, the crew – also featuring Alexandre Coigny and Antonin Borga – still had to produce the goods in the race. The TotalEnergies-backed car did just that, as its three drivers produced a fine team performance to take the chequered flag in third position in the LMP2 Pro-Am class, the crew’s second podium finish of the season. “It was a difficult race,” analysed Nicolas Lapierre at the finish. “We’re very happy with our performance this weekend, both in qualifying and in the race. The team worked hard to provide us with an excellent car. We were probably more comfortable in qualifying and with our one-lap pace. I was pleased with my performance and it put us in a good position for the race. Antonin and Alex both put in excellent stints and it was good to get back on the podium after a tough round last time out.” The very good performance of Cool Racing was complemented by a runner-up spot in the LMP3 obtained by Nicolas Maulini, Matt Bell and Niklas Krütten. This was in large part thanks to an excellent strategy in the Ligier JS P320 #19, which saw the crew take advantage of the first Full Course Yellow to make a timely refuelling pit stop. At Panis Racing, standard bearer of the Elf brand, Will Stevens, Julien Canal and James Allen were once again close to scoring an overall podium in the LMP2, but in the end had to settle for eighth place after unfortunately picking up a puncture from debris on the track. Lastly, it is worth noting the on-track demo of the Mission H24 hydrogen fuel cell electric prototype, on which TotalEnergies is a major partner through the development of a mobile refuelling station. The car was driven this weekend by Stéphane Richelmi. Attention now turns to Italy and the 4 Hours of Monza on Sunday 11 July, round four of the 2021 European Le Mans Series.
Although Panis Racing remain just outside the podium places in the overall LMP2 teams’ and drivers’ standings, Cool Racing undoubtedly enjoyed the weekend’s best results. Nicolas Lapierre’s team extended its lead in the LMP3 teams’ and drivers’ standings, whilst it is now very much contention for the podium in those of the LMP2 Pro-Am class.