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15/07/2021 News

An historic win for Panis Racing

After two thoroughly difficult meetings at the Red Bull Ring and then at Le Castellet, Panis Racing bucked the trend in Italy to win the 4 Hours of Monza following a tight battle with its rivals. Cool Racing finished just outside the podium places in the LMP2 Pro-Am and LMP3 classes.

Third at the opening round in Barcelona, Panis Racing suffered the trials and tribulations of racing at the next two races. Known as the “Temple of Speed”, Monza’s famous race track provided the perfect opportunity for Julien Canal, Will Stevens and James Allen to get back among the frontrunners. Starting from the fourth row, the Elf-backed prototype’s drivers showcased all their skills in endurance racing. The French team’s trio of drivers combined strategy and speed perfectly, whilst managing their various pit stops with great aplomb. James Allen made the most of his stint, just before the Safety Car period, to grab the lead. After four hours of intensive racing, where there was absolutely no room for error, Julien Canal, Will Stevens and James Allen secured a debut win in the ELMS for Olivier Panis’ team.

“At last! After a series of misfortunes, luck was finally on our side today, but above all it was the determination of the entire team that was rewarded,” commented a delighted Olivier Panis. “Congratulations to our three drivers, who did an incredible job on the track, as did all the staff at Panis Racing. It was very much a team effort. It has to be said, however, that we were not in good shape at the start of the week in terms of the balance of our LMP2 prototype, but the engineers managed to make the right adjustments to provide the crew with a very good car in time for Sunday’s race. As usual, the mechanics were absolutely first class during the pit stops, enabling us to gain a crucial few seconds in the race. I’d like to thank my fellow managers Sarah and Simon Abadie, as well as Stéphane Dilouya, who have fought hard alongside me to achieve this result. Our partners have also supported us throughout and we should dedicate this maiden victory to them. It’s been a very emotional weekend in Italy, I feel very proud of everyone. We’re already focusing on the 24 Hours of Le Mans.”

In the LMP2 of TotalEnergies-backed Cool Racing, Nicolas Lapierre, Alexandre Coigny and Antonin Borga managed the four hours of racing to claim fourth place in the Pro-Am class. The team were also competing in the LMP3 category, with Nicolas Maulini, Matthew Bell and Niklas Krütten, who fought their way up through the field to finish just outside the podium places, holding onto first place in the Teams standings in the LMP3. The drivers and teams will now enjoy the summer break before returning to action at the 24 Hours of Le Mans on 18-22 August.

Championship update

Thanks to this maiden win in the ELMS, Panis Racing and its drivers moved back into contention for a podium spot in the LMP2 class, with the final two rounds in Europe, scheduled to take place in September and October, looking set to prove decisive. Meanwhile, Cool Racing lie fourth in the LMP2 Pro-Am and hold first place in the LMP3 standings.