Panis Racing and Cool Racing sign off with a flourish!
Portimao, Portugal, October 18th - The 2022 season of the European Le Mans Series drew to a close in Portimão, Portugal, at the weekend and it proved to be a happy hunting ground for both Panis Racing and Cool Racing.
Lying twenty-four points behind Italian team Prema Racing coming into the weekend, with only twenty-six still up for grabs, Panis Racing’s chances off snatching the title were slim, to say the least. And yet the former Formula 1 driver’s team did themselves proud once again: after claiming fourth place in qualifying, Nicolas Jamin, Job Van Uitert and Julien Canal crossed the finishing line as runners-up after a genuine four-hour race, despite the rain. In doing so, they racked up their fourth podium of the season from six rounds. The points gained ensured they finished as worthy 2022 ELMS runners-up. However, Panis Racing were not the only Elf-backed squad to perform well at the meeting.
Indeed, Cool Racing refused to be outdone: after qualifying in a lowly eleventh position, Yifei Ye, Niklas Kruetten and Nicolas Lapierre fought back in the race to finish an impressive third in the LMP2 class. Maurice Smith, Malthe Jakobsen and Michael Benham then added gloss to the team’s all-round performance with victory in the LMP3 class after a crazy finish to the race that saw their rivals go off track. The win also meant they secured the LMP3 title. A distinction that also recognises the incredible speed of Jakobsen, as the Dane became the first driver to take six pole positions in six races in a single ELMS season. The 4 Hours of Portimao also saw the Mission H24 hydrogen fuel cell electric prototype made another appearance in the Michelin Le Mans Cup, driven by Stéphane Richelmi, enabling a lot of crucial information to be gathered for the future.