Niklas Krütten and the COOL Racing team produced another strong display in race four of this season’s European Le Mans Series (ELMS) in Monza, Italy. The ADAC Stiftung Sport driver and his team-mates Matt Bell (Great Britain) and Nicolas Maulini (Switzerland) narrowly missed out on a podium, finishing fourth after 119 laps of racing. The trio’s consistency is paying dividends: the Swiss team leads the LMP3 class after victories in Barcelona and Spielberg, and a second place in Le Castellet. The advantage over their closest rivals currently stands at 13 points.
High summer in Monza: with temperatures approaching 30 degrees Celsius and track temperatures around 47 degrees, Maulini started round four of this season’s ELMS from ninth place for COOL Racing. The Swiss driver soon made up ground at the 5.793-kilometre circuit and climbed into third place in the LMP3 class. Bell took over at the wheel of the Ligier JS P320 after 51 laps. Unfortunately, contact with other cars during his stint resulted in the number 19 car being badly damaged. Krütten, who was the last driver into the car on lap 82, also had contact with a rival car. The 18-year-old fought hard and, despite the damage to his car, managed to defend third place until the final lap. The team was eventually overtaken just before the finish line and consequently came home fourth after 119 laps of racing in Italy.
Niklas Krütten: “That was a difficult weekend for us. We noticed in the free practice sessions that we were lacking a little pace. However, we worked well as a team again. We soon gained some positions in the race and were able to keep pace at the front of the field. We had a lot of traffic and, as a result, contact with other cars. Unfortunately, our car was so badly damaged that it was not easy for Matt and me to attack, or to fend off attacks. At the end of the four-hour race, I was just two seconds off a podium finish. However, we are still leading our class and we have often seen in the past that it is not the car with the most wins that comes out on top, but the one that has shown the greatest consistency.”
Next up for the European Le Mans Series is Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium) from 17th to 19th September. The season finale takes place on 21st October in Portimão (Portugal).