Ligier JS P320 ELMS Inter Europol Competition Monza Win

ELMS: The pole, victory and a podium sweep for the Ligier JS P320 at Monza

3 July 2022 - The Ligier teams run the table at the 4 Hours of Monza, round three of the European Le Mans Series at the Temple of Speed in Italy. COOL Racing secured its third consecutive pole position with the #17 Ligier JS P320. Starting from the outside of row one, the #13 Inter Europol Competition Ligier JS P320 put in a perfect race from start to finish to take its first win of 2022. Alongside it, two other Ligier crews marched onto the podium for the first time, the #6 of 360 Racing and the #11 of Eurointernational. The #5 of RLR MSport set the fastest lap of the race.

On Saturday 2 July, Malthe Jakobsen was again the man to beat in qualifying with the #17 COOL Racing Ligier JS P320, which he shared with Maurice Smith and Michael Benham. The young Dane set the fastest lap of 1:43.627s to claim his third consecutive pole position, ahead of Guilherme Oliveira in the #13 Inter Europol Competition car.

The #13 Inter Europol Competition gets a flying start

On Sunday morning, the cars were prepared for the 4 Hours of Monza. The race promised to be very hot and physically demanding for the drivers. The #13 Inter Europol Competition Ligier JS P320 of Nicolas Pino, Charles Crews and Guilherme Oliveira got off to a perfect start and took the lead from the #17 COOL Racing. The #2 United Autosports car of Bailey Voisin, Joshua Caygill and Finn Gehrsitz was third ahead of the #7 Nielsen Racing and its line-up of Anthony Wells and James Littlejohn that picked up four places straight away. The #15 RLR MSport pitted with an overheating problem just minutes after the start.

The race was interrupted by a ten-minute safety car period. At the restart, the #2 Ligier JS P320 overtook the #17 for second place. Inter Europol Competition's #13 kept the lead, but its sister car, the #14 of James Dayson, Mateusz Kaprzyk and Noam Abramczyk, crashed at the first chicane. The safety car intervened again, and the Polish team's LMP3 was retired.

The #27 COOL Racing marches to the sharp end of the order

After a 15-minute neutralisation, the race resumed. The #2 and #17 Ligier JS P320s renewed their duel for second place, but the United Autosports LMP3 resisted. Behind them, the second COOL Racing car, the #27 of Antoine Doquin, Nicolas Maulini and Jean-Ludovic Foubert, stormed through the field. Starting last in the category, it slipped past a host of its rivals to move into the top three after overtaking its sister car and the #2 of United Autosports. Then another incident occurred: the other car of the British squad, the #3 with Bailey Voisin, Joshua Caygill and Finn Gehrsitz, lost control and hit the barrier at the Variante Ascari.

The LMP3s made their first pit stop during the safety car period. The #13 lost the lead momentarily, dropping to third place behind the #2. As the end of hour two approached, a Full Course Yellow was deployed after the #17 COOL Racing car went off track. The crew was bitterly disappointed to have to retire. The #13 then went on the offensive. It overtook the #2 to retake the category lead. The United Autosports car pitted, which allowed the #6 of 360 Racing to move up to second place.

A race disrupted by several incidents

The Ligier JS P320s of the #5 RLR MSport of Michael Jensen, Nick Adcock and Alex Kapadia, the #2 United Autosports and the #27 COOL Racing were locked in a fierce battle for third place. The #2 got the advantage and pulled away, leaving the #5 and #27 to fight for fourth place.

With 90 minutes remaining in the race, the #13 Ligier JS P320 passed through the pits again. Less than ten seconds behind, the #6 took the lead before stopping a lap later. The #2 led the category for about fifteen laps. The two Eurointernational cars, the #11 with Max Koebolt and Jérôme de Sadeleer and the #10 with Glenn Van Berlo, Xavier Lloveras and Adrien Chila, were running third and fifth. Another appearance of the safety car was required to remove an LMP3 machine from the gravel trap.

A succession of late-race lead changes

It was a fierce battle among the #13, #6, #11, #2 and #10 Ligier JS P320s in the LMP3 category as the race entered its final hour, and it all came down to the pit stops. The #13 was the first to come in, followed by the #6, leaving the #11 in the lead. With the #10 car in third place, Eurointernational's hope of a double podium finish was emerging. But the race was not over. United Autosports' #2 took the lead, but a spin dashed their hopes of victory.

And it was the #13 Inter Europol Competition Ligier JS P320 that came out on top. Guilherme Oliveira led his team to victory and crossed the finish line nine seconds ahead of the #6 360 Racing. A well-deserved first place for the Polish team, which had narrowly missed out on victory in the opening round of the 4 Hours of Le Castellet in April. 360 Racing and the #11 Eurointernational car scored their first podium results of 2022 in second and third place. Alex Kapadia in the #5 RLR MSport car set the fastest lap of the race in 1:46.667s.

The Barcelona circuit in Spain will host round four of the European Le Mans Series on 28 August.

For complete results, CLICK HERE.

For more information about the Ligier JS P320, CLICK HERE.