LMP2 squad Cool Racing will focus on the European Le Mans Series this year as it transitions into a new organizational structure led by Nicolas Lapierre and Alexandre Coigny.
Cool Racing joined the FIA World Endurance Championship for the 2019-20 season but is set to concentrate its 2021 programs in Europe as an independent outfit.
The team will field an Oreca 07 Gibson in the ELMS for Lapierre, Coigny and Antonin Borga, marking a continuation of the WEC driver lineup.
It is also set to have two Ligier JS P320 Nissans in the Michelin Le Mans Cup, while an LMP3 program in ELMS is also under consideration despite not being confirmed.
The organizational shift sees Lapierre and Coigny at the helm of Cool Racing, with former managing directors Patrick and Herminie Barbier no longer involved in the project.
Lapierre and Coigny’s partnership will be known as CLX Motorsport, in which the ‘C’ stands for Coigny and the ‘L’ for Lapierre.
CLX effectively replaces Racing Spirit of LeMan, which was the company founded in 2019 to run the Cool Racing program.
“This is the start of a fantastic adventure with a fascinating project on the sporting side,” said former Toyota LMP1 driver and quadruple 24 Hours of Le Mans LMP2 class winner Lapierre.
“I am delighted to share this venture with Alex from our new workshop in Annecy.
“Our objective is to have our cars running at the front of the field in our first year of operation. We’ll be working with plenty of young drivers and the aim is to help them progress within our structure.
“We want to fight for the new LMP2 Pro-Am championship in ELMS, once again go for the LMP3 Michelin Le Mans Cup title and continue to win races in the Ligier European Series.
“We are currently also evaluating adding an LMP3 car in ELMS. These will be the main pillars of our program while remaining open to new ideas for the future. We cannot wait for the start of the new season.”
Bronze-rated driver Coigny added: “As an independent outfit, we can now work with a mentality of our own choosing, utilizing Nico’s experience as well as my passion and knowledge as a gentleman driver.
“We are at the beginning of an incredible adventure that I hope will last for a long time.”
Cool Racing remains interested in competing in future WEC seasons despite its step back from the global series, while Lapierre has also expressed an interest in contesting other headline events such as the Total 24 Hours of Spa and the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
It has yet to be determined whether the team will file a 24 Hours of Le Mans entry application.
“We prefer to do less this year, but to do in the qualitative,” Lapierre explained in an interview with Endurance-info.
“It’s backing up to jump [forward] better. There are also other competitions to explore such as the Asian Le Mans Series and the United States.
“For the team, the timing is perfect with a new wind blowing through endurance. The LMDh category is very promising and everyone is obviously looking at what can be implemented in the future.”
Cool Racing finished sixth in the 2019-20 WEC LMP2 teams’ standings, while Lapierre and Borga won the 4 Hours of Silverstone season-opener driving as a pair.
The team also ran an Oreca in the ELMS while its LMP3 crews finished second and fourth in Le Mans Cup, taking three victories between them.