Wedmore racer Cullen helps United Autosports make history with third at Monza
PUBLISHED: 10:00 17 May 2019
Wedmore's Ryan Cullen helped United Autosports to their best-ever finish in round two of the European Le Mans Series at Monza.
Cullen and co-drivers Alex Brundle and Will Owen clinched third place at the home of Italian Formula One Grand Prix.
Monza is known as the Temple of Speed because of its long fast straights and flowing corners and the race saw Autosports record their best finish after three years of racing at the circuit.
Cullen started the race from the fifth row on the grid in race car 32 after Autosports were denied a higher-placed finish in qualifying after a red flag stopped Brundle in his tracks.
However, this didn't deter the Wedmore driver as he quickly gained a place to sixth after passing a fellow United car.
Daytona 24-hour winner Cullen would go on to have an excellent race as he helped his team reach second - at one time being the fastest driver on the track.
As he came into the pit Cullen was replaced by teammate Owen as the clock signalled two and a half hours to go.
With just over an hour left, Brudle took over as great driving from Cullen and Owen helped to maintain second place thanks to well-timed pit stops and making full use of the yellow flags.
As the race entered it's closing stages and after a long four-hour race, Brundle brought the car home in third place.
It was a wonderful result given the surroundings which does not neccessairly suit the Liger LMP2.
And with the next event not until next month, the confidence from the result will give United Autosports something they can develop when they go to France for the 24 Hours of Le Mans event on June 15-16.
Cullen couldn't hide his delight after the race, saying: "Today was a really good result.
"I'm really happy to get it so early, but I knew we had a good car and I was just confident for the race with great faith in my teammates from their pace.
"P3 is a great result. The start was really good.
"I then had a battle with Phil in the other United car and when I got past him I just got my head down for the first stint.
"The safety car played perfectly into our strategy, so I'm really happy with my first podium with United."
The next race of the European Le Mans series will be in Barcelona on July 20.