MOTOR RACING: Latif eyes Blancpain boost

Alessandro Latif

Alessandro Latif

First published in Sport

FORMER Marlborough College student Alessandro Latif contests the latest rounds of the Blancpain Sprint Series in Slovakia this weekend, aiming to extend his Pro-Am Trophy points advantage.

Latif, a student at Marlborough until this summer, and German co-driver Marc Basseng have posted three top-10 results overall including two wins and two runners-up in the Pro-Am category in the opening six races in their Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS ultra earning them a two-point lead.

The impressive results have been achieved despite Alessandro not having driven on any of the race tracks that the seven-event, 14-race Blancpain series visits.

“Unusually I’ve had the opportunity to get in the Audi and sample the track staging the next race in advance,” said Latif.

“I was there last month and it’s very challenging and has a really good variety of quick and slow corners some featuring long radiuses which means there are multiple lines, all ending up as quick as each other.

“That's what makes it challenging for me. The surface is very smooth and but still really demands a lot from the Pirelli tyres. The rubber is going to lay down really well during race week bringing a whole new parameter to consider for Sunday’s second race.

“Marc has previously raced there which is good as he can guide me further over the race weekend.

“I’m just really looking forward to the event and am determined to bounce back from a disappointing brace of races at Zandvoort and ultimately extend our championship lead.”

The 14-corner Automotodróm Slovakia Ring track opened in 2008 and is the longest on the Blancpain Sprint calendar at 3.68-miles.

Two practice sessions are staged on Friday with qualifying for grid positions and the Qualifying Race on Saturday. The main one-hour Feature Race is on Sunday.

Since last month’s Blancpain race at Zandvoort, Latif drove a rare Jaguar D-Type at Silverstone with the aim of racing it at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium next month.

MORE SPORTS NEWS & PICTURES IN THIS WEEK'S GAZETTE & HERALD AND WILTSHIRE TIMES

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