Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Blancpain Sprint Series: Top results earns Alessandro Latif bigger Pro-Am trophy lead

Alessandro Latif Press Release

Alessandro Latif has extended his lead in the Pro-Am Trophy after enjoying his most successful Blancpain Sprint Series race weekend of the year.

The young British GT driver placed first in class in the latest two rounds in Slovakia last weekend (23-24 August) as well as scoring his best overall race results of the year.

Latif and German co-driver Marc Basseng had started the weekend with a mere two-point advantage but after the latest results in their Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS ultra, their advantage is up to 14-points.

In Saturday’s opening one hour “Qualifying Race”, ran mainly in very wet and challenging conditions, the Anglo-German pairing came through from 19th overall on the 22-car grid to win the Pro-Am class and finish eighth place overall – just 10.317secs behind the race winner – in a race temporarily stopped twice.

“I lost some places at the start due to the chaos everywhere with cars crashing off,” reflected Alessandro. “The heavy rain made the track conditions very tricky to race on with the car aquaplaning all over the place. I handed the Audi over to Marc who did a fantastic job of bringing it home eighth.”

The Latif/Basseng Audi started Sunday’s “Main Race” from the fourth row of the grid and recorded a season-best seventh overall – and class winners for the fourth time this season.

Alessandro continued: “Marc did a great start considering the usual carnage off the grid although contact at the first corner damage the Audi’s suspension. He drove a fast, clean stint and handed the car over to me in fourth overall brought the car into fourth with Phoenix Racing again clocking the fastest pit stop.

“It was the first time for me racing in the top-five and I was very conscious of not making a mistake and turning a top result into a retirement! I lost a couple of places due to my cautiousness but seventh place overall was nevertheless satisfying as well of course winning the Pro-Am class again to strengthen our points lead.

“Next time I will know how to handle the pressure better as a top-five overall is definitely within our potential.”

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

Latif’s next races in the Blancpain Series are staged at the Algarve in Portugal over 5-7 September.

Photo credit: Blancpain GT Series