MOTOR RACING: Young Briton Latif claims double victory in Slovakia

Motor racing prospect Alessandro Latif

Motor racing prospect Alessandro Latif

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FORMER Marlborough College student 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 finished first in his class during the latest two rounds in Slovakia at the weekend 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 round their Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS ultra now has an advantage of 14 points.

In Saturday’s opening one hour 'qualifying race', which took place in wet and challenging conditions, the Anglo-German pairing came through from 19th on the 22-car grid to win the Pro-Am class and finish eighth place overall – just 10.317secs behind the race winner.

“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 place overall – and a best-in-class for the fourth time this season.

Alessandro added: “Marc did a great start considering the usual carnage off the grid although contact at the first corner did damage the Audi’s suspension.

"He drove a fast, clean stint and handed the car over to me in fourth overall 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 and, of course, we strengthened our points lead in the Pro-Am class."

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

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