MOTOR RACING: Latif picks up drive in Blancpain Sprint Series for Phoenix Racing

Alessandro Latif will drive a Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS ultra

Alessandro Latif will drive a Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS ultra

First published in Sport

BRITAIN’S rising GT prospect Alessandro Latif will compete in the Blancpain Sprint Series in an Audi R8 LMS ultra sportscar.

Marlborough College student Latif, who turns 18 next month, will drive for reigning DTM champions Phoenix Racing in the seven-race 'Sprint' series. Phoenix are based at Nürburgring in Germany.

Alessandro will share the Phoenix Audi with German Marc Basseng, the 2012 FIA GT1 World Champion, in his maiden Blancpain campaign.

Latif said: “I can’t wait to get the race season started next month.

“I tested the Phoenix Audi at Nogaro and Paul Ricard earlier this month and immediately gelled with the Phoenix team. They are ultra-professional and I can see why they are so successful.”

Swiss watchmakers Blancpain sponsor the successful Endurance Series and have now extended their backing to the Sprint Series, previously known as the FIA GT Series.

Alessandro added: “I haven’t raced previously on any of the circuits that the Blancpain series visits but with the aid of working on simulators and watching in-car footage from previous races, I see no reason why I cannot rise above this challenge.

“The series is looking incredibly competitive in terms of drivers, teams and cars. It’s going to be a big season for me.”

Bernhard Demmer, Phoenix Racing’s GT Team Manager, said: “Alessandro was very professional at our first tests and recorded competitive lap times on tracks he didn't know. He also worked well with the team and made no mistakes.

"Together with Marc Basseng, one of the fastest and most experienced drivers in the R8, we'll have a great line-up for the season."

The series opens at Nogaro in France (April 18-21).

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