ALESSANDRO LATIF'S Le Mans 24 hours drive at the weekend was over before it began.

His Greaves Motorsport Zytek was badly damaged in a shunt before the Marlborough College student had a chance to take his turn behind the wheel.

Latif, 18, was the second youngest driver in the 82nd running of the twice-around-the-clock endurance sportscar race.

He was due to share the driving in the 54-car event with fellow Britons Michaël Munemman and James Winslow after an unusual build-up – commuting between Paris and Le Mans over three days last week to take some A-level exams.

Winslow brought the Zytek inside the top 10 during his first two-hour stint and Munemman continued the fine start until, 30 minutes later, he was hit by another car on the treacherously slippery track after a heavy rain shower.

Munemman did well to get the car back to the pits but it was found to be too badly damaged to continue much to the disappointment of Latif.

“I’m obviously gutted that I didn’t actually get to drive in the race itself but the experience will be of use when I return in the future – hopefully next year,” said Alessandro.

“James (Winslow) had driven a good stint getting inside the top 10 only for Michaël to get taken out of the race by another car resulting in irreparable damage.

"The experience has only made me more determined to climb the racing ladder and hopefully secure a factory drive one day with a team like Audi.”

Latif now turns his attention back to racing an Audi R8 LMS ultra in Europe. His next races are the forthcoming rounds of the Blancpain Sprint Series staged in Zandvoort, Netherlands over July 4-6.