Marlborough student Latif ready for Brands Hatch
MARLBOROUGH College student Alessandro Latif heads for his Blancpain Sprint Series home races at the wheel of a Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS ultra sportscar this weekend.
Latif, who turned 18 only last month, drives for reigning DTM champions Phoenix Racing in the seven-race Sprint series, which includes Brands Hatch on Sunday.
“I have never raced a car in the UK so I am really looking forward to it, especially at an iconic track like Brands,” said Latif.
“Throughout history, the world’s greatest drivers have acclaimed it as one of the most exciting circuits worldwide and the elevation changes look thrilling.”
Latif shares the Phoenix Audi with German Marc Basseng, the 2012 FIA GT1 World Champion, in his maiden Blancpain campaign, which got off to a solid start with two top-10 results at Nogaro in France last month.
“I knew the competition was going to be tough and at Nogaro the field was very close – any slight mistake was costly,” he said.
“The toughest element in many ways was getting that first race weekend under my belt and to understand the pressures involved.”
Latif, who began karting seven years ago, has never raced until now in the UK. He’s not even visited the Kent venue located just 25 miles from his Kensington home and has been attempting to learn the layout of the 2.3-mile track.
“I have never been to Brands but it’s as close to my home as it gets. I’ve been studying onboard footage from previous Brands races and working in the simulator which gives a driver’s eye view of the circuit,” he said.
The Blancpain Sprint Series is a seven-event series that began at Nogaro last month and concludes in Azerbaijan in November. It features qualification and feature races, both lasting 60mins.
Around 20 cars will contest the two races on Sunday.
“My aim is to leave Brands having scored some solid points,” said Latif. “Nogaro was my first experience of driving the Audi in the rain – so I’m prepared for anything the weather will throw at me at Brands.”