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Apr 19, 2014 - 08:08 AM
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New Racing Chapter For Pasin Starts Today
Posted by: newsla on Apr 19, 2014 - 08:07 AM
Sports Cars
New Racing Chapter For Pasin Starts Today


Finally, with a series of one day track acclimatisation tests completed, the closed-season is over and Pasin Lathouras will kick off his 2014 racing programme at Oulton Park this weekend as the British GT Championship gets underway with a round one double header at the Cheshire track.

 

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And it all starts this morning with two free practice sessions before the final qualifying runs are scheduled for this afternoon; meanwhile the first two races of the season will be held on Monday.

For the Thai youngster this year represents the most important in his career so far - and unquestionably it will also be the toughest challenge he has faced to date. It's Pasin’s first full season racing in Europe as he leaves Asia behind, while the British GT Championship is regarded as one of the most competitive domestic sportscar series in the world. He will have to raise his game to a new level.

This will be a totally different environment in every respect - but all the world's most successful race drivers throughout history have had to up sticks and relocate to Europe to take their careers towards the top. Pasin has enjoyed much success in Asia through his late teen years; he was runner up in the 2012 Ferrari Challenge Asia Pacific and outright champion last year, cruising to the title after winning the last seven races consecutively to make it nine wins from fourteen races - but that will offers him very little comfort when it comes to what he will face this season.

Coming to the UK, the heart of global motorsport, makes it even more challenging. It means Pasin has to test himself against the best, learn and improve, so 'in at the deep end' really sums this next step. He will have a strong team behind him though, Italy’s AF Corse forms a very solid platform for him to work from, while in his new team mate, Richard Lyons, he has a driver to share the cockpit of the Ferrari 458 GT3 with, who is quick and reliable.

Richard also knows the UK tracks well, the Northern Ireland driver cutting his teeth on them during the earlier years of his career before he shifted his focus to Asia. And that brings up another of the hurdles Pasin's faces, he will be racing on all the circuits on the British GT Championship calendar for the first time, although he has recently experienced running time on five of them during a limited pre season test programme that wrapped up last week at Donington Park which was also part of the championship's official season introducing Media Day.

So this year will represent the start of the second phase of Pasin's career and his main focus will be on learning and developing as a driver in a highly charged and competitive arena.

This weekend Oulton Park will form the Thai driver’s first challenge of the year. A smaller, tighter, older track in the North West of England, this circuit offers its own set of challenges, including blind crests, elevation changes, limited overtaking opportunities and short runoffs. And with a very brief test on this 4.307-km, 17-turn racetrack last month Pasin will have to work hard to get up to speed quickly.

But he's ready for the challenge and excited to be getting the new season underway. With 34 cars on the grid, two-thirds of these being GT3 cars, and with factory team entries and top class drivers amongst the ranks, the organisers have been saying this promises to be the best year ever for the British GT Championship. For Pasin the target of the opening races will be to bed in to the series, evaluate the competition, learn the track and aim for respectable results from both races.

Round 1 of the 2014 British GT Championship takes place at Oulton Park this weekend with the track action kicking off this morning (Saturday April 19) at 0935 (all times 'local', GMT) with the first practice session. A second practice session is scheduled for lunchtime (1205) before final qualifying takes place late this afternoon through two short and sharp sessions running back-to-back starting at 1620 and 1640. With the event falling over the UK’s traditional Easter Bank Holiday period, raceday is the day after tomorrow (Monday April 21) and will start with the ‘warm-up’ session at 0900. Race 1 will go to green lights at 1115 before Race 2 wraps up the opening weekend's programme, it starts at 1545. Both races are 1 hour long and will feature mid distance driver changes.

2014 British GT Championship Calendar

19-21/04/2014 Oulton Park (GB) – 1 hour race (2)

04-05/05/2014 Rockingham (GB) – 2 hour race (1)

31-01/06/2014 Silverstone (GB) – 3 hour race (1)

21-22/06/2014 Snetterton (GB) – 1 hour race (2)

11-12/07/2014 Spa-Francorchamps (BEL) – 1 hour race (2)

30-31/08/2014 Brands Hatch (GB) – 2 hour race (1)

13-14/09/2014 Donington Park (GB) – 2 hour race (1)

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