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Aug 25, 2014 - 05:38 PM
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Brands Hatch Kicks Off Action Packed Month For Pasin
Posted by: newsla on Aug 25, 2014 - 05:33 PM
Sports Cars
Brands Hatch Kicks Off Action Packed Month For Pasin


After a six week long ‘summer break’ to his racing programme, the season resumes with a real vengeance for Thai youngster Pasin Lathouras with four important races coming up in the space of just 28 days, kicking off with three consecutive weekends of top-level race action. It’s no understatement to say that the next month will be the most important in the 20-year-old driver’s career so far.

 

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That hectic schedule will get underway this coming Saturday and Sunday (30-31 August) with the sixth and penultimate round of the 2014 British GT Championship, which will take Pasin and the AF Corse team to Brands Hatch in Kent, England. For the Thai it will be his first time at the historic track.

But it won’t just be a case of yet another new circuit to learn from scratch, as Pasin will have a new teammate in the #29 AF Corse Ferrari 458 GT3, Irishman Matt Griffin, as Richard Lyons is unavailable due to a clashing commitment.

Matt is a highly experienced international sportscar driver who has raced with the Italian outfit for the last six seasons. That means he knows the team, as well as the racecar, very well. He has raced in the European Le Mans Series, the British GT Championship and the World Endurance Championship over the last year and a half while also competing in key standalone events such as the Le Mans 24 Hours, Spa 24 Hours, Bathurst 12 Hours and Dubai 24 Hours. Significantly, he also knows Brands Hatch having scored wins and poles here in the past.

Pasin won’t have any experience of the circuit to call upon so it’s going to be a another tough test on what is yet another highly demanding race circuit for the Thai to learn this year. First hosting motor racing in 1950, Brands Hatch went on to hold the British Grand Prix on twelve occasions but today it has dropped off the international radar somewhat and is regarded as smaller, narrower and ageing.

Located near Swanley in Kent, England, the famous ‘GP Circuit’ layout, which will be used by the British GT Championship this weekend, is 3.908 km long with 9 turns, almost all of which are household names, such as the high speed descending right hand blind drop of Paddock Hill Bend. Other key sections of the track include Druids, Hailwood Hill, Graham Hill Bend, Cooper Straight, Surtees, Brabham Straight, Clark Curve, Sheene and Hawthorn Hill.

It’s a track that is more difficult to pass on, not least due to its narrowness by modern day standards, and that means track position will be vital for the #29 Ferrari. As ever, the #29 car’s extra ballasted weight will count against Pasin and Matt and that means the pair will have to be very quick out of the box in order to gain the best possible qualifying result to ensure track position for the race – it’s going to be hard work for the Thai but he’s relishing the challenge.

As usual a bumper grid is expected as the prestigious British GT Championship heads into its final two rounds of the year and front-running and factory-supported cars will feature. As well as the AF Corse-entered Ferrari 458 GT3s other top GT3 brands set to be represented on the grid this weekend will include McLaren, Aston Martin, BMW, Bentley, Porsche, Nissan and Audi.

The British GT Championship action at Brands Hatch will officially kick off this coming Saturday (30 August) with a 1-hour free practice session starting at 1000 to be followed by a second 1-hour session that will get underway at 1225. Qualifying takes place in the late afternoon and, as usual, there are two sessions of 15-minutes duration split between the drivers with a brief break in between, starting at 1615 and 1635 respectively. The following day, Sunday (31 August), is race day and it will kick off with a 10-minute ‘Warm Up’ session at 1000 before the 2-hour British GT Championship race is scheduled to go to green lights at 1305.

Brands Hatch will signal the start of a very hectic race programme for Pasin as the following weekend will see him making his first start in International GT Open, which takes place at Spa-Francorchamps (5-7 September), marking a quick return to the legendary Belgian racetrack for the Thai.

The weekend after Pasin will head off to yet another historic circuit, this time Donington Park in the East Midlands of England, for the seventh and final round of the British GT Championship (13-14 September). Then there is a one-weekend break before he returns to International GT Open action as the series moves onto the iconic Autodromo Monza (26-28 September). For all these races Pasin will be driving for AF Corse as usual.

Pasin Lathouras: “Matt Griffin will stand in at Brands Hatch for Richard who has another commitment and that means a third new teammate for me in British GT this year. Richard all year long and Alessandro at Snetterton both have been great, they’ve really worked hard and we have gelled well and made good progress. Matt is an experienced and successful driver and I expect more of the same. I will be working my hardest and giving my best as usual and I look forward to learning this new racetrack, for sure it’s another of the famous circuits. I know I’m going to have to get to grips with it quickly as there isn’t a lot of track time and Matt will also need cockpit time to bed into the car. I think it will be an extra bonus that he’s been racing with AF Corse for some years now so he knows the team and the setup very well so we should be able to hit the ground running. For sure the extra weight the car has to carry this year will be a problem for us, as is always the case, but Matt’s experience should help us a lot and I hope we can work well together and get a good result and keep up a strong run of points scoring finishes.”

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