Pasin Lathouras is closing in on the start of the biggest challenge of his budding career after successfully completing his penultimate British GT Championship pre-season test. And it was a test with a real twist as it took the Thai youngster to one of the world most famous motorsports venues, the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.
Located in Belgium’s Ardennes region, Spa-Francorchamps can be counted amongst a small handful of truly legendary race circuits. And just like other icons, such as Monza, Silverstone or the Nürburgring, it demands everything from a driver, it doesn’t suffer fools and only the very best really prosper here. Its most demanding sections, such as Eau Rouge, Blanchimont and La Source, roll off the tongue.
With a new teammate and new team, on a new continent and with a new highly professional championship to contest, it really couldn’t be any tougher for the 20-year-old Thai driver.
But Pasin has always stated that it’s his long term ambition to race on the world’s most famous circuits, so on a typically cool and damp Spa morning with temperatures hovering in the mid-teens Celsius, he took to this 7.004-km, 20-turn track, which annually plays host the Belgian F1 Grand Prix, Spa 24 Hours and Spa 100 kms, to kick off his fourth pre-season test as the build up to the start of the 2014 British GT Championship enters the final few weeks.
As usual Pasin was behind the wheel of an AF Corse Ferrari 458 GT3 and sharing cockpit time during the sessions with his new teammate Richard Lyons. And as usual for his pre-season test programme the main objectives were to learn the track and continue to work with his new teammate and team while also looking towards setups as the British GT Championship will be back here in mid-July for its fifth round of the season, with a two 1-hour races scheduled.
At the end of the test Pasin expressed himself pretty satisfied with the outcome of his day’s work, the youngster having gained knowledge of the circuit and posting times that were representative of where he wanted to be on his first runs.
Pasin Lathouras: “What an amazing track, we had a good practice session and I was really happy with the team and the car. It didn’t take much time for me to learn the track because I practiced this track on the simulator before and we got plenty of time on the track as it was only GT cars testing so we had the whole day. All said I’m pretty happy with the test day and I think my test programme is coming together okay.”
The next – and final – pre-season test for Pasin will be the Official British GT Championship ‘Media Day’ which takes place this coming Tuesday (April 8). That will see the youngster tackling another new circuit, Donington Park, located in the East Midlands of England. Track time however will be limited to two afternoon sessions. More than 30 cars are set to take part in the test while also present in the paddock will be F1 presenters Martin Brundle and Damon Hill as well as former F1 driver Bruno Senna.
The ‘Media Day’ day will conclude Pasin’s pre-season testing programme, which has taken in five new tracks, and then it will be time to prepare for round 1 of the 2014 British GT Championship which will take place at Cheshire’s Oulton Park circuit ten days later (April 19). That opening round will consist of 1-hour duration double-header races.
Pasin’s pre season test schedule
04/03/2014 Oulton Park (completed)
19/03/2014 Snetterton (completed)
20/03/2014 Silverstone (completed)
01/04/2014 Spa-Francorchamps (completed)
08/04/2014 Donington Park
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)
About Pasin Lathouras
Pasin Lathouras is a 20-year-old Thai sportscar driver competing in the 2014 British GT Championship with AF Corse. He is the 2013 Ferrari Challenge Asia-Pacific Champion.
Born in Bangkok, Pasin started racing karts in 2006, winning major titles in Thailand as well as representing his home nation in overseas world finals. He progressed to the region’s premier single-seater category, Formula BMW Asia, before stepping up to sportscars in 2012 to contest the Ferrari Challenge Asia-Pacific, winning races and clinching the championship’s runners-up spot. In 2013 he won the Ferrari Challenge Asia-Pacific Championship with 9 wins from 14 races including the last 7 consecutively. Pasin is supported by NaRaYa and the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
Source. Fast Track Media/Photo. Andrew Lofthouse