MEDIA RELEASE: Pasin Lathouras is pleased to announce that he will contest the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup this year; the Thai will drive a new Ferrari 488 GT3 for AF Corse.
Blancpain GT Series is regarded as the most competitive sportscar championship in Europe as well as one of the leading ‘GT’ series worldwide, and will therefore provide the perfect platform for the 22-year-old Thai driver to continue to pursue his career upwards.
This will be Pasin’s third season racing in Europe. He was Ferrari Challenge Asia-Pacific Vice-Champion in 2012 and Champion in 2013 before he switched continents, competing in the British GT Championship in 2014 and then International GT Open in 2015.
It was a very rewarding 2015 season as Pasin ran out Vice-Champion in International GT Open and was part of the victorious Pro-Am crew in the 24 Hours of Spa, his biggest career achievement so far, and that sets him up perfectly to take another career step forward.
With packed grids reserved for GT3 cars, many factory teams and leading professional drivers, ‘Blancpain’ represents the most ideal opportunity for Pasin to step forward. SRO promotes the series.
It’s a daunting step though for the Thai driver and clearly it’s going to be a tough year, learning while racing against the best drivers, teams and cars.
Coupled to the fact that the Ferrari 488 GT3 is brand new and hasn’t made its race debut yet (in fact it has only taken part in one race, in ‘GTE’ format at Daytona, a couple of week ago), so it’s also going to something of a development year for the latest Ferrari sportscar, which also has a completely new engine, a 3.9-litre V8 twin turbo.
Pasin will also be entering his fourth season with AF Corse.
The Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup 2016 will kick off with an official test day at Paul Ricard in early next month before Round 1 takes place at Monza on 23-24 April.
The second race will be three weeks later at Silverstone in the UK before Round 3 brings the series back to Paul Ricard. The penultimate round will be the 24 Hours of Spa on 28-31 July, returning Pasin to the scene of his biggest career victory so far, while the season wraps up at the Nürburgring on 17-18 September.
Unusually for Pasin, the German circuit will be the only track on the calendar that he’s never raced on before, a big change from his first two years in Europe when almost all the venues presented a completely new challenge.
Pasin Lathouras: “We thought long and hard about this year and there were many options to explore, but Blancpain is really the ‘jewel in the crown’, it’s the toughest out there and we kept coming back to that and when we got movement in that direction it was the only option we really wanted to push at.
“It’s not going to be easy and I’m going to have to get used to being a bit further back on the grid, but it’s really a learning year. I want to thank AF Corse for the opportunity and also to get to drive the new 488, needless to say I’m pretty excited to be getting to drive this car and thanks to the team for making it all come together.”
Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup 2016
9-10 March Paul Ricard, France (Official Test Day)
Rd1 23-24 April Monza, Italy
Rd2 14-15 May Silverstone, UK
Rd3 24-25 June Paul Ricard, France
Rd4 28-31 July Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
Rd5 17-18 September Nürburgring, Germany