While there are a lot of things in motor sport that come down to being in the right place at the right time, there was surely someone looking over Pasin Lathouras last weekend at Spa-Francorchamps when the Thai walked away uninjured from his massive accident during the 2017 Total 24 hours of Spa.
Lathouras was partnering Michele Rugolo and Alessandro Pier Guidi in the #50 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 for the race week and were frustrated by technical issues throughout practice and qualifying. Despite the issues the team managed to get through to the Super Pole session and qualified in a respectable fifteenth place.
Pier Guidi was in the car for the start of the race and managed to keep the car out of trouble for the start, unfortunately a right-rear puncture caused by an over-ambitious move by another car forced the team to pit. This move put the team out of sequence and down to fifty-ninth on the road. As the team had pitted the #50 early, when the other competitors came in for their stop the #50 car moved in to the lead.
Another issue would strike the team, a loose piece of bodywork would cause them to pit following a black and orange flag to fix the issue, dropping the team back down to twenty-ninth. During the stop Lathouras jumped in the car and set about making the most of the situation.
Unfortunately at 1 hour 43 minutes in to the race and at the start of the forty-fifth lap, Lathouras lost control of the Ferrari 488 GT3 through the Eau Rouge/Raidillon section, smashing in the the tyre barriers and ripping the left hand side of the car away.
Thankfully the Thai driver emerged unaided and was able to wave to the crowd before jumping in to the medical car before being checked over by the doctors at the circuit.
“Well that’s not the way I wanted to end the Spa 24 Hours for sure, it’s very disappointing!” said Lathouras. “After a pretty tough time during practice and qualifying with deep-rooted car issues we seemed to have unlocked a pretty good race pace and the car felt good as soon as I got in for my stint.
“We were unlucky having to make two early enforced pitstops but on track I was able to run with the race leaders’ pace, they were just behind me, so we clearly had the speed.
“Then came the incident which was the biggest for my career for sure, but it really was a miracle that I got out of the car without even any small cuts, I feel very, very lucky.
“I want to thank all the people who have sent me messages of support and enquired if I was ok, thank you to everyone, and I’m looking forward to being back and putting this incident behind me.”