Ex-F1 driver Riccardo Patrese to make racing return in Spa 24 Hours

Ex-Formula 1 driver Riccardo Patrese will make a return to international motorsport in this month's Spa 24 Hours at the age of 64

Ex-F1 driver Riccardo Patrese to make racing return in Spa 24 Hours

The winner of six grands prix will race a Honda NSX GT3 run by JAS Motorsport in the blue-riband Endurance Cup round of the Blancpain GT Series on July 28-29.

It will be Patrese's first international race since he competed in Grand Prix Masters in 2006, the short-lived attempt to replicate the success of the seniors' tours in golf and tennis in motorsport.

The Italian, who started 256 grands prix between 1977 and '93, has been brought in to race the NSX entered under the Castrol Honda Racing banner together with Loic Depailler, son of the late Patrick.

Both Patrese and 44-year-old Depailler, who is editor of the French edition of Top Gear magazine, are bronze-rated drivers.

They will share the pro-am entry together with pros Bertrand Baguette and Esteban Guerrieri, who race for Honda in Super GT and the World Touring Car Cup respectively.

Patrese said: "Spa-Francorchamps has been one of my favourite circuits for a long, long time and I thought I'd raced there for the last time 25 years ago, so when I was given the opportunity to join Castrol Honda Racing and drive such an exciting car as the NSX GT3, I couldn't say no.

"I haven't had too much seat time in the car yet so I'm re-learning things every time I complete another lap, but I'm excited about the race the car and to work again with a team and breathe in the atmosphere of a race."

Patrese and Depailler have so far tested the NSX at the Cervesina circuit in Northern Italy and at Spa.

shares
comments
Ex-F1 racers Nicola Larini and Alex Caffi join Bentley GT effort

Previous article

Ex-F1 racers Nicola Larini and Alex Caffi join Bentley GT effort

Next article

BMW's two-time DTM champion Wittmann to make Spa 24 Hours debut

BMW's two-time DTM champion Wittmann to make Spa 24 Hours debut
Load comments

About this article

Series GT
Author Gary Watkins
How McLaren’s GT3 ‘single-seater’ defies expectations Plus

How McLaren’s GT3 ‘single-seater’ defies expectations

Time in a thoroughbred racer leaves you searching for time in yourself, especially when the rewards for total commitment are so high, as our man discovered at Snetterton

GT
Apr 28, 2021
How Ferrari's F1 protege became a Mercedes GT prodigy Plus

How Ferrari's F1 protege became a Mercedes GT prodigy

Raffaele Marciello once appeared to be Ferrari’s next Italian F1 star, but is now under the pay of its German arch-rival in GTs – and he’s very happy with his life

GT
Apr 8, 2021
Why GTE's future is a conundrum with no easy answers Plus

Why GTE's future is a conundrum with no easy answers

The convergence between the World Endurance Championship and IMSA over LMDh regulations offers a bright future for sportscar racing, but the imminent demise of IMSA's GT Le Mans class creates wider issues to which no catch-all solution exists

GT
Feb 3, 2021
How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends Plus

How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends

Victory at last year's Spa 24 Hours meant Nick Tandy had completed the unofficial sextuple crown of the world's six biggest endurance races, becoming the first Briton to do so. Ahead of his fresh start with Corvette Racing, he explains how he did it

GT
Jan 23, 2021
Why a lost F1 hope is still in demand aged 65 Plus

Why a lost F1 hope is still in demand aged 65

There's a saying among retired folk that life begins at 60, but endurance specialist Alain Ferte has never used the 'R' word. Some 40 years since his crowning glory in F3, he's still a driver in demand and gunning for more 24-hour racing success this weekend

GT
Jan 15, 2021
How a BTCC veteran conquered the summit in British GT Plus

How a BTCC veteran conquered the summit in British GT

After two decades in touring cars, Rob Collard had an uphill battle to unlearn the tools needed to be quick in tin-tops and understand how to hustle a GT3 car. But he did so with aplomb to prevail alongside Sandy Mitchell amid a challenging year for the series

GT
Dec 17, 2020
The high-power solution to counter a dying breed Plus

The high-power solution to counter a dying breed

SRO boss Stephane Ratel was worried about the disappearance of the amateur - or 'gentleman' - drivers who used to be the bedrock of GT3. So he invented a new category that brings back a familiar name from the past

GT
Dec 6, 2020
The Dutch oddity that was too niche for its own good Plus

The Dutch oddity that was too niche for its own good

Despite (briefly) having its own F1 arm, Spyker's period in international sportscar racing was spent mostly propping up the grid. Its C8 Laviolette GT2-R stands as one of the last underfunded factory GT efforts that never got a helping hand from BOP

GT
May 21, 2020