Imola podium perfect prep for Le Mans

Thursday 19 May, 2022
Andres Latorre (second from right) and Garnet Patterson (far right) picked up a podium in Imola.
Australians Andres Latorre and Garnet Patterson will head to next month’s famous Le Mans 24 Hours race full of confidence after the duo picked up a Michelin Le Mans Cup podium at Imola earlier this month. 
 
With teams and drivers facing extremely hot conditions over the course of the weekend, Latorre and Patterson were able to overcome the challenges to steer their United Autosports prepared Ligier to third in the Cup. 
 
Making their result even more impressive was finishing on the podium having started in P21 after a difficult qualifying session from Latorre.  
 
However stellar stints from both drivers, a brilliant race strategy, multiple safety car interventions and error-free pit-stops all contributed to their magnificent climb up the field.  
 
Their progress throughout the race started early as they had already made up seven spots after the first 50-minutes.  
 
The #22 United Autosports Ligier made it even further up the field after the one hour mark and by the time the race reached the final 10 minutes, they had moved into the top five. 

However some good fortune helped them make up that final spot and secure a podium finish at the expense of their teammates, who suffered a puncture in the final stages, as well as other crews who were handed penalties. 
 
Although their teammates’ retirement was unfortunate, Lattore and Patterson thoroughly enjoyed their podium with the former paying tribute to the team’s mechanics.  
 
“This result is a dream. I never expected to have claimed a podium in only my second race with United,” Lattore said.  
 
“It was a mega job from the team who deserve this as we’d had issues with the gearbox which they changed.  
 
“The boys worked tirelessly and so this result is for them. Qualifying wasn’t great but I knew there was pace in the car in race conditions.” 
 
Patterson was equally excited and credited the team’s strategy behind their third place.  
 
“Great strategy from United,” Patterson added. 
 
“We didn’t expect to be on the podium after quali but you always hope for a bit of luck.  
 
“It was a great race. I pushed hard at the start of my stint and maybe used up my tyre a bit too much. I had to concede fourth but then some penalties came along and so we were classified third.  
 
“Fantastic effort by everyone.” 
 
Full focus for the team now turns towards the 24 Hours of Le Mans where they will be contesting the Cup’s two races that support the famous endurance race on 9-11 June.  
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