16 August 2011

Another point for Jazeman as he endures tough Zandvoort weekend

Jazeman endured a tough weekend at the RTL Masters of Formula Three at Zandvoort circuit, Netherlands, with a stomach bug plaguing the young Malaysian and adding to the challenge of this top European F3 event. A 10th place finish in the race and another point score in the FIA Formula 3 International Trophy was welcome reward for Jazeman’s efforts as he struggled with his illness throughout the race distance.

Jazeman and his Carlin team always knew that the competition would be extremely tough at the Zandvoort event, as the other European drivers competing who run in the Euro F3 Series had already visited the track this season and run on Kumho Tyres, the tyre used for the Masters race weekend. With the British F3 car more suited to the Cooper Tires which are used for the home series and the team making the first visit of the season to the circuit, Jazeman was prepared for the strong pace of the opposition.

“I knew the opposition would be strong and they were, but my aim from the weekend was to keep on learning my racecraft, improving my technical feedback and experiencing a top level European circuit,” said the 18-year-old driver.

The first practice session was a mix of wet and dry conditions. It gave Jaafar a chance to try both types of tyre, with the weekend weather predictions favouring further rain. Running 12th fastest after the first session, Jaafar improved to 10th quickest in the second practice session, with rain falling after 15 minutes of dry running.

The first afternoon qualifying session had better weather, with a dry track giving the field the first full session of running on slicks. Jazeman ended up 12th quickest and with the second qualifying session affected by rain, he was unable to improve on his lap time, finishing up in this position for the grid.

Jazeman explains, “On my hot lap of my dry qualifying run, I was a second up but when I approached the last corner there was a red flag, so I had to abort the lap. However, we had the pace and we were much more prepared for the Kumho dry tyres this year. The wet qualifying was a different story, as it was my first time on the Kumho wets and they were a very different tyre than I have experienced so far; I struggled to get the heat into them.”

The start of the race produced much of the drama with two front-runners colliding, causing further incidents down the field and bringing out the safety car. Jazeman ably avoided the startline action, but in the melee he hadn’t been able to make up any positions. By the end of the 25 lap race distance he was lying 11th and after Roberto Mehri was disqualified, he took the final points paying position, with a tenth place finish.

Jazeman reflects, “This weekend has been a learning experience with different tyres and both myself and Carlin were confident that we had good set ups and a very competitive pace. My team mates Kevin (Magnussen) and Rupert (Svenssen Cook) demonstrated this with third and fifth place finishes respectively. However, for me, fighting with food poisoning, it was the toughest experience I’ve ever had. I never give up though, and scoring that point means a lot to me.”

Jazeman returns to the track at the beginning of September with the Rockingham round of the British F3 International Series.

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