20 Sep 2011

Donington debut for Jazeman in British F3

The Cooper Tires British F3 International Series returns to racing at Donington Park this weekend after an absence of a few years. Jazeman Jaafar will be racing at this Leicestershire circuit for the first time, as he reaches the penultimate event in this year’s British F3 championship. With three races at Donington and a further three at Silverstone in two weeks’ time, Jaafar is one of six drivers bidding for the final two podium spots in the Drivers’ Championship, with Carlin team mate Felipe Nasr having wrapped up the title last time out at Rockingham.

Jaafar is lying fifth in the championship as he heads to Donington, but with only 40 points separating six drivers at the top of the table, points finishes will be critical for the young Malaysian driver. “The pressure is mounting now, “ says Jaafar. “Strong finishes will decide who ends up where in this year’s championship and I’m very determined to be top three overall by the conclusion of the season. There’s so little between the six drivers that we’re all in with a chance to be second to Felipe. It’s all very close and I’m expecting the racing to be like that too.”

The 2.5m Grand Prix circuit at Donington will be used by British F3 and as one of Britain’s oldest race circuit, it is steeped in history, hosting most of the premier racing series, including MotoGP, World Touring Cars Championship and in 1993, the European F1 Grand Prix won by legendary racer, Ayrton Senna.

PETRONAS-supported driver, Jaafar, is hoping that visiting a new track to this year’s British F3 will be a good leveller, saying, “A new circuit on the calendar adds another dimension to the race weekend. However, it doesn’t take long to learn a new circuit and then we can start to develop the setup. I think it’s a high speed track, with just Sector 3 being a bit slower with a chicane and a hairpin, so it will be key to carry momentum through the corners and keep it neat and tidy throughout the lap.”

The 18-year-old Malaysian driver has been running strongly throughout the season and his consistency has been a factor in his championship standings position. With the top three drivers being given a half-day test in a World Series by Renault car, the fight for honours is expected to be fierce. Jaafar says of his preparations for the weekend ahead, “Last weekend I competed in my first triathlon, so I’m fighting fit and honing my competitive spirit as we reach the final two rounds of British F3. I’m going to be giving everything I have to get podium results in every race and just can’t wait to be back in the car and getting on with it.”

The Donington Park schedule begins on Thursday 22 September with two practice sessions. Qualifying and round 1 of the weekend are on Saturday 24 September: 1040 qualifying; 1540 Race 1, and the final two races will be on Sunday 25 September: 1015 Race 2); and 1340 Race 3.

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