A series of technical issues and teething problems for Lanan Racing with their new for 2011 SPEED EuroSeries Ligier JS51 resulted in minimal running for Jafaar at the race meeting.
Jaafar and his driver coach Bruce Jouanny planned to share the drive in the first round of the SPEED EuroSeries at the French circuit, with the primary aim of giving Jaafar an introduction to the Paul Ricard circuit which features on the British F3 calendar this season. However, the weekend proved to be an uphill battle, as the team struggled to resolve new car technical problems which severely limited the track time of the two drivers.
Jaafar was able to run the car for a handful of laps in the first practice session before a suspected gearbox sensor issue sidelined him. With limited time before the qualifying session the team tried to resolve the problem, but when Jaafar and Jouanny returned to the car they were still not able to run at full speed. Each driver completed a mandatory three laps in order to be able to start the race the next day and after the session the team set to work stripping the car to sort the technical problems encountered on the first day.
Jaafar started the race, but it was soon evident that there were still technical problems and he was only able to use the race to try and learn the track until being forced to retire after 13 laps. The team were unable to resolve the problems with the car trackside which meant that Jaafar and Jouanny were not able to compete in the second race.
“It was a frustrating weekend and a great shame that we weren’t able to capitalise on the trip to Paul Ricard”, said Jaafar. “The problems were out of our hands and we could only watch as the team put tremendous effort into identifying and resolving the problems, but there just wasn’t the time they needed.”
“I did get in a few laps of running so I have a bit more of an idea of the shape of the track, the layout and the corners, but having only completed less than 20 laps the whole weekend and not being able to run at full speed really limited my learning experience. It was better than nothing, but nowhere near as beneficial as it could have been if the car was working, but we couldn’t have foreseen this and at least we did gain something from being there.”
Jaafar returns to his British F3 car this week saying, “I’m off to Snetterton for testing on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, the final test before we head of to Monza for the first round of the championship. I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel of my F3 single seater and the familiarity of Snetterton; I hope we can have a strong two days of running in our final preparations before the season starts in two weeks time.”