Jaafar, along with the rest of the field of British F3 drivers, will be making his first visit to Norisring, so it will be a new experience and with a track which features fast straights, tight hairpins hemmed in by unforgiving barriers, the young Malaysian is expecting the weekend to be a steep learning curve.
He says of racing on the streets, “I have raced on street circuits in Pau, Macau, and Valencia, so I’m familiar with the style of racing these demand, but each track is different and with no previous experience of this circuit, I’ll be starting from scratch, in terms of the grip levels, camber, aero requirements etc. I like this type of challenge, it pushes you further as you have to take in a lot of information, review it and make decisions, all as quickly as you can with the limited track time you have during a race weekend.”
Jaafar adds, “The Norisring event will be joint races with the F3 Euro Series drivers, so the grid will be much bigger than when I’m racing in British F3. This means there’s more cars out on track, which adds to the pressures particularly on a tight street circuit, and it will make qualifying key as most street tracks offer limited scope for overtaking and I’m sure Norisring will be similar.”
The PETRONAS Talent Programme driver says of his expectations for the weekend, “I’m only focused on each session and getting the best out of myself and the car in each one. I don’t look at the big picture of the season, I just concentrate on one race at a time, as every one of them is very important and I need to be maintaining the consistency of strong points finishes, pushing myself as hard as I can and doing the best job possible.”
Norisring is a short, 1.4 miles (2.3 km) circuit, characterised by the Steintribune, an imposing concrete edifice, which is used as a grandstand for 25,000 spectators, towering over the main straight and is only used once a year for a festival of racing. With plenty of other viewpoints, the event attracts over 140,000 people.
The weekend starts on Friday 29th June with a 125 minutes morning practice session for the British F3 field, followed by a 30 minutes qualifying session in the afternoon, setting the grid for the first and third races. The first two races will be held on Saturday 30th June and the final race on Sunday morning, 1st July.