After 475 laps and 1952 kilometres of racing in which Jaafar has scored 3 wins with 13 podiums the PETRONAS Talent Programme driver, holds the lead in British F3 and with three races remaining his title hopes rest on a haul of points and podium finishes which beat his rivals. Only six points separate Jaafar from the chasing Puerto Rican driver, Serralles, with Jaafar on 282 points and Serralles on 276. Not to be counted out is third placed man and one of Jaafar’s team mates, Harvey, on 259 points, just 23 behind Jaafar. With 20 points for a race win and another point for fastest lap, there are 21 points on offer each race, 63 points in total, leaving the door open for any of these three drivers to take the title.
It has been a season-long battle for Jaafar, with the talented 19-year-old never out of the top three in the championship this season. His strategy for the weekend ahead remains as it has been through each round, as Jaafar says, “Every race I start, I go out to win. I’ve also proved this season that it is consistency and podiums which count, so I’ll take each of the three races as they come and focus entirely on that race, not on the bigger picture. Only when I’ve finished the third race will I consider my title position and if I’ve performed to my best, then I’ll be happy. The other two in the title hunt will, I’m sure, have the same outlook, so I’m sure it is going to be a fierce battle in each of the three races.
Jaafar, a recent addition to the British Racing Drivers’ Club ‘Rising Stars’ programme and the first Asian driver to receive this recognition, is eager to get the weekend started, as he says, “It will have been the longest three weeks ever when I get to Donington and I’m very pumped up for this finale. It’s been a very exciting year so far and I really hope that I can continue to perform at my best this weekend.”
Of Donington Jaafar adds, “This probably isn’t one of my strongest circuits as I only raced there for the first time in British F3 last season. Since then I’ve only been back for the official test a couple of weeks ago, but we ran well there, so it’s all looking positive for the weekend. On the schedule for the weekend is the FIA GT1 championship and those cars put down a lot of rubber which is great for grip, but they also leave plenty of marbles which don’t help if you need to go off line to overtake. It all adds to the challenge of racing though.”
The weekend starts early for Jaafar with two practice sessions on Thursday (27th September). Qualifying will be on Saturday morning with the first of the three races on Saturday afternoon. The final two races are held on Sunday. For live timing, visit www.tsl-timing.com.