17 July 2011

Jazeman scores two top tens in British F3 at Paul Ricard

Jazeman Jaafar scored two top ten finishes in the sixth round of the Cooper Tires International Formula 3 Series held this weekend at the Paul Ricard circuit in France. The young Malaysian endured three tough and challenging races which were all filled with incidents, scoring valuable
championship points.

The lead-up to the three races was the chance for Jazeman and the Carlin team to develop the set-up of the car for the high speed Paul Ricard track, which was hosting the British F3 championship for the first time.  Without prior experience, the team had only simulator data to prepare and the practice and qualifying sessions were used to collect information for race preparations.
After these sessions Jazeman was running comfortably in the top ten, lining up ninth on the grid for both the first and third races of the weekend, with a semi-reverse grid for the second race taken from the first race results.

PETRONAS backed Jazeman said after his practice and qualifying sessions, “I’m pleased we were running in the top ten, but really wanted to be a bit further forward; I just couldn’t quite get the car balance as wanted it and couldn’t push as much as I needed to for a top five lap time.”
The first race of the weekend held yesterday afternoon saw 18-year-old Jazeman have a spirited drive, battling for ninth place with Lucas Foresti, until Menasheh Idafar goinvolved, as well as Harry Tincknell and Peitro Fantin further behind. In a thrilling points position battle, Jazeman drove with great maturity to dual with his adversaries and emerge eighth at the chequered flag.

Jazeman was forced to start from the back of the grid for the second race after a rules infringement in the first race. An aborted start produced much confusion for the British F3 field, with some drivers moving off at racing speed and others slower. The inevitable pile-up ensued and the race was red-flagged. A shortened six lap sprint race after the restart gave little opportunity for Jazeman to improve on his starting position, but he showed his patience and racecraft throughout, moving up to 13th place by the end of the first lap. He drove intelligently and cleanly to improve to 10th place at the chequered flag and with a post-race penalty for a rival driver, he took ninth place.

The third race brought Jazeman a premature end to his weekend, with a clash between the young Malaysian and rival Pietro Fantin in the first turn of the opening lap forcing him to retire with substantial car damage. Jazeman summed up his weekend saying,“It’s been highs and lows for me this weekend. Finishing in the top ten for the first race was a fairly good start, but in the second race with only six laps of racing there was little time to make up places, especially having had to start from the back. The chaos of the aborted start eliminated quite a few cars so that helped me, but I really had to race to the limits to finish in the top ten, and that was very satisfying.
The low for me was the third race which I’m very disappointed about, as I was feeling more confident with the car and believed I could get a top five finish to get some much-needed points. Being taken out in the first lap was a great shame and left me feeling very frustrated. It’s a hiccup in my season, which I’ll put behind me and come back fighting again next time out.”
The British F3 Series will make its final European stop in two weeks time, with the seventh round taking place at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium on 29th July. The event will also be the third round of the International F3 Trophy, in which Jazeman is competing this season.


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