“This is going to be one of the toughest race weekends of the year” says Jaafar. “Pau is a great track, but as with all street circuits there is little room for error as the barriers are so close and they are very unforgiving. I raced at Pau last year in the FIA International F3 trophy championship, so I know what to expect from the track, but I don’t anticipate having an advantage over other drivers who haven’t been there, as after the first practice session everyone will have experience of it.”
Jaafar, currently lying third in the British F3 points standings, continues, “I’ve finished in the top five in every race of the season so far and I really need to continue with this momentum. The first goal is to secure strong grid positions for the races as the tight track limits the overtaking opportunities. If I can be in the first few rows, I’ll be happy and the clean running as we get into the race should bring us good points finishes. It goes without saying that I’m looking for podium spots, but I know just how difficult it is to predict the outcome of a street race, as there is inevitably plenty of pushing and shoving and the likelihood of a safety car or two to spice up the action as well.”
The Grand Prix de Pau, held on the streets of the Bearn city, is an historic event, first held in 1933. The Pau event has been run on 67 occasions, featuring various categories of motorsport. This year’s event is headlined by the F3 races with a range of support races including the French FFSA F4 Championship, the Peugeot RCZ Racing Cup, the Porsche Matmut Carrera Cup and the 2nd Electric Grand Prix of Pau.
Jaafar says of the weekend ahead, “Racing with the European Formula 3 championship runners will boost the grid to around 25 cars, so it’ll be a busy circuit in the sessions and getting a clear lap in qualifying won’t be easy. I love the challenge that this event presents, especially with the festival atmosphere created by the town of Pau which really embraces the Grand Prix and produces a very special occasion. “
The weekend features two F3 races, a 30 minute race on Saturday 12th May and a 40 minute race on Sunday 13th May, the Grand Prix de Pau and the flagship race of the event.