Monday September 10, 2012
Jaz in the reckoning
By LIM TEIK HUAT
PETALING JAYA: Jazeman Jaafar can thank his lucky stars after he was promoted to the top of the podium in Race 1 in the penultimate round of the British F3 International Series at the Silverstone circuit on Saturday.
Fortec driver Alex Lynn crossed the finish line almost 10 seconds ahead of Jazeman but the stewards opened an investigation following an appeal by the Malaysian.
Lynn, who started from pole, was judged to have crept forward before the lights went on and was handed a 30-second jump start penalty, relegating him to fourth.
Jazeman may have earned his win in the stewards room but he was not complaining as it gave him a much needed boost to his title aspirations.
Jazeman now shares second spot with Puerto Rican Fortec driver Felix Serralles on 252 points.
And he has everything to fight for as he is just three points adrift of championship leader and fellow Carlin team-mate Jack Harvey.
Jazeman felt vindicated by the decision, saying it was impossible to pull three car lengths clear into the first corner.
The 19-year-old, who is part of the Petronas driver development programme, made a good start to the weekend by dominating the free practice sessions at the British Grand Prix circuit.
Jazeman, who on Thursday was nominated by the British Racing Drivers Club (BRDC) as its first-ever Asian ‘Rising Star’, topped the timesheets in both morning and afternoon sessions.
Jazeman was the only man to break the 1:54 seconds barrier but he was beaten into second place by Lynn in the battle for pole.
“This is a good start to the weekend and I am happy with the car so far.
“The last two meetings of the year are crucial for me. I need to start and finish strong to make up the points I lost earlier in the year,” said Jazeman from Silverstone.
On his BRDC honour, Jazeman replied: “To be the first Asian makes me proud. It means a lot to me to be recognised by the BRDC as a potential star and I will be wearing the logo with pride.”
Race 2 and 3 were scheduled to take place at press-time. 10 race weekends makes up this year’s calendar and after Silverstone, the series head to Donington Park for the season finale from Sept 29-30.