Lotus driver Markus Pommer (centre) flanked by Nabil Jeffri (left) and Indy Dontje after the ATS Formula 3 (German Formula 3) season-opening leg in Oschersleben.
PETALING JAYA: Malaysian driver Nabil Jeffri has high hopes of challenging for the ATS Formula 3 (German Formula 3) championship title after bagging a second podium finish in the season-opening leg in Oschersleben.
Nabil rounded off his debut weekend for new team Motopark with a second place finish in Race 3 on Sunday.
The 20-year-old, who started from pole position, was overtaken by Lotus driver Markus Pommer of Germany on the inside at the first corner.
Pommer defended his position well until the finish line to complete the 22-lap race in 30:10.601.
Nabil kept up the pressure to the end to take second spot in 30:11.148 while another German driver Indy Dontje of Lotus was third in 30:12.505.
Nabil had celebrated his first victory in the German series when he won Race 2 and was not disappointed not to win the final race despite starting from pole and clocking the fastest lap time of 1:21.133.
“It was a tight finish in the end and Markus (Pommer) won by five-tenths of a second.
“I think my start was quite good. I pulled away but then I went a bit wide and that was the race for me.
“If I had kept the position, I had kept pushing, the result might be different. Markus was in my rear and I had better pace than him for sure.
“But that is okay, this is the first race weekend of the season. There is still a long way to go. I want to win the championship,” said Nabil from Oschersleben.
The Malaysian was eighth overall in his debut Formula 3 season last year and he is definitely aiming for bigger things although he is wary of strong opposition from his more experienced peers.
“Markus has done Formula 2 before. He is 24 this year and definitely looking strong for the championship title,” he added.
Pommer currently tops the overall standings on 58 points, ahead of Nabil (42) and Dontje (41).
Pommer said his objective was to roar to a fast start.
“Anyway, Nabil was not too bad, he blocked a little. But I knew that it was possible to overtake on the inside of the second turn with another driver in front. And that’s what I did. Then I drove two fast laps. However, after the first half of the race, Nabil was a little faster just like throughout the whole weekend. Anyway, I knew I could not be overtaken here unless I made a mistake.”
The next of the eight-round series will be at Lausitzring from May 23-25.