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Tuesday December 4, 2012

Nabil moving to German F3 after failing to win JK Racing title

One for the album: (from left) Nabil Jeffri, Aston Hare and Akhil Khushlani on the podium after the JK Racing Asia Series
race in New Delhi on Sunday. One for the album: (from left) Nabil Jeffri, Aston Hare and Akhil Khushlani on the podium after the JK Racing Asia Series race in New Delhi on Sunday.

PETALING JAYA: Nabil Jeffri prefers to move on to bigger things next year instead of brooding over his failure to secure the JK Racing Asia Series title in New Delhi last weekend.

The German F3 will be the 19-year-old’s next destination as he plans the next stage of his career in motorsports.

Nabil is flying straight from New Delhi to Milan today and will do a shakedown of the Formula 3 car for the first time later in the week.

A race seat is already confirmed for the Malaysian, who finished runner-up in the JK Racing Asia Series after a dramatic conclusion to the season at the Buddh International Circuit on Sunday.

It was a gut-wrenching weekend for Nabil in New Delhi as suffered a crash and two drive-through penalties in the JK Racing Asia Series. South African rookie Aston Hare beat him to the overall driver’s title.

Nabil was just two laps away from sealing a glorious win for Malaysian motorsports when his car was taken out of the final race by compatriot and rival Meritus GP driver Afiq Ikhwan.

Nabil started the weekend with a 34-point lead but that dwindled to just seven by the time he got off the blocks for the final race.

But the crash put him out of the race and the championship.

“It was a very interesting last race. I started well in seventh and by the first few laps I was already fifth and I was catching up with the frontrunners,” he said from New Delhi.

“By the eighth lap, I was already second, which was what I needed to confirm the championship title. Then, on the eighth lap, Afiq came from the back and T-boned me ... I was out of the race.

“He gave me a DNF which made me lose the championship to Aston. I am very angry with him, but that’s the way it is.”

Gutted he may be but Nabil is prepared to take chances by stepping to a higher championship although he will still be based in Malaysia.

“I’ve decided to be based in Malaysia next year because of my commitments to the sponsors,” he said.

“It will be a very challenging year for me, especially in time management, but I have prepared myself mentally to do what it takes for me to reach Formula 1 eventually.

“I will continue to take it one step at the time and do it properly from the start.

“It’s important to go to the German F3 series and not straight to the British one because of the difference in testing. In Germany, I can do unlimited testing, which I need in my first season.

“My current team are also running a team in the German F3 series,” explained Nabil, who won four races in the JK Racing Asia Series this year.

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