PETALING JAYA: Jazeman Jaafar, Nabil Jeffri and Weiron Tan chalked up a first in their respective careers by becoming the first Malaysian and all-Asian line-up to win a World Endurance Championship (WEC) race.
The all-Malaysian line-up emerged as the winner of the LMP2 class in the 6 Hours of Fuji race at the Fuji Speedway in Japan yesterday.
Jazeman took over from Nabil for the final stint of the gruelling race to cross the finish line first in their class after 217 laps and sixth overall for Team Jackie Chan DC Racing X Jota Sport team.
It was a one-two finish for the Jackie Chan-backed team with the sister car of Ho Pin-tung, Stephane Richelmi and Gabriel Aubry also crossing the finish line for a second spot in the LMP2 class.
It is their second straight podium in the prestigious championships – a spectacular performance considering the trio are in their maiden season but racing wheel-to-wheel with the likes of Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso.
The Malaysian trio chalked up their first podium in the WEC when they finished second in their class at the 6 Hours of Silverstone in Britain in August.
Jazeman, Nabil and Weiron raised hopes of a solid outing after qualifying second for the 6 Hours of Fuji race on Saturday.
Toyota Gazoo Racing claimed a 1-2 finish in the LMP class with Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez leading home Alonso, Kazuki Nakajima and Sebastien Buemi.
“After several close finishes, we made history today. This win is for Malaysia,” said Nabil.
“Thanks to the team for preparing a car right on the pace from the start and my teammates for doing an amazing job.”
Sepang International Circuit chief executive officer Datuk Razlan Razali said it was a fantastic result from the trio coming after just four races of the championship.
“SIC’s motorsport programme for four wheels achieved its best results so far with our maiden win in Japan,” said Razlan.
“We’re now lying joint-second in the championship and separated by just one point at the halfway mark.
“These boys showed they have the talent and justified the support from the nation despite racing in a very competitive series with the presence of big names from Formula 1 and the European championship,” he said.
The fifth round of the championship will take place in Shanghai, China, from Nov 17-18.