KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s Jazeman Jaafar made an impressive start to the 2012 International British F3 series with two podium finishes in the opening event at Oulton Park in Cheshire.
A solid drive to second place in the first race of the season was followed by a storming finish from 11th on the grid to third spot in the second race.
Jazeman also took a fifth place finish in the final race of the day and his performances put him second in the overall drivers’ championship with 35 points, just behind Carlin team-mate Jack Harvey (41).
Jazeman was consistently strong in the practice sessions ahead of the weekend’s racing and he continued the momentum into the qualifying session by posting the third fastest lap for the first race.
Jazeman was quick off the line and grabbed second position as he exited the corner. The Petronas sponsored driver was able to hold his position until the chequered flag.
“Having a good start was the key to securing a podium spot. Having grabbed second on the first corner, I was determined to keep it and focused on consistently smooth, fast laps,” said the 19-year-old.
The reverse grid format for the second race put Jazeman 11th on the grid for the start.
Jazeman, the only Malaysian to win the BMW Pacific Asia series, showed his skills by moving up to eighth by the end of the first lap.
He made his way through the field, running third after only five laps.
Jazeman was keen to wrest the lead but a safety car period to retrieve a stranded vehicle left only one lap of green flag racing at the end.
That put paid to any chance he had to improve on his position and Jazeman crossed the line in third place for his second podium finish in two races.
The third race also saw the safety car brought out and Jazeman held on to fifth spot until the end.
“It’s been a great opening weekend for me. A second place in the first race was just the start I needed but I enjoyed the second race even more,” he said.
”There’s a long way to go but I will be back on track in just a week looking to garner more points and podiums.”
The International British F3 Series, a feeder series for Formula 1 hopefuls, continues next week with the second round of the championship in Monza, Italy.
Race 1: Jack Harvey (Bri) Carlin 31:35.051, 2. Jazeman Jaafar (Mas) Carlin 31:42.787, 3. Carlos Sainz (Spa) Carlin 31:46.216; Selected: 6. Fahmi Ilyas (Mas) Double R Racing 32:12.103.
Race 2: 1. Pipo Derani (Bra) Fortec 20:31.214, 2. Pietro Fantin (Bra) Carlin 20:32.064, 3. Jazeman Jaafar (Mas) Carlin 20:32.705; Retired: Fahmi Ilyas (Mas) Double R Racing 11 laps.
Race 3: 1. Felix Serralles (Pr) Fortec Motorsport 40:34.462, 2. Jack Harvey (Bri) Carlin 40:37.305, 3. Harry Tincknell (Bri) Carlin 40:43.765; Selected: 5. Jazeman Jaafar (Mas) Carlin 40:56.854, 8. Fahmi Ilyas (Mas) Double R Racing 41:15.985.