MOTOR SPORT: Spot on podium tops a fine weekend for Jazeman
A THIRD place finish for Jazeman Jaafar topped off a solid weekend in the fifth round of the Formula 3 Euro Series in Nurburgring.
The young Malaysian, competing as an invitation driver, finished fifth in the first race and seventh in the second as a prelude to his third place result.
Jazeman travelled to Germany for the Nurburgring event to keep himself race fit in between rounds of British F3. With a five-week gap from the previous British F3 round at Snetterton to the next at Silverstone in September, the Malaysian used the opportunity to gain extra seat time in his F3 car and the chance to race with different drivers.
The Petronas Talent Programme driver was never out of the top 10 in practice and took this momentum through to qualifying, putting in laps which put him sixth on the grid slot for the first race and a fourth row start in ninth place for the third.
The first race on Saturday in scorching morning heat produced a rare processional race, with Jazeman one of the few drivers to improve on his grid position, making a move on the opening lap to claim fifth place.
He held station over the course of the race, fending off F3 Euro Series frontrunner, Raffaele Marciello to the chequered flag. Jazeman was the best-placed Carlin driver and the highest finisher among the Volkswagen-engined cars competing at Nurburgring.
In the second race Jazeman started fourth on the grid, but was unable to hold off a couple of Mercedes-powered cars, finishing seventh but successfully keeping F3 Euro Series points leader Daniel Juncadella behind him throughout the race.
The final race of the weekend proved to be far more action-packed with a number of clashes at the head of the grid keeping Jazeman on his toes and skillfully avoiding being caught up in any of the tangles and used his experience to manoeuvre himself into third place.
With a train of cars behind him, all vying for a podium place, Jazeman defended hard and ensured he was the victor in this battle.
"I had good pace this weekend, but just couldn't find enough in the first two races to challenge harder," said Jazeman.
"The third race was a different story and a lot more eventful. There were quite a few incidents ahead of me on track, so after starting ninth, I benefited from these to be up to sixth by the second lap.
"I pushed hard, stayed out of trouble and was up to third in the closing stages. I had a couple of attacking cars behind me toward the end which meant I had to fight to the bitter end for my podium, but that's what it is all about."
Jazeman added: "Competing in the F3 Euro Series weekend has been great for me to gain more experience. It was a great way to celebrate Eid too!"
Jazeman returns to racing in three weeks' time with the penultimate round of the British F3 International Series at Silverstone.