Jaz rocks to regain Formula 3 championship lead
Jazeman Jaafar followed up his Pau top score with an undisputed race victory in the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series at Rockingham this afternoon, the Malaysian leading from start to finish to regain the championship lead.
The Malaysian 19-year-old seized control of the race on the startline, making a phenomenal getaway in his Volkswagen-powered Carlin Dallara from third on the grid to snick past pole man Jack Harvey. Jazeman was quick to put clean air between himself and his pursuers, made no errors in the ensuing 22 laps and crossed the line 2.1s ahead for the win.
“It’s incredible,” said Jazeman. “I don’t know how to sum it up in a sentence. It’s an amazing feeling to lead right from the start and stay consistent and not make any mistakes for the whole race. The start was great: there was not so much grip on my side of the track, but I was ready to go, all set, and then I saw Jack had a poor start and I went for it and dived up his inside.”
Harvey’s slow getaway from the pole was matched by Fortec man Alex Lynn in P2, and he slipped back to fifth away from the line before bravely reasserting himself into the Deene hairpin and recapturing second spot, which position he held to the flag. “It looked like me and Jack had the same problem at the start,” said Alex. “It was a bad start and I got swamped and then I just had a really good first corner – stuck my nose down the inside. it was all a bit of a mess really, and came out in second. I’m happy to finish second. Tomorrow largely depends on what the weather brings. If it’s dry we might see some more processional races, and if it’s wet, anything could happen.”
Felix Serralles was another gainer from the first-lap Deene mayhem, the Puerto Rican slipping up to third and holding on in front of his Fortec team-mate Hannes van Asseldonk for the duration of the race.
After a brush with his team-mate Pietro Fantin on the dash away from the lights, disappointed pole man Harvey established himself in fifth and led Pietro home.
Three drivers were put to the back of the grid after transgressing track limits in qualifying – erstwhile championship leader Carlos Sainz, Harry Tincknell and Pipo Derani. Tincknell made the better job of improving his lot, the Devonian finishing seventh for Carlin, ahead of Sainz, whose Dallara suffered damage in a third-lap clash with the car of Double R driver Fahmi Ilyas.
Ilyas later came together with T-Sport’s Nick McBride and retired; McBride was able to continue on to ninth, ahead of Derani, who survived a fourth-lap brush with the car of Geoff Uhrhane (Double R) which left the Australian sidelined.
Post-race, stewards docked McBride and Sainz 30-second penalties for not observing track limits, dropping Carlos to ninth and Nick to 10th among the international men.
T-Sport’s Spike Goddard led his class rival Duvashen Padayachee (Double R) home for National class honours, with Padayachee an ever-present threat in his mirrors. Less than a second separated them at the line.