The final race of the Blancpain GT Series was held at Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona this weekend with Jazeman Jaafar rounding off his season with a ninth place finish in the last round of the Blancpain Sprint Series. The young Malaysian was racing with his regular team, HTP Motorsport, and sharing the driving duties with his team mate, Clemens Schmid in the Mercedes AMG GT3.
Practice started well for the team with Clemens putting in third quickest lap by the end of the opening session. The team focused on race set up for the second session rather than outright speed, with Jazeman behind the wheel, dropping them down the field in second practice.
After their strong performances in qualifying, the #85 car was in the third qualifying session, the top 20 shoot out. It was thirteenth fastest lap for the #85 Mercedes AMG GT3 and a seventh row grid slot for the qualifying race after this session.
Starting in the midfield proved a tough place to be for the #85 car, with Jazeman losing a couple of places on the opening laps, settling into 17th place as the race settled. Maintaining a good pace, Jazeman was able to move up a couple of positions late in his stint, and with the team leaving him out for a few more laps than other cars, he pitted on lap 17. Clemens took over the wheel for the second half of the race and was lying in 17th place after all the cars had pitted. As he settled into the race he moved forward to 15th place, but a penalty incurred by the Austrian dropped the car to 20th at the chequered flag.
Lining up in 20th position for the main race, Clemens took the start, making up two places by the end of the first lap. He continued to improve his position over the course of his stint, pitting from 12th place. Jazeman quickly swopped into the car and was back out on track in 10th place. He settled into a strong pace, moving up to ninth place by the chequered flag.
Jazeman reflected after the race, “I’m pleased to have finished my sportscar season with a top ten. It wasn’t the easiest of weekends, as we didn’t really find the pace we needed to be challenging the front runners. However, our congratulations go to Maxi and Dominik for fighting to the end and winning the drivers championship in one of our sister cars.
I’m also proud to have finished ninth in the driver championship in my first season. It’s been a great year, I’ve learned so much, had some excellent results, especially being Vice Champion in the Endurance Series and worked with a highly professional team. My thanks go to everyone at HTP Motorsport.”