Leading Malaysian racing driver, Jazeman Jaafar, celebrated victory at Silverstone yesterday, winning the second round of the Blancpain Endurance Series and with this success he became the first Asian to take a win in this prestigious sportscar racing championship.
Jazeman is driving with HTP Motorsport in a Mercedes AMG GT3 car this season and in the Endurance Series races with team mates Maxi Buhk and Dominik Baumann. The trio scored a second place finish in the first round and with the two strong results they lead the Endurance Cup Drivers championship. Jazeman is lying fourth in the Blancpain GT Series Drivers championship.
Jazeman and his team mates had a strong weekend, running eighth fastest in pre-qualifying and then posting a combined qualifying time that put them fourth on the grid for the start of the race.
Dominik was selected to start the race in the #84 HTP Motorsport Mercedes AMG GT3 and he held position at the start in a fierce battle down to the first corner, then overtook a BMW to grab third place. He started to chase down the lead duo, gradually reeling them in before handing over the car to Jazeman for the middle stint of the race.
Jazeman took little time to settle into the car and as the mid distance approached, Jazeman had closed the gap on the lead two cars. He had a good exit out of Club corner and with exciting wheel to wheel racing action, Jazeman muscled his way past his rivals on the F1 pit straight to grab the lead. He quickly put the power down again and stretched out a comfortable lead, until a safety car period closed up the field. Returning to green flag racing Jazeman held the lead, and after an hour of running, he pitted to hand over the car to Maxi for the final hour of the race.
Maxi retained the lead after all the pitstops had been completed, but Jazeman’s team mate drew out a lead, until a safety car was deployed and bunched up the field. With less than 20 minutes remaining the safety car pulled off track and the battle for victory hotted up with an Audi chasing Maxi hard. Despite running hard on his heels the Audi was not able to match the performance of the #84 car, with Maxi taking the chequered flag just 0.9 seconds ahead of the second placed car.
Jazeman said of the weekend, “What an amazing race! I loved every minute of my weekend and had a great time out on track. The car feel really good and well balanced, so after a few laps I started to push hard and when the opportunity came along to make the pass for the lead I just grabbed it. Once I’d got into the lead I was able to draw away and that felt really good too. However, there was a lot of traffic to deal with and that can quickly erode any advantage, so I had to drive every lap to the max.
“What a great team, “ adds Jazeman. “We all had really good stints and this, together with great pitstops from the HTP Motorsport crew, brought us the win today. It felt fantastic to be on the top step of the podium and to have had two podiums from two endurance races is awesome.”
Jazeman will be back out racing later next month, with the third round of the Endurance Cup in Paul Ricard, France.