First All-Malaysian Partnership Ready to Rock Spa in WEC Debut

37 JAAFAR Jazeman (myl), WEIRON Tan (mys), IKHWAN YAZID Afid (mys), Oreca 07 Gibson team Jackie Chan DC racing, action during the 2018 FIA WEC World Endurance Championship prologue at circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet France, April 6 to 7, 2018 - Photo Jean Michel Le Meur / DPPI

Pledging their very best, the Malaysian trio of Jazeman Jaafar, Nabil Jeffri and Weiron Tan takes a new adventure in their racing career as they team up as one under the Jalur Gemilang for the first time in making their debut at the opening round of the World Endurance Championship (WEC) in Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium this weekend.

(L-R) Jazeman Jaafar, Weiron Tan, Nabil Jeffri.

While acknowledging the level of competition will be very high with the participation of top racing teams and world renowned drivers, the young Malaysian heroes are ready and determined to pen a far bigger impact in history than merely setting a new milestone of being the first all Malaysian line-up at the prestigious event.

Despite their young age, Jazeman, who has made massive impact during his days competing in the Formula Renault 3.5, and his associates are all armed with the precious skills of various racing including a first-hand experience of competing at the challenging Belgium track.

Their main priority this season, however, will be the participation in the prestigious Le Mans 24 Hours in France, which has been slotted as Round 2 of the five-leg championship; which is scheduled on 16th-17th June.

“Naturally, I am really looking forward to our debut and creating history by the first All Malaysian line up. Spa is known track to me and I’m looking forward to the challenge, said Jazeman when asked to comment on the upcoming race.

Nabil, the former GP2 driver, believes that despite the odds, a podium finish in Spa is an achievable target for the team, which is competing under Jackie Chan DC Racing Team and driving the #37 Oreca in the LMP2 category. “Like Jazeman and Weiron, I’m looking forward to the first race of WEC in Spa. I feel that we have a strong team to be on the podium ultimately. Nevertheless, the goal is to learn constantly and be better every session,” said a confident Nabil.

Like Nabil, Weiron, who is the first Malaysian to win a motor race in the United States of America, winning multiple races in the Pro Mazda Championship, is equally optimistic of their chances. “I am truly looking forward to the race and making our debut in WEC. We have made all the necessary preparations. Most important is for us to keep our heads down and focus on our own programme and I’m sure we’ll have a good race!,” Weiron said.

In preparation to participate in the WEC, all three drivers raced prototypes in the Asian Le Mans Series earlier this year with commendable success – Jazeman and Weiron with DCR with Afiq Ikhwan Yazid;  while Nabil raced for Eurasia.

In total, there will be 37 cars lining up for the opening round at the Belgium famous circuit this weekend with 36 cars entering for the full campaign and a single one-off LMP2 entry from G-Drive Racing.

Some of the renowned drivers vying for glory in the WEC this season include ex-Formula 1 champion Jenson Button, who will be racing for the SMP Racing LMP1 team in a AER-powered, Dallara-built BR1s with former Russian F1 driver Vitaly Petrov and Mikhail Aleshin as his driving partners. Button, however, will only be making his debut in Round 2 at the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Drivers who will be in Spa this weekend are Roman Rusinov and Jean-Eric Vergne for G-Drive Racing and their team-mates GP3 driver Giuliano Alesi and sportscar regulars Alexandre Imperatori and Andrea Pizzitola.

SMP Racing will feature Egor Orudzhev, Matevos Isaakyan  Stephane Sarrazin, Vitaly Petrov and Mikhail Aleshin;  while GP2 racer Nathanael Berthon will race alongside ex-Formula 1 racer Pastor Maldonado and Roberto Gonzalez in DragonSpeed’s LMP2 Oreca.