Leading Malaysian sportscar racing driver, Jazeman Jaafar, lifted the winners trophy at this weekend’s 6 Hours of Fuji FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) race in Japan, his first victory in the championship.
Jazeman and his fellow Malaysian team mates, Weiron Tan and Nabil Jeffri, were triumphant in the fourth round of the WEC Super Season with the #37 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA-Gibson LMP2 proving the class of the field and taking a comfortable win from the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing sister car. Their success has put the six drivers of the Jackie Chan DC Racing team on equal points in the championship table on 86 points, with the leading trio of drivers just 1 point ahead on 87 points.
Jazeman was on top form throughout the weekend, consistently putting in the best times of the team and was instrumental in putting the #37 car second in qualifying. He was selected to drive the car for the start of the race, and with light rain falling all the teams opted for intermediate or wet tyres on the grid.
The team’s faith in Jazeman as starting driver was repaid with a superb early run that saw him take class lead in less than four laps of the green flag. Due to the bad weather, the field started behind the safety car for the first two laps and when this pulled into the pitlane and the race began in earnest, Jazeman hounded the lead LMP2 #31 car, taking the lead after just two laps. He then Jazeman settled into a strong pace, pulling out a gap and lapping comfortably in the difficult wet conditions. Over the course of the six hours of the race, the #37 car and Jackie Chan DC team handled the changing weather with good strategy on tyre choices and fuel and used multiple full course yellow flag periods to their advantage. The strength of Jazeman’s race pace also kept the #37 car ahead of its rivals, taking the chequered flag with a comfortable 26 second lead over the second placed #38 sister car, a great 1-2 for the team.
Jazeman said of taking his first WEC win, “Wow, what a great feeling. We’re always aiming for this, so when you achieve it, it is fantastic, and very emotional. Six hours of racing means that everything has to come together for you – reliability of the car, smooth, speedy pit stops and tyre changes from the pit crew, consistently quick laps from the drivers – and that’s not just for a few laps, it was for 217 laps for us. I’m so proud to be part of a winning team, especially as an all-Malaysian line up, that makes it even more special and we’re so pleased to have this success with the support of Sepang International Circuit.”
He adds, “ Taking this win has put us right in the mix for the Drivers Championship, with just 1 point separating the top three cars. However, with another four races still to go, including the 2019 Le Mans 24 Hours, we’re only at the halfway point, so we’ll need to continue to have a strong season as we move through into 2019. I’m riding high right now, enjoying the moment of my first sportscar win and hopefully it’ll be the first of many, as I’m determined to be here to stay.”
Jazeman will be back in action next month with the 6 Hours of Shanghai, the Chinese round of this global championship, closing out the year. Follow Jazeman’s progress on social media for regular updates.