Jazeman Jaafar was close to his first FIA World Endurance Championship win this weekend at Silverstone race circuit in the UK. Jazeman steered the #37 car to pole position for the race and with team mates, Weiron Tan and Nabil Jeffri, finished less than two seconds behind the winning sister car of the Jackie Chan DC Racing, to take second place in this third round of the premier international sportscar racing series.
Following a two-month gap since Le Mans 24 Hours, Jazeman was ready to light up the track at Silverstone and he did this in style, putting in strong lap times throughout practice and finishing second quickest after the three sessions. He took this one better in qualifying, with a stunning pole lap that pipped the sister car by 0.187 seconds.
Jazeman was behind the wheel of the Sepang International Circuit supported #37 car for the start of the race, he avoided trouble in the first corner with contact between a pair of the faster LMP1 category cars causing cars to pick their way through, with Jazeman benefiting to move from ninth overall to four place. The LMP1 cars were able to rejoin the race and by lap 10 had regained their positions, with Jazeman settling comfortably at the head of the LMP2 field.
The three Malaysian drivers shared the driving duties over the course of the race, leading the class for over four hours. An unfortunate puncture as they headed towards the closing stages dropped the car behind the #38 sister car and with a 13 second deficit, Jazeman’s final stint to the chequered flag saw him chasing down his rival. He drove to the utmost limits to claw back the advantage and despite a spirited attempt to pass, he ran out of race time, crossing the finish line in an excellent second place, Jazeman’s first podium success in this championship.
Jazeman said of the weekend, “We had the pace to take the win today and were so unlucky not to have got it. “It’s bittersweet for me, as I thought we were on for it, but just small issues can cost dearly and this time it was a puncture that put us on the second step of the podium instead of the top one. It’s frustrating but I’m also delighted too. Silverstone’s a great track for these cars and it’s been an amazing weekend, especially for me taking pole, that was definitely special.”
Jazeman lies third in the LMP2 Drivers championship, just 7 points behind the #38 car drivers and 11 points off the lead trio of Signatech Alpine Matmut Racing drivers. He will now enjoy a few day’s break turning his focus on two wheels with a visit to the UK round of the MotoGP before returning to Malaysia and preparing for the next round of the FIA World Endurance Championship in Fuji, Japan, in October.