Indian racer Zaamin Jaffer produced a pair of strong top ten finishes in the latest rounds of the 2011 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship around the Brands Hatch Indy Circuit. The results move the Cardiff University student into the top ten of the championship standings.
As is common in Formula Renault meetings, qualifying is vitally important with overtaking opportunities limited around the 1.2-mile 'Indy' layout. The first session saw Hillspeed driver Jaffer qualify eighth on the grid, just 0.270 seconds off pole. A frustrating second session saw the Formula Ford graduate only manage the twelfth fastest time, although had he pieced together his best possible lap, he would have been in the top four.
A great start in the first race saw the Active PR-backed driver gain a place in the opening corners, though contact to the rear of his car on the run to Graham Hill Bend marginally delayed his progress. He fought through for a seventh place finish, gaining a chunk of vital championship points.
A superb opening lap in the second lap saw Jaffer, who lives in Dubai when not studying or competing in the UK, move into the top ten, before gaining another place on lap eleven when a rival crashed out, finishing ninth, with his best lap times just 0.1 seconds off the race-winners best.
The weekend had added pressure for the 21 year old, as almost immediately after the chequered flag had fallen, Jaffer had to rush back to Cardiff in South Wales to prepare for a highly important University exam at 9am on Monday morning.
Jaffer said: “It's definitely been a very busy weekend, on and off track. Our race pace was really good and I was able to run some very consistent times lap after lap. It all came down to qualifying though, as we expected it to. I just couldn't quite get the tyres working as I wanted early enough and so we weren't able to put the times in that we knew we were capable of. Overtaking is so difficult on the Indy track but considering where we started I think we did a pretty good job.
“We've got Oulton Park next which I'm looking forward to, that is a circuit where overtaking is possible. We need to get qualifying right though – I'm aiming for the top five and if we can achieve that I know I have a good chance to fight for my first podium and set up a really strong second half of the year.”