Jaafar thrilled with Aragon podium on Fortec debut


PETRONAS-backed Malaysian Jazeman Jaafar left Motorland Aragon sitting in third position in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series championship after taking a podium finish in race one and seventh in race two.

Jaafar had a strong start to his Fortec Motorsports career, climbing into third position at the start and then following team-mate Oliver Rowland to the line, getting close to the Briton on occasion but not being able to find a way passed. He inherited second when the penalty to Meindert van Buuren was implemented, with Jaafar admitting he was happy with the result, especially as he found the low downforce configuration on his car a challenge.

“I am very happy with this one-two finish for Fortec Motorsports,” said Jaafar. “The team worked very hard during the winter to get this result. The low downforce configuration brought a huge challenge.

“I would have obviously liked to have been a bit faster in qualifying and in the race but I am thrilled with this result.”

Sunday’s race was less successful for Jaafar, despite having a strong start. The Malaysian driver admitted his struggles as he could not maintain his strong early position during the pit stop cycle, and ultimately ended the race eighth, although that became seventh when Dean Stoneman was penalised post-race for speeding in the pit lane.

“It was a tough race today,” said Jaafar. “The first start was just horrendous, I just wasn’t able to see anything except spray from the cars in front. Thankfully they decided to stop the race.

“The rain wasn’t as bad for the second race and it did ease off, but that made it a challenge on the tyres, as it wasn’t really wet enough for wet tyres in some places, but too wet for slicks, so we had to stay on wets for the whole race.

“I was running well at the beginning  – I had third fastest lap of the race – but just lost out when I came back out on track after the pit stop, which was disappointing.

“However, I racked up some more points and to leave Motorland in third place in the championship is a good place to be.”