Single seater driver Jazeman Jaafar will start his first 24 hour race this weekend as he joins HTP Motorsport’s line-up for the Total 24 Hours of Spa.
The Malaysian driver, in the middle of his second season in Formula Renault 3.5 will be part of the three car line-up entered into the race by HTP Motorsport confirmed alongside Germans Maximilian Gotz and Maximilian Buhk in the team’s #86 Mercedes SLS AMG GT3.
All three cars will contest the Pro Cup class, the premier class in the Blancpain Endurance Championship as HTP seek to retain the crown won last year by the combination of Bernd Schneider, Gotz and Buhk, who went on to win the series’ drivers’ championship.
In contrast to his teammates for the event Jaafar has no endurance racing experience, though he will start the Spa-Francorchamps weekend (July 23-27) following a successful test with the team in recent weeks.
“Racing in a new discipline will be good experience for me and sharing a car with two race winners will be an advantage and a great opportunity for me to learn from seasoned professionals,” said Jaafar. “I really enjoyed testing the car a couple of weeks back. It’s quite different than driving a single seater as there’s much less downforce but the grip levels are good and I was impressed with the torque of the SLS, now I’m keen to race.”
He continued; “A 24 hour race will bring new challenges for me, particularly racing in different weather conditions at different times of the day and night. It will also be the largest grid I’ll have been racing with, at around 60 cars, so this is another dimension for me with the different classes and speed of cars and top manufacturers such as Audi, Bentley, Aston Martin, BMW, McLaren and many more.”
New to endurance racing Jaafar is, at least, familiar with the Spa circuit having raced at the Belgian track as he moved up through the junior formulae of Europe. Earlier this season he stood on the podium during the FR3.5 meeting.
“Jazeman did not need long to settle in to our SLS,” said Gotz. “[He] knows the track from various races in Formula 3 and Formula Renault 3.5 very well. This will be a great race with him.”
www.theCheckeredFlag.co.uk will have full coverage of the Total 24 Hours of Spa weekend, with reports from every session of the weekend before regular updates throughout the race.