YOUNG MALAYSIAN RACING DRIVER GIVEN A1GP EXPERIENCE IN VIRTUAL WORLD
Young Malaysia racing driver, Jazeman Jaafar, was recently given the opportunity to sample the A1GP race car simulator, courtesy of A1 Team Malaysia. Jaafar travelled to Modena, Italy with the team's race engineer, Alan Mugglestone, to experience driving the 600 bhp Powered by Ferrari car, within a virtual world.
The simulator is used by A1GP drivers as a development tool throughout the year. It is a cost-effective training vehicle for young rookie drivers as well as providing the main A1GP drivers the chance to fast track their development programmes for each race venue. A1 Team Malaysia used the simulator during last season, preparing for race weekends with Fairuz Fauzy and increasing Aaron Lim's knowledge of the tracks and the car.
Jaafar is currently competing in the European Formula BMW championship and as a young Malaysian racing driver he follows the fortunes of A1 Team Malaysia. The 16-year-old driver is currently based in the UK for his summer racing season and was a guest of the team at the final round of the 2008/09 A1GP series in Brands Hatch, UK. Following on from this the team offered Jaafar the opportunity to experience the A1GP race car simulator.
Jaafar travelled to Italy with Mugglestone for two intensive sessions in the car. On the first day Jaafar drove the Silverstone circuit, a track which he has experienced a number of times, allowing him to focus on acclimatising himself to the powerful A1GP car and the simulator environment. After a number of laps at this track, he moved on to the new Algarve track for the second session.
The Portuguese track is technically demanding, with a variety of corners to test the driver, so it was an appropriate venue for Jaafar to work with Mugglestone on developing the car set up. Over the course of the session, with Jaafar feedbacking information to Mugglestone, and the engineer providing his technical expertise, the young driver substantially improved his lap times.
Jaafar said of his experience, "I've had a very enjoyable and productive two days. The car was very different to the ones I've driven so far in my career and very similar to the real thing, with the sensitivity of the throttle and brakes and the oversteer. The track was very realistic as well. The Algarve one had the banking, the bumps and kerbs which you could feel through the car, while making adjustments in the car changed the handling just as you would expect.
"I adapted quickly to the car and worked well with Alan, gaining from his vast experience and really appreciating the detailed analysis which he shared with me. I definitely learned from this opportunity and would like to thank A1 Team Malaysia for giving me the chance to drive an A1GP car. Next time I hope it will be the real car!"
Mugglestone added, "Jazeman was an excellent pupil, really enjoying the chance to drive the A1GP car. He listened to all the feedback and then applied this on his next run, using the information he was given to improve his performance. I was impressed with his driving style considering his relative youth and inexperience. He's a quick learner and also gave very candid analysis, so it was a pleasure to work with him. I think he's benefited from his simulator sessions and will be able to use this experience in his racing season this year."
The trip to Modena finished with the engineer and driver visiting the Ferrari museum, which houses a jaw dropping collection of road and race cars, an appropriate end to a very successful visit to the home of the prancing horse.