Zheng continues National class winning streak for CF Racing
Jazeman Jaafar converted pole-position into a lights-to-flag victory in the weekend's opening Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series race at Brands Hatch, while Sun Zheng extended his National class points lead with another win.
Carlin driver Jaafar made it a winning return to the British F3 Championship after holding off the attentions of team-mate Jordan King throughout the race. The Malaysian driver made the perfect start from pole position and kept his team-mate at bay for the 23-lap encounter, despite King remaining within two seconds throughout.
Championship leader Will Buller made a lightning start when the lights went out to leap up to fourth place from seventh on the grid, a start that it soon transpired was jumped, Buller slapped with a drive through penalty that dropped him down to eighth place as the consequence.
Buller salvaged sixth place after catching and passing Fortec Motorsport team-mate Felipe Guimaraes on the penultimate tour heading through Paddock Hill Bend, also recieving a bonus point for the fastest lap of the race as he snatched it away from title rival King in the dying laps.
Tatiana Calderon finished in eighth place, her Double R team-mate Sean Gelael one of the race's reitrements after an off at the exit of Sheene Curve. Peter Zhi Cong Li's debut meanwhile saw him finish 11th place in the fifth and final Carlin car.
Behind them, the National class was won by Zheng who continued his run of wins to four, the CF Racing driver inheriting the position even before the start as Ed Jones' West-Tec Dallara-Toyota failed to make it away from the grid on the warm-up lap.
Jones started from the pit lane and subsequently fought his way up into second in class, but was denied the opportunity to fight Zheng for the win by a mechanical problem forcing him to retire in the early stages of the race. Zheng therefore claimed a comfortable win, but only after edging away from Cameron Twynham in the second half of the race.
Race two takes place tomorrow at 11:00, with the grid constructed by the reversal of the top eight finishers from the first race, meaning Calderon starts race two from pole position. Race three gets underway at 16:50 on Sunday afternoon.
Jazeman Jaafar, Carlin - 1st in INT
"It's really awesome to be able to drive a Formula 3 car again. Running at this track is very special for me, as you're always trying to find the limits. Jordan was very quick; obviously we had two different roles - he is fighting for the championship and I was driving my own race. I kept focused and drove a consistent race."
Jordan King, Carlin - 2nd in INT
"In the first few laps I closed right up on [Jazeman] and tried to overtake him, but as we know at Brands Hatch it's very difficult to overtake. So I kept backing off and trying to get the fastest lap, which I did but then it was taken away from me by [Buller] which was quite annoying. From then I wasn't too fussed about getting past Jaz, so I took the points which is good for the championship."
Antonio Giovinazzi, Double R - 3rd in INT
"It was a good start and I was third into the first corner, and after Buller got his driver through that was good obviously for the championship. I couldn't catch up to Jordan, but we will look to tomorrow; I start fifth so I hope I can improve."
Sun Zheng, CF Racing - 1st in NAT:
"I made a good start, I haven't talked to Ed yet so I don't know what his problem was. There were some tyre pressure issues on my car at the start so i struggled, and then after six to eight laps then I was able to push a bit more and pull away."