AP: Round 17 Shanghai race report

Jazeman retains lead with convincing win. Malaysian teenager Jazeman Jaafar (CIMB Team Qi-Meritus) took a well-earned victory today from Indonesia's Zahir Ali (20/Team TARADTM) to retain his place at the top of the Driver Classification. Third...

Jazeman retains lead with convincing win.

Malaysian teenager Jazeman Jaafar (CIMB Team Qi-Meritus) took a well-earned victory today from Indonesia's Zahir Ali (20/Team TARADTM) to retain his place at the top of the Driver Classification. Third across the line after the 10-lap race on the 5.421km Shanghai International Circuit was Jazeman's team mate and arch on-track rival James Grunwell (18/THA).

Imran Shaharom (19/Team Holzer PFX) took the Rookie Cup win, the first of his career, after an excellent performance, and a popular result with the local Chinese crowd, David Zhu (17/CIMB Team Qi-Meritus) was the top BMW Junior finisher and 8th overall.

Jazeman's win gives him a lead of 43 points over Grunwell, with Zahir just five points behind the Thai. BMW Junior Ross Jamison of Hong Kong (17/CIMB Team Qi-Meritus) still tops the Rookie Cup with a 74 point lead over Kyle Mitchell (16/RSA/Eurasia Motorsport), and is also 4th in the Driver Classification. CIMB Team Qi-Meritus have clinched the Team Classification with five races of the 2007 season still to go. Malaysia tops the Nation Classification ahead of Thailand and Indonesia.

Jazeman grabbed the lead from pole-sitter Ali off the start and, despite the Indonesian's best efforts, held the advantage to the chequered flag. Series newcomer Jack Lemvard (21/THA/CIMB Team Qi-Meritus), who started from 3rd on the grid also lost out at the start, relegated to 5th behind Grunwell and Sebastian Saavedra of Colombia (17/Ao's Racing).

Another newcomer, 19-year-old Nara Ryuichi of Japan (Team E-Rain) acquitted himself well on his Formula BMW Asia debut with a 6th place finish.

Ali was downcast after a tough race where he just couldn't find a way past the Malaysian: "I had one chance and pushed too hard. I locked up and went off, and that was it," he said. Jazeman, who had the Indonesian in his tow throughout the race, had a major moment on lap four when he hit oil: "I was so scared. I had opposite lock and was sliding everywhere. It was a good race though, and I love the circuit. High speed and technical."

Early on in the race BMW Juniors Mitchell and Eurasia Motorsport team mate Akhil Khushlani (IND/18) both came to grief after an incident. Mitchell was running behind the Indian racer, when he was hit from behind shunting him into the car in front, spinning his team mate. Said Mitchell: "It was just a racing incident. With the Rookie Cup at stake, I'm very disappointed with my bad luck, but tomorrow I'm confident I can win."

The points standings have been revised after a discrepancy in race classification came to light following the previous rounds in Chengdu, China last month.

The results for Round 17 are provisional pending the results of fuel tests.

Round 18 of Formula BMW Asia will be run tomorrow prior to the Formula 1 Sinopec Chinese Grand Prix.

-credit: fbmw.asia

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Series Formula BMW
Drivers Sebastian Saavedra , Jazeman Jaafar , Zahir Ali , Ross Jamison , Kyle Mitchell , Akhil Khushlani , James Grunwell , David Zhu , Jack Lemvard , Imran Shaharom , Ryuichi Nara