Jazeman unstoppable in Malaysia. Sepang, Malaysia -- Malaysian teenage sensation Jazeman Jaafar scored his third win in five races today, taking victory in Round 5 of Formula BMW Asia and making it a 1-2-3 for his Team Meritus. Team mates...
Jazeman unstoppable in Malaysia.
Sepang, Malaysia -- Malaysian teenage sensation Jazeman Jaafar scored his third win in five races today, taking victory in Round 5 of Formula BMW Asia and making it a 1-2-3 for his Team Meritus. Team mates BMW Junior Ross Jamison of Hong Kong (17), and pole-sitter James Grunwell (THA/18) were second and third, after some confusion over the starting procedure lost the Thai his pole position advantage. "I'm disappointed not to have won because of someone else's mistake," said Grunwell. "But I wouldn't take anything away from Jazeman who drove a perfect race -- all credit to him."
Jazeman's win strengthens his lead at the top of the Driver Classification, with an impressive 57 point advantage over Grunwell in 2nd. Jamison moves up to 3rd in the Driver Classification and now tops the Rookie Cup leaderboard. A disastrous outing which saw him crash out early on in the race puts BMW Junior Akhil Khushlani (IND/17/Eurasia Motorsport) down the leaderboard from 2nd to 6th overall, and 3rd in the Rookie Cup standings behind BMW Junior Kyle Mitchell of South Africa (16/Eurasia Motorsport).
Mitchell was 4th overall and the second Rookie Cup finisher behind Jamison, while another Malaysian Imran Shaharom (19) showed a massive improvement to place 3rd in the Rookie Cup for new Team Holzer PFX. Jazeman and Shaharom's performances also strengthen Malaysia's lead in the Nations Classification to 16 ahead of Thailand, which is now 2nd thanks to Grunwell.
Off the start, Jazeman was quick to take advantage of Grunwell's hesitation and sped by to take the lead, which he held to the chequered flag. Likewise, Jamison shot by into 2nd and, despite closing the gap to the Malaysian at one stage, wasn't able to seriously challenge for the win. Indonesian Zahir Ali (Team TARADTM) was up to 3rd at one stage, having qualified in 5th, but brake problems kicked in on the second lap of the 10-lap race and he had dropped down 9th by the finish.
Grunwell meanwhile was on a charge through the field, desperate to regain the lead. Despite a few mistakes, he ploughed through to cross the line in 3rd position.
Mitchell put in a sterling performance to finish 4th from 8th on the grid, having suffered uncomfortable injuries in a bicycle accident earlier this week and put up a spirited defense of his 3rd place against Grunwell. Fellow BMW Junior David Zhu of China (Team Meritus) had earlier set his best qualifying time to start from 4th on the grid.
For many of the drivers, it was their first outing on the full 5.542km Grand Prix Circuit in Malaysia, having competed on the shorter North Track last month. Sepang International Circuit Ambassador Jazeman was delighted to have notched up another win in the series, and found the newly-resurfaced track interesting, while Grunwell did have the satisfaction of retaining his fastest lap record, with a 2:11.817 fastest lap.