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Jazeman determined to make good on opportunities
Friday, March 30, 2012 4:12 PM

Jazeman determined to make good on opportunities

If the name rings a bell, it’s probably because Jazeman Jaafar made national headlines when he was awarded an International Class C racing licence when he was just 14 years old, one year younger than the rules allow.

His talent prompted the governing bodies to make an exemption for a very young but talented Jazeman.

Having first raced at just six years old and taking his first win at eight, Jazeman has been lighting up the pages of local media ever since he got behind the wheel of a go-kart.

Today, the 19-year-old is based in Britain and races in the British Formula 3 series with Team Carlin.
Jazeman competing in the British F3 Championship under Petronas sponsorship last year.

He has had a great season capped by a number of podiums, finishing sixth in the overall standings.

His accomplishments for 2011 include four podium finishes, 18 top five finishes, and 23 top 10 finishes with only one non-finish throughout the year.

But it hasn’t been a smooth journey all the way.

“It was hard for me at the beginning because I was 15 when I first moved abroad and my parents were not there with me.

“I had few friends and had to learn much by himself.

“Learning how to cope, going out to the gym, learning how to take the train.

“And English weather is rubbish and it demotivates you. I would have rather stayed at home and played with my PlayStation.

“All of that was hard in the beginning but I never let it get to me,” he said in an interview.

Racing in Europe is a calling for any budding racer looking to make it big on the world stage, and the competition makes it a whole new ballgame.

“The level of competition is very high; it’s like racing against 10 other Jazemans.

“I have team mates who are in Formula 1 now, some team mates have also tested in Formula 1, so that’s the level that the British F3 is at. It has produced loads of Formula 1 drivers in the past.

"So finishing in the top 10 in every practice, qualifying session and race is where I need to be.”

“Racing in Malaysia, the time gap between the first, second and third driver is about a second. But in Europe you have 18 cars that are within a second of each other.

“Any mistake is a costly one.”

Jazeman, who credits Petronas for giving him the opportunity to race abroad, is now planning his future carefully with his sponsors and family.

“Formula 1 has been my goal ever since I started racing at six years old.

“But I’m taking it one step at a time because when I get there, I want to be ready for it.”


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