From a tight street track to the second quickest venue in the F.Renault 3.5 calendar: Monte-Carlo and Spa-Francorchamps couldn’t be more different from one another, but that didn’t mean that much for ISR. After clinching a deserved third finish in Monaco, the Czech team and Jazeman Jaafar kept momentum and crossed the line in third place once again just six days later, this time on the Belgian circuit. The second podium finish in one week was the consequence of an amazing recovery drive from P14 by Malaysian talent Jaafar, who made the most of the car’s performance potential. After a good start that allowed him to gain a couple of spots, Jazeman chose the right line through the Le Combes mayhem, a big crash that involved four cars just in front of him, making up even more ground before the Safety-Car was deployed.
Jaafar’s relentless recovery went on at the race restart, when thanks to a perfectly timed exit from the La Source hairpin he managed to pass Sorensen, a manouvre he repeated a few laps later with Nato to take P4. With the podium in his reach, Jazeman upped his pace even further and managed to catch third placed Laine with just one lap to go, passing him thanks to a better exit speed from the Eau Rouge-Raidillon section. The second podium result brought Jaafar to P5 in the series standings with 53 points, and Jazeman will have a chance to add more points to his tally tomorrow in Race 2, scheduled for 3.05 PM.
Jazeman Jaafar: Q1 – P14; R1 – P3
“Truth be told, the day hadn’t started that well for us: in qualifying I struggled in Sector 2 and I didn’t manage to put my best sector times together, and P14 was the consequence of that. Luckily, the race was a completely different story. I was quick off the line, and then taking a good exit from Eau Rouge I passed two cars on the Kemmel straight. Luckily I managed to avoid the mayhem in Les Combes, and when the Safety-Car left the track I was able to take Sorensen with a good restart, then doing the same with Nato a few laps later. From that moment on my whole race was just trying to catch Laine, which I eventually did with a couple of laps to go. On the very last lap I had a very good exit from La Source and used the DRS all the way down to Eau Rouge and Raidillon: maybe he was struggling a bit with his tyres, I don’t know, but my exit speed was way better than his and I managed to take him easily on the straight. The second podium finish in six days is a great feeling, I really have to praise the team for giving me such a good car. Getting up there once again tomorrow would be amazing, so there’s no time to cheer, we have to keep working hard”.