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Jazeman takes stunning maiden Formula Renault 3.5 win in Monaco

POSTED BY Nigel Andretti ON 25 May 2015

YOUNG Malaysian driver Jazeman Jaafar took his first pole position and fulfilled a promise to take the win when he triumphed at Sunday’s Formula Renault 3.5 series round at Monaco.

“It’s been an amazing day. To my family and friends, Thank you! This is for you Malaysia!” he said in an Instagram post afterwards.

“I feel on top of the world. It’s taken a while to come, but it feels absolutely fantastic to have won – and at the most iconic racing track in the world. I’ve always loved this place and now I love it even more!

“The race wasn’t as easy to win as it looked. Teammate Ollie (Rowland) got just as good a start as me and he was pretty aggressive into the first corner, but I knew that if I braked as late as I could and held my inside line he wouldn’t be able to get past.

“That strategy worked beautifully for me, although Ollie ended up being tagged and got a puncture when he had to back out of the move, which put him, my biggest rival, out of contention.”

“When the red flag came out I got a bit nervous,” added Jazeman. “It’s never good for the car to have to stop and start again, so you worry about possible technical problems from this. I also had to do a restart and although it was a rolling one, the field is bunched up behind you and I’d lost the gap I’d built up before the red flag.

” Thankfully the car felt brilliant and I was able to keep the pace up from start to finish. What a fantastic weekend, I’m on such a high. To hear the Negaraku and our flag flying above me brought me close to tears – of happiness of course!”

Jazeman now leads the Formula Renault 3.5 Series championship with 49 points, just one ahead of team mate Ollie Rowland. The series moves on to Spa Francorchamps circuit in Belgium for the third round of racing and with this event being held next weekend, Jazeman has little time to enjoy his victory.

Malaysian driver Jazeman Jaafar rounding the famous Loews hairpin on his way to victory in Monaco on Sunday. Image:  Octane Photographic Ltd

Malaysian driver Jazeman Jaafar rounding the famous Loews hairpin on his way to victory in Monaco on Sunday. Image: Octane Photographic Ltd

The Petronas Talent Programme driver had a huge grin on his after securing his first series pole position at the tricky street circuit on Friday.

The second round of the Formula Renault 3.5 Series was a support race for the F1 round so Jazeman was keen to deliver an eye catching performance.

Jazeman (below) proved his quality with the fastest lap of qualifying and his first pole position, in his third season of racing in the FR3.5 Series.

MOTORLAND-AUTOSPORT-WORLD SERIES RENAULT

He has a strong track record in Monaco, having scored podium finishes on both his previous visits.

“I’m totally over the moon to have grabbed my first pole position in the series – and to do it here is just fantastic. I love this place and I guess that showed today.

“It’s not an easy circuit to get right, and the barriers are very close when you’re on the limit, but it’s such an adrenalin rush driving here.

“And for tomorrow’s race, I’m gunning for victory. Starting from pole is, of course, the best place to be, but I have alongside me my biggest rival and team mate, Ollie, so I’m going to have to make sure I nail the perfect start if I’m going to be in a position to take the win.

“I’m so excited and just can’t wait to be sitting on the grid with no other cars in front of me.”

The race was not without incident — a big crash saw the race interrupted by a red flag after just two completed laps — but Jazeman was unfazed by the chaos.

Meindert van Buuren and Bruno Bonifacio collided heading into Saint Devote, with the Lotus driver’s car mounting the International Draco Racing driver’s car, propelling both into the barriers at high speed.

Both drivers were able to get out of their cars unaided, but Bonifacio was attended to trackside and was taken away on a stretcher wearing a neck brace.

The race was halted while he was attended too and the debris cleared up. The race had already seen a first lap first corner crash that eliminated Matthieu Vaxiviere in the second Lotus and the Strakka Racing machines of Gustav Malja and Tio Ellinas, while delaying other frontrunners including championship leader Oliver Rowland and Nyck de Vries.

The safety car had already been deployed to the track to enable the clear up of the crashed AVF machine of Alfonso Celis Jr in the Swimming Pool complex before Bonifacio and van Buuren’s clash.

Fortec Motorsports driver and pole sitter Jazeman avoided the carnage to lead away at the start, and controlled the restart perfectly to take his maiden victory in the series, while DAMS driver Dean Stoneman took second place after also taking advantage of the troubles ahead of him at the start.

The podium was completed by Jagonya Ayam with Carlin’s Tom Dillmann, with the Frenchman finishing ahead of Russian Egor Orudzhev of Arden Motorsport, while Pietro Fantin in the second International Draco Racing entry completed the top five.

Leading results from the second round of the Formula Renault 3.5 series at Monaco on Sunday:

POS NO. DRIVER NAT TEAM TIME
1 3 JAZEMAN JAAFAR MAL Fortec Motorsports 21 Laps
2 2 Dean Stoneman GBR DAMS +3.235s
3 26 Tom Dillmann FRA Jagonya Ayam with Carlin +6.327s
4 6 Egor Orudzhev RUS Arden Motorsport +8.580s
5 19 Pietro Fantin BRZ International Draco Racing +10.025s
6 4 Oliver Rowland GBR Fortec Motorsports +13.594s
7 18 Aurelien Panis FRA Tech 1 Racing +28.017s
8 25 Sean Gelael INO Jagonya Ayam with Carlin +30.090s
9 40 Alex Fontana SWI Pons Racing +34.024s
10 1 Nyck de Vries NED DAMS +38.849s

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