Considered Malaysia’s best bet for an F1 seat, Jazeman Jaafar can be considered unlucky to be 23 now, for if he had been older, he might have given Alex Yoong a run for the money when Malaysia had a seat in the cream of single seater racing back in early 2000.
Declared a Vice-Champion of the F3 back in 2012 with 14 podium finishes from 28 races, Jazeman has been continuing his quest to climb all the way to F1. Like most single seat racers, he started his racing career driving Go-Karts before moving to Formula BMW both in Asia and Europe. In 2003, he took his place in the British F3 series where he eventually became Vice-Champion.
Jazeman has already tested in Formula 1, completing the Petronas Mercedes AMG Team’s test sessions as well as participating in the street F1 demonstration in front of the iconic Petronas Twin Towers of Kuala Lumpur. With his experience and relationship with the Petronas Mercedes AMG team, it is no wonder that he announced his latest move in joining HTP Motorsports, a Mercedes AMG Motorsport team that will feature in the Blancpain Sprint & Endurance Series. Both the Sprint and Endurance series are run throughout the year in different world venues. He will be driving one of the team’s Mercedes AMG GT3 cars.
Jazeman will feature in the upcoming season and will be sharing the drive with his teammates whereas he will also be driving in the endurance series, something he hasn’t raced consistently competitive in. To ensure that he keeps up with his teammates, he will be heading straight into a personal training regime to prepare himself for the 3 Three Hour Race, a Six Hour Race and a full 24 Hours race spread around Monza, Slverstone, Paul Ricard, Monza and Nurburgring.
The Sprint series are more straightforward with one hour practise sessions and a one hour races.
Jazeman sees his move to the GT Series as a timely one given that 2016 was somewhat a puzzle with options that are not as competitive that he would have want. Furthermore, HTP Motorsports options of cars and make will put Jazeman back onto the radar of Mercedes AMG Motorsports should he fare well in this latest foray.
His latest announcement is also aimed at Malaysian companies who are lacking in visibility in the field of motorsports, other than Petronas. With him set to take on Europe’s best GT racers, maybe the time is right for corporations to start backing Malaysia’s best hope for an F1 seat.