Zaamin JafferFirst year Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship racer Zaamin Jaffer endured a problematic outing at Croft in North Yorkshire over the weekend, 23rd/24th July, but despite a serious run of bad luck the Indian star still managed to climb up into seventh position in the driver standings.

Right from the off in unofficially timed testing, the 21-year-old Hillspeed driver encountered troubles which blighted his potential for the seventh and eighth rounds of the season. Even so, he remained focused and committed and is one of just three drivers in the championship to have scored in every race so far in 2011.

Gearbox issues in testing hampered Zaamin’s preparations but the misfortune continued in qualifying on Saturday when he was badly baulked by another driver and the ensuing contact led to one of his brand new slick tyres coming off the rim of the wheel.

Forced, therefore, to run only three new tyres and one used tyre as a replacement, the Dubai-based driver finished the session an uncharacteristic 12th quickest and in session two he had to settle for an even more frustrating 16th fastest.

Just when it seemed as though Zaamin must have encountered every bit of bad luck possible, more arose ahead of the opening race on Sunday – round seven – when an electrical glitch caused his engine to cut-out as he circulated on the green flag formation lap.

By the time he was able to get his car fired back up again, the race had already begun and the field had completed almost half a lap. Running very competitively, Zaamin caught the rear of the tail quickly and by lap six he was into 15th place. He went on to gain two more positions before the finish to secure a 13th place result.

“Whatever could go wrong this weekend did”, said Zaamin, “The trouble started in testing straight away in the morning, we had gearbox problems and then in qualifying the tyre came off the rim so I was already on the back-foot then with three new tyres compared to everyone else being on four.

“We struggled through the left-handers because of the old tyre we had to run but we did manage to salvage 12th in the first qualifying, which wasn’t bad. On the green flag lap though before the race, the engine cut-out and I was well behind when I finally got going with everyone else already halfway around the first lap.”

Round eight was a largely uneventful race for the Active PR-backed driver although he was in a tight scrap over 10th place with a total of five cars. Overtaking proved to be at a premium and Zaamin had to settle for 14th position in the end.

“In race two our fate was decided from the start really, beginning in 16th place”, he added, “I didn’t expect much, we got a couple of places but then got stuck at the end of a queue of five cars. We really need to give it our all in the final two events and try and get onto that podium.”

Next on the 2011 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship calendar is a visit to Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire for rounds nine and 10 of the season. The one-day event will take place six weeks from now on Saturday, 3d September.

Provisional 2011 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship Standings (after Rd8):
7th Zaamin Jaffer, 94pts

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.