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Carlin’s Jazeman Jaafar has picked up points for a seventh place finish in the opening round of the Formula Renault 3.5 Series in Monza, Italy. Team mate Carlos Huertas found his race hampered while taking avoiding action following a first corner incident involving those around him however the Colombian driver recovered well throughout the race to come home in 16th.

Following two very wet collective test sessions yesterday the Carlin men took to the circuit this morning for qualifying on a slightly damp track. Considering the tricky conditions the only option was to start on wet tyres and wait for the track to develop. Jaafar and Huertas both set their fastest time of the 30 minute session on the wet tyres. Despite most of the field, including the Carlin drivers, attempting to improve in the final minutes on slick tyres the times didn’t fall and grid was set. Jaafar was to start 11th and Huertas 14th.

Lining up on the gird, the damp track from earlier had disappeared leaving a dry race in store. As the lights went out Petronas backed Jaafar moved quickly to gain position and by the end of the first lap had made his way up to ninth. Unfortunately for Huertas his start was an opposite affair – with incidents occurring around him he was caught in the first corner melee and found himself down the order in 21st.

Contact between Will Stevens and Nikolay Martsenko left the latter in the gravel and Stevens recovering in the pit lane; benefiting from this, Jaafar moved up to sixth and Huertas 19th. Closing the gap to those around him Huertas then made his way past both Emmanuel Piget and Marco Sorensen over the course of the next few laps.

Meanwhile at the front of the field a fast charging Antonio Felix da Costa was looking likely to attack race leader Stoffel Vandoorne however a sudden puncture took him out of the race and left the way clear for rookie Jaafar to move up once again to fifth.

Unfortunately for Jaafar in the closing stages of the race Nigel Melker and Arthur Pic were able to make their way through however the Carlin man came home in an impressive seventh place in his first Formula Renault 3.5 race. Team mate Huertas took the chequered flag in 16th.

Reflecting on his race Jaafar said, ‘It was a pretty good race for me. I stayed out of trouble and enjoyed the battles with Melker and Pic. It was a consistent run and I think we fought really well as a team. My goal coming in to the weekend was to score points so I’m pleased to have done that. I really enjoyed my first World Series race and it’s been very encouraging.’

Huertas added of his day, ‘Qualifying this morning went OK for us, we started on the wet tyres and then on to slicks but the conditions meant it was impossible to improve.

‘During the opening lap I had to take avoiding action in the first and second chicane so I lost a lot of time and then had to spend my race gaining back positions. However you can’t control what happens around you so obviously I’m a little disappointed because I know we could have been further up without that. But we look ahead to qualifying tomorrow now.’

Jazeman Jaafar will stay with Carlin as he moves up to the Formula Renault 3.5 Series in 2013. Jaafar, who finished the 2012 British F3 International Series as vice champion, stays with former FR3.5 champions Carlin as he continues his career up the motorsport ladder.

The PETRONAS backed Malaysian took an impressive 15 podiums in British F3 this year as he fought for the title against team mate Jack Harvey. Jaafar took three wins in the British series, and one victory and three podiums in the F3 Euro Series, in which he completed three events. Prior to Formula 3, Jaafar competed in the Formula BMW Europe Championship and the Formula BMW Asia championship, of which he was champion at the tender age of 14.

In staying with Carlin for his FR3.5 campaign, Jaafar joins the only team to have won a race in every year of the championship’s history. Carlin have also won the drivers’ title on two occasions and were 2011 teams’ champions. The team has a strong history of producing future racing stars, with Sebastian Vettel, Jaime Alguersuari and Jean-Eric Vergne making the step into Formula 1 directly from Carlin’s Formula Renault 3.5 team.

In preparation for the challenges of 2013, 20 year-old Jaafar has already completed several promising test days with Carlin in the FR3.5 car and is confident of a strong rookie season.

Speaking about his new challenge, Jaafar said, “I’m very excited to be making the move up to Formula Renault 3.5 with Carlin which is obviously a team I know very well. Making the transition to FR3.5 has been easier because I’ve done it within Carlin and I already feel comfortable in the car. It’s a big step up from Formula 3 in terms of power and the level of downforce, but it’s a great package and a great car to drive. There will be a lot to learn next year but I’m confident that we have the potential to make the very most out

Trevor Carlin added, “We are delighted and very proud that PETRONAS have chosen to place Jazeman with us again in 2013. We’ve had the pleasure of having him as part of Carlin for the past three seasons and we’ve seen him mature and improve with every year. Jazeman is still very young, but now is the right time for him to make the step up to FR3.5 and based on his performance in testing, I expect him to improve even further in his rookie season in the series.”

The 2013 FR3.5 season will kick off in Monza in April, with pre-season testing taking place from February onwards. Jaafar’s team mate in the Carlin squad will be announced shortly.

Fresh off the back of the final round of the Formula Renault 3.5 Series, Carlin’s race winning team remain in Barcelona for two days of official testing at the Circuit de Catalunya. Joining the team will be 2012 British Formula Three International Series team mates Jazeman Jaafar and Carlos Sainz Jnr. Both drivers had a strong year in the junior category with Vice Champion Jaafar coming close to clinching the title during the final round of the season.

The past season has seen the team tackle the challenges of a brand new car with two rookies at the helm in the form of Kevin Magnussen and Will Stevens. Carlin now look ahead to this week’s first post-season test in Barcelona just days after the conclusion of the 2012
Formula Renault 3.5 Series, where both Carlin drivers took strong points in Saturday and Sunday’s races.

Malaysian racer Jaafar spent the 2012 season competing in the British Formula Three International Series where a strong year – which saw him take three British F3 wins and 15 podiums – ensured that he finished as Vice Champion. Going into the final weekend Jaafar was still in with a shot at winning the title however after three close fought races he missed out by just 13 points to his Carlin team mate Jack Harvey. Jaafar has tested the previous generation of World Series machinery however this will be his first taste of the new generation Formula Renault 3.5 car.

Having also competed in British F3, Carlos Sainz’s race packed year has seen him eligible for points in a total of three championships. Sainz spent the year combining his British F3 programme alongside the F3 EuroSeries and the FIA European Formula Three Championship – taking podiums in all three championships along the way. However tough competition and bad luck during the races led to a difficult year for the Red Bull Junior. This will also mark Sainz’s first time testing the more powerful new generation FR3.5 car.

Looking ahead to testing the car, Jafaar said ‘I’m really looking forward to driving the new car, I’ve tested the old generation Formula Renault 3.5 car and I’ve heard a lot of good things about it. The car has a lot more power and downforce than the previous one and even more so than the British Formula Three car.

‘I’m looking forward to continuing with a team where it feels as though I’m testing with family.’

Sainz Jnr added, ‘It’s going to be great to test such a fast car for the first time. I’ve spent the year working with the team so I know how well they work together. It’s my home track and I’m in a great car so what more could I want? I’m going to enjoy the test but most of all learn as much as I can.’

Carlin’s Jack Harvey and Jazeman Jaafar were the pace setters in today’s official testing at Donington, ahead of the 2012 Cooper Tires British F3 Series finale this weekend. The Carlin men were separated by just 0.093 seconds, as they topped the timesheets ahead of their main championship rival Felix Serralles. Carlin’s Pietro Fantin also completed a strong test and was fourth fastest overall and second fastest in this afternoon’s damp session, while team mate Harry Tincknell was eighth fastest overall.

Following news that his team had won an appeal against his 30-second time penalty from race two at Silverstone, Harvey was in a confident mood heading to Donington this week. The Racing Steps backed driver was relegated from second place to 12th, after it was deemed he had caused a collision with Fortec’s Pipo Derani on the opening lap of the reserve grid race at the last event at Silverstone. The penalty reversal means the standings are now closer than ever, as Jaafar leads the standings by three points from Fortec’s Serralles, who is a further three points ahead of Harvey.

As the Carlin quartet of Jaafar, Harvey, Fantin and Tincknell began a detailed test programme at Donington this morning, it was Serralles who set the early pace and was quickest 15 minutes into the session. However, points leader Jaafar put his mark on the session to go quickest with 15 minutes remaining before his team mate and championship rival bettered his effort with a 1.23.156. Both efforts remained unbeaten, with Harvey finishing the session quickest, just 0.093 seconds ahead of Jaafar, with Serralles third and Fantin fourth, while Tincknell was eighth.

After time to digest data gathered from the first session of the day, the British F3 drivers were back on track for second practice. Again Serralles was the early pace setter, but this time the onset of rain prevented the Carlin drivers from improving. The session continued without too much excitement and in damp conditions and at the chequered flag Serralles was quickest, just ahead of Fantin, although Harvey and Jaafar’s best times from the morning session remained unbeaten.

Pace setter Harvey said, “It’s been quite a good day for us, I was quickest in the dry and around P3 in the wet conditions with a good balance on the car. We’ve got a bit of time to find in the wet to be completely happy, but we’re certainly going in the right direction. It’s been a positive test and I think we can be relatively happy whatever the weather does now this weekend, as long as we’re on the right tyres at the right time! We’re in good shape to fight for the championship.”

Team mate and points leader Jaafar added, “It’s been a good start to the weekend, we’ve definitely got good pace, although the weather was a bit of a challenge this afternoon. Nevertheless I think we’ll have a strong pace in the wet and the dry. I can’t wait to go out for qualifying on Saturday, which is when the lap times will really mean something.”

The British F3 drivers will have a day of rest to contemplate the season finale, before qualifying gets underway at 12.20 local time on Saturday.

British F3The 2012 Cooper Tires British F3 International Series reaches its climax this weekend, as the season draws to a close at Donington with a three way fight for the title. Fighting the corner for Carlin will be Jazeman Jaafar and Jack Harvey, who will be hoping to beat Fortec’s Felix Serralles to take Carlin’s fifth consecutive British F3 title.

A dramatic last round at Silverstone saw the fortunes of the championship contenders turned around, following a penalty strewn weekend for Harvey and strong results for Jaafar and Serralles. A total of three penalties for Harvey saw the Racing Steps man drop from points leader to the third in the standings, while Jaafar left the Northamptonshire track with a six point lead over Serralles.

The situation at Silverstone was complicated further due to an appeal over Harvey’s race two incident with Serralles’ team mate Pipo Derani, in which the Carlin man was served a 30 second penalty after being handed the blame for contact with Derani on the opening lap. That penalty saw Harvey lose a second place and 19 points, which temporarily handed the title lead back to Serralles. An appeal hearing on Wednesday will bring the case to a conclusion.

Turning attentions to Donington, Jaafar and Harvey will have their eyes firmly fixed on the 2012 crown, while team mates Harry Tincknell and Pietro Fantin will be fighting to elevate their championship positions. Carlos Sainz Jnr will not race at Donington, as the Red Bull Junior will be racing at the clashing FIA European F3 Championship round in Valencia, where he is a close third in the championship standings.

Speaking about the weekend ahead, Jaafar said, “I’m feeling confident about this weekend, but I’m in the same mind set as I am before every race. I’m looking forward to the challenge but I’m sure the other competitors are as well. The weather could be a factor this weekend, and very different to when we tested there a few weeks ago. I’ve only raced at Donington once before but it’s not a track I dislike. Jack [Harvey] is definitely going to be quick there, but I’m not worrying about anyone else, I’m just concentrating on my own race.”

Team mate Harvey added, “I feel pretty good, I think being quickest at the test last week was a good thing, it’s a circuit that I have typically gone well at, more so than Silverstone. I know what I can achieve and I’m just focusing on that. We’re prepared for the situation off track, but to be honest I’m putting that to one side, and however the hearing turns out we’ll deal with what we’ve got. I’ve been in better situations going into a race weekend, but I’ve been in worse too. I’ve experienced a lot in my career, and this will all help me in the future. I’ve got nothing to lose this weekend, so I’ll be pushing hard to make every point count.”

Trevor Carlin added, “As we predicted at the start of the year, this has been a close championship and it looks like the result is going to go down to the wire. It’s good for British F3 that there’s been a battle between two teams for the title and the addition of TV coverage this weekend will bring additional publicity to the fight. Having won the championship for the last four seasons, it’s probably fair to say that Carlin aren’t the favourite to win, but that prejudice shouldn’t be placed on Jazeman or Jack, who have each put in a fantastic performance this season and deserve a shot at the title on their own merit.”

Jazeman JaafarJazeman Jaafar has taken the lead in the Cooper Tires British F3 International Series after a chaotic and penalty laiden weekend at Silverstone. Jaafar put himself firmly back in the hunt for the 2012 title with three podiums including a race win on Saturday, but it was opposite fortunes for team mate Jack Harvey. The Racing Steps man, who had been championship leader heading into this weekend’s races was hit with three penalties in total which severely hampered his weekend. Team mates Carlos Sainz and Harry Tincknell took podiums, while Pietro Fantin took a strong points haul as well as fastest lap in race two.

After a competitive qualifying session on Saturday it was Fortec’s Alex Lynn who lead the field away with a very quick start from pole in race one yesterday. Lynn went on to lead home Jaafar who finished a competitive second, while Harvey crossed the line third, Sainz fourth, Tincknell fifth and Fantin eighth.

However Lynn’s start was found to be a little too quick as the Fortec driver was handed a 30 second penalty for a jump start, as was Harvey. That elevated Jaafar to first, heading a Carlin 1-2-3 ahead of Sainz and Tincknell.

Following his penalty in race one, Harvey had lost a short lived, but healthy championship lead, while Jaafar was back in contention and on level points with Serralles. Harvey fought hard from the outset and clashed with Pipo Derani on lap one, which allowed his main title challenger Serralles to take the race lead, and by the chequered flag the points lead. Harvey went on to finish second, while Jaafar was on the pace once again and put in a great performance to climb to third from eighth on the grid. Fantin followed Jaafar home and also claimed points for fastest lap, with Sainz seventh and Tincknell 13th after a drive through penalty for lining up out of position on the grid.

Harvey’s weekend was soon to take a turn for the worse however when the Carlin man was heavily penalised for his opening lap incident with Derani, and was classified 10th in the International Class after a 30 second penalty was added to his race time. A five place grid penalty for race three added further to his woes.

As the drivers lined up for the third and final race of the weekend, Lynn was once again on pole, while Jaafar was eying his third podium of the weekend from second on the grid. The young Malaysian stole the lead on lap one with a great move at Becketts, and was followed by team mates Tincknell and Sainz who had relegated Lynn to fourth. The Fortec driver fought back through and passed both Tincknell and Sainz to take back second placed, and spent the majority of the race putting pressure on Jaafar.

Title rivals Harvey and Serralles were also involved in a tough battle and after a spin put Serralles behind the two ran closely in the closing stages. The Puerto Rican tried to pass Harvey but ran onto the grass and was launched into the air. However, the Fortec driver recovered sufficiently to pass Harvey just a lap and a half later on the final lap.

At the front Jaafar did all he could to hold onto the lead despite a badly flat spotted tyre, but Lynn was able to find a way past on the last lap. Jaafar’s third podium of the weekend puts him at the top of the points table however, six points ahead of Serralles and 23 ahead of Harvey.

Tincknell completed a strong weekend with an impressively defensive drive to hold off Hannes van Asseldonk for third place, as Sainz crossed the line in fifth, ahead of Fantin in sixth while Harvey took points for eighth.

Reflecting on his turn around weekend, Jaafar said, “It’s been a very tense, very exciting weekend and very rewarding. My aim coming into this weekend was to close in on Jack [Harvey] and Felix [Serralles]. I was 20 points off the lead heading into Silverstone and I’ve turned that into a six point advantage now. It’s a great way to head to the final round of the championship with that momentum; it’s just a shame I have to wait three weeks!”

The Carlin British F3 team enjoyed a strong outing in qualifying ahead of this weekend’s races at Silverstone, with all five of the team’s drivers in the top eight. This morning’s qualifying session was for the majority a tussle between championship leader Jack Harvey and Jazeman Jaafar, with Harvey quickest for the first part of the session before Jaafar bettered his effort. In the end though it was Fortec’s Alex Lynn who stole pole in the closing minutes, but Jaafar, Harvey, Carlos Sainz Jnr and Harry Tincknell can be happy with second, third, fourth and fifth respectively, with their main championship rival Felix Serralles in seventh. Pietro Fantin unfortunately lost out on some running due to an engine misfire and qualified eighth.

Following several weekends of torrential rain, it was a welcome surprise when the British F3 drivers were greeted by a second day of sunshine and blue sky today. Recognising the need for a strong qualifying session points leader Harvey was the early man to beat and held provisional pole for the first ten minutes of the session.

Jaafar, Harvey’s closest rival in the Carlin team and the quickest man in yesterday’s practice session went quicker soon after though, and held the top spot until the final three minutes when Alex Lynn went fastest to steal pole.

With only this weekend’s races at Silverstone and a weekend at Donington to decide the 2012 Cooper Tires British F3 Series, the focus of the Carlin men has been on Lynn’s team mate Serralles, who currently lies second in the standings. With Serralles only able to manage seventh in this morning’s qualifying session, there is potential for Carlin’s title contenders to steal some valuable points at the penultimate event.

Harvey said, “It was pretty close between the Carlin drivers today, it’s very competitive this weekend. I expected Alex [Lynn] to be on pole at some point this season, he’s a quick guy and has been there or thereabout all season, so well done to him. We obviously have a quick car though so I’m feeling pretty confident for the races. In terms of the championship it’s good for us that Felix [Serralles] is down in seventh, but he’ll probably just go and win the reverse grid race!”

Team mate Jaafar was happy to near the front adding, “The car felt really good to today, so thanks to the team. It’s ok to be P2, obviously I would have preferred pole, but we’re starting on the inside of the track which is good. I’m just pushing for maximum points now, that’s my goal.”

Race one will take place later today at 15.15.

The 2012 Cooper Tires British F3 Series enters the final stages this weekend, as the teams head to Silverstone for the penultimate round of the season. Over half of the field are still mathematically capable of taking this year’s title, with Carlin’s Jack Harvey the current championship leader. It will be a level playing field for the Carlin drivers though, as team mate Jazeman Jaafar isn’t far behind and will be looking to put himself back at the top of the points table, while Carlos Sainz Jnr has also put himself back into contention with a strong points haul at Snetterton to move up to a close fourth in the standings. Race winners Harry Tincknell and Pietro Fantin are aiming to close in on a top three finish in the points standings.

With only six races to go over the two remaining weekends of the 2012 season, there is a tight championship battle between the Carlin men and Fortec’s Felix Serralles. Last time out at Snetterton, it was the Carlin drivers who enjoyed the upper hand, winning all three races in difficult on-track conditions.

Moving to Silverstone this weekend the championship makes its way back to a track where Carlin have experienced a high success rate in the past. The Northamptonshire circuit was the venue for Jean-Eric Vergne’s championship winning weekend in 2010, while Kevin Magnussen and Carlos Huertas shared the victories for the team at Silverstone last year.

Championship leader Harvey is feeling calm about the weekend ahead, “Silverstone is a track I’ve done well at throughout my single seater career. It’s a track that I enjoy and have been competitive at regularly. We’re carrying good momentum into this weekend, both myself and as a team. I’m feeling quietly confident that we can have a competitive car. Then the rest is down to me to get pole and win the races.”

Harvey will have to beat team mate Jaafar as well as Serralles, with the young Malaysian feeling confident ahead of this weekend’s racing action. “It’s a circuit I love racing on, as it is fast, flowing and has plenty of challenging corners and I’ve had some good results there. My first goal is to overhaul Felix [Serralles], who is 16 points ahead of me, then I’ll go after Jack who’s a further four points in the lead. It might sound a lot of points, but there are 20 points on offer for a win, and another point for fastest lap, so it’s an achievable goal.”

Trevor Carlin added, “It’s great for the drivers that it’s been a relatively open championship this season, and with just two weekends to go we have three drivers who are still very realistically capable of winning the championship, and all of them are fighting to be at least in the top three. The fight from Fortec this year has really made the championship more exciting, but until it’s credibly not possible for more than one of our drivers to win, we’ll keep pushing hard for all our guys and make sure they have the equipment on track to decide the title for themselves. It’s certainly going to be an exciting, if tense end to the season.”

Track action will get underway with testing on Friday, before qualifying at 10.40 local time on Saturday.

Carlin’s British F3 squad will head back to Brands Hatch this weekend for the fifth round of the Cooper Tires British Formula Three International Series. Having made a strong start to the season, the team have a solid grasp on the championship standings with drivers Jazeman Jaafar, Jack Harvey, Carlos Sainz Jnr, Pietro Fantin and Harry Tincknell having all taken to the podium over the course of this year.

Currently sitting at the top of the 2012 championship standings, Malaysian driver Jaafar comes off the back of two successful race weekends in Pau and Rockingham both of which saw him take British F3 wins promoting him to the top of the standings. Not far behind him a great battle is developing between team mates Harvey and Sainz Jnr who are both within touching distance of toppling one another; while Fantin and Tincknell are locked together with the same tally of points.

Last time out the Carlin team took three wins out of three at the Rockingham Motor Speedway, also locking out the podium during the second race of the weekend. Harvey’s win in the third race became the biggest race winning margin of the year with the Lincolnshire native dominating the field to finish 22 seconds ahead of his nearest rival.

Consisting of nine corners the 4.206km Brands Hatch GP circuit is a regular feature on the British F3 calendar, always providing great action for track side spectators. Having played host to Formula One in the past the circuit is now a well renowned training ground for the stars of tomorrow.

Sainz, Jaafar and Tincknell have already visited the Kent circuit once this year, when the shorter Indy track formed a round of the F3 Euro Series calendar in May.

Already a victor around the track this year in the F3 Euro Series Jazeman Jaafar said, ‘Racing at Brands Hatch is always a special event, it’s a great circuit and the atmosphere is always amazing. I love the track but the biggest challenge this year will be set-up because the track can often be wet in certain parts and dry elsewhere. But we know we have a good car so I’m looking forward to getting out on track.’

Carlos Sainz Jnr added, ‘I’ve never raced around the GP circuit before, only the Indy configuration, so I’m looking forward to seeing what the full track is like. I think we can do well this weekend, from what I know of the track it’s great so I’m hoping for a good race and to collect more valuable points.’

British race team Carlin have enjoyed a successful start to the 2012 season, with the team’s British F3 and GP3 squads topping the time sheets in pre-season testing. Carlin’s GP2 and Formula Renault 3.5 teams have also clocked up times in the top three to mark a strong start to the season over the last two weeks.

British racer Harry Tincknell topped the timesheets in the second day of British F3 testing at Rockingham today, as the team continued to develop its Volkswagen powered 2012 Dallara F3 car. Tincknell’s time was the fastest of the test overall, after fellow Carlin driver Jack Harvey set the pace at Rockingham yesterday. The Carlin men have locked out the top five positions at both the Rockingham and Snetterton pre-season tests, with their team mates Jazeman Jaafar, Carlos Sainz and Pietro Fantin over the last two weeks.

While the British F3 team finished two days of testing at Rockingham today, Carlin’s Formula Renault 3.5 team brought to a close two days of collective testing at the Paul Ricard circuit in France. Kevin Magnussen and Will Stevens both completed a successful test in the brand new FR3.5 car, with Magnussen setting the third fastest time of today’s running.

The Carlin GP3 team also enjoyed a successful outing this week, with Portuguese racer Antonio Felix da Costa setting the quickest time of the official two day test for Carlin. Will Buller was also in the top ten while Alex Brundle continued to make big improvements ahead of his first season in the series.

Preparing for the 2012 GP2 Series, Max Chilton and Rio Haryanto were out on track last week, at the Barcelona circuit in Spain. A consistent front runner in pre-season testing, Chilton set the second fastest time on the first day in Barcelona while Haryanto was seventh. The Briton and Indonesian continued to put in a strong performance in the final test before the season opener in Malaysia later this month.

Reflecting on a positive start to the 2012 season, Trevor Carlin said, “With 12 cars to prepare for the 2012 season across four championships, it’s a great testament to the team that all four squads have had such a strong start to the season. To finish each test within the top three is extremely encouraging and shows the hard work that has gone in over the winter period.”