The jewel in the crown of the Blancpain Endurance Series, the Total 24 Hours of Spa, takes place this weekend at the Belgian Spa Francorchamps circuit in Belgium. Jazeman Jaafar will be making his third appearance in this prestigious race.
Racing the Strakka Racing #59 McLaren 650S GT3, Jazeman will share the driving duties with team mates Andrew Watson and Pieter Schothorst. The trio of drivers will be putting in a full 24 hours of running between them, with the race starting at 16.30 on Saturday and finishing on Sunday afternoon.
It has been over four weeks since the last round of the Blancpain GT Series, with just a one day Spa 24 Hours test session leading up to this big weekend, so Jazeman has been preparing off-track in the run up to the event, spending time in the Strakka Racing simulator and putting in hundreds of hours on his fitness training programme.
The young Malaysian, a McLaren Academy driver and part of the Sepang International Circuit Talent Development Programme, is relishing the chance to be racing for around eight hours over the course of the race.
He says, “This is the highlight of the year for me, with the chance to be behind the wheel for the equivalent of eight races. When racing is your passion this is the ultimate experience, just having time to push as hard as possible, find every tenth you can each lap and savour every moment.”
Adds Jazeman, “A 24 hour race is not just a driver challenge, it’s also a test of the car’s reliability and its ability to handle all conditions, track temperature, weather and handling as the grip levels change. There is so much involved and it all has to come together for this one weekend. It’s going to be tough and with a 64 strong grid of cars, traffic is always one of the biggest influences, especially in the opening laps when the field is bunched up. I’m so looking forward to getting into the thick of the action and a really strong finish on Sunday.”
Jazeman has already travelled to Spa for the event, with the pre-race activities spread throughout the week. The first of these is a traditional parade of all the cars entered being driven on the public roads to the Spa town centre followed by a drivers autograph session. On track action starts on Thursday with the practice and qualifying sessions. Friday is a day for the final car preparations, before a warm up session and the Super Pole session in the evening.
All the Spa 24 Hours track action can be viewed live on GT World, the Blancpain GT Series internet channel. Visit www.blancpain-GT-Series.com for all the information.