Nabil Jeffri led unchallenged from pole position to win race seven of the JK Racing Asia Series as the Eurointernational team swept the podium places at Spa Francorchamps here on Friday.
The Malaysian driver stayed clear of the scramble for places behind him to finish more than four seconds ahead of compatriot Ilyas Irfan, with South Africa’s Aston Hare bringing up third. India’s Aditya Patel, a guest driver with the US Formula Project team, finished sixth.
“I’m extremely happy,” Jeffri said afterwards. “It is not a normal win when you win at Spa. I had a good start and managed to keep my position. The key was consistency.”
The latest round of the JK Racing Asia Series is a support race for the Total 24 Hours of Spa endurance race, which begins here on Saturday, and if drivers sought any encouragement, there was plenty from the fans that steadily gathered, pitching up tents in campsites around the circuit.
Turn one (La Source they call it here), with its hairpin at the end of the fast straight, can be tricky to defend for drivers, but Jeffri emerged unscathed. He had little trouble thereafter as he kept up his pace, clocking similar times throughout the eight laps.
Hare, who qualified in second, didn’t have it so good. The rookie was slow to get off the line and lost a couple of places, before admirably catching up thereafter.
He gained steady ground on Irfan in second, and the two tussled till the end. On the final lap, Hare, visibly the quicker of the two, got around the outside of his team-mate on the penultimate corner, but failed to find a clear way past.
Jeffri, who still leads the championship standings, will seek to extend his advantage on Saturday, in the second of the JK Racing Asia Series races at Spa (race eight). It poured on Friday and more rain is predicted for Saturday. It will make things interesting.
The results: 1. Nabil Jeffri (Eurointernational, Malaysia) 20:27.823s; 2. Ilyas Irfan (Eurointernational, Malaysia) 20:31.942; 3. Aston Hare (Eurointernational, South Africa) 20:31.988; 6. Aditya Patel (US Formula Project) 20:45.603.