Jazeman Jaafar is the new Malaysia racing sensation. 4 months ago, in 2007, Jazeman created history to become the first Malaysian to win Formula BMW Asia. Also, at 14 years old, an age where he is yet to qualify for Malaysia’s driving license, Jazeman became the youngest ever racer to win the Asia championship.
In the final race of the Formula BMW Asia, Jazeman finished first among the racers. Initially, the International Automobile Federation (FIA) disqualified Jazeman and the constructor’s team, Qi-Meritus for mechanical compliance issue. However, Jazeman’s position was reinstated after the appeal, and both him and his constructor won the season’s championship.
Jazeman is already considered a prodigy and a media darling at the regional level. He is highly touted as the next Malaysian who will color the Formula 1 (F1) scene in the next few years. He is even said to be able to repeat the remarkable feat of Lewis Hamilton, who, at 22 years old became an instant success during his F1 debut season with McLaren. Recognizing his talent, The FIA has granted Jazeman with the international ‘C’ race license when he was 2 years short of the required minimum age of 16 – a rare case in the motor racing industry.
But success did not come easy for Jazeman. It did not come cheap either. At a tender age of 7 years old, Jazeman started to endure 4 days of weekly training sessions. His father, Jaafar Abdul Hamid, brought him to the cart track without fail, and later handed Jazeman to professional trainers.
After winning the Formula BMW Asia, Jazeman will be competing in the Formula BMW Euroseries, which begins on March 2008. The Formula BMW Euroseries is a support event for the Formula One. With his participation in the series, Jazeman is closer to his dream of being scouted by one of the major Formula One’s constructor’s teams.
At the moment, whenever Jazeman needs to go for teh tarik at the nearest mamak stall, he will need to ask someone to drive for him.
Once Jazeman sets his foot on the Formula 1 arena, we all can forget Alex Yoong.