The Herald (Harare)

17 July 2012

Zimbabwe: Jefferies in Credible Ninth At Brands Hatch

PROMISING young Zimbabwean motor racing driver Axcil Jefferies made his presence felt in his third Formula Two race of the season at Brands Hatch in Kent, England, where he took a credible ninth place on Sunday. Formula Two is one rung behind the world's most popular Formula One racing and Zimbabwe's Jefferies is making his debut appearance in F2 this year.

And Jefferies went into his third event at Brand Hatch at Kent in a"positive frame of mind", after making good progress in the last round at Spa in Belgium a couple of weeks ago.

On Friday in practice, he was 5th fastest in dry conditions and was looking forward to a good weekend.

On Saturday the heavens opened up and it rained all day, Europe has been raining all summer. So Jefferies had to change his car for qualifying on Saturday morning.

He qualified 11th and finished 8th in wet conditions very similar to what he had in Belgium.

In fact, wet racing takes great skill to just keep the car on track at such high levels of speed.

So all in all, F2 race engineers were very impressed with Jefferies' performance to stay on track, while many of his competitors slithered off.

Jefferies was happy to bag points again after his first points scoring in Belgium.

On Sunday, the weather turned for the better, and for a change, the F2 field got a chance to show their stuff on a hot sunny day.

Jefferies went into qualifying in a good frame of mind, according to reports from Kent.

For qualifying the F2 drivers are allocated two sets of slick tyres and are able to use a "boost" button which increases horse power by 50hp,so the power goes over 500hp.

Jefferies chose to use his first set to get a good feeling of track conditions, then the second set to push for his best lap time.

It was a very close qualifying with top 15 drivers separated by a mere one second. Jefferies qualified 14th, which he was disappointed with, and put it down to traffic on his flying laps.

The start of the race went well with Jefferies diving to the inside on first corner and making up a position on British driver Hurst.

On the third corner, again Jefferies made another brave move passing Iranian driver Kouroush Kani and moved into 12th place.

He then paced himself well for the grueling 40-minute race and picked another three places to finish 9th overall and scored more valuable points. After the race, Jefferies commented: "It was my hardest race of my 13-year career so far. My wrists are killing me. This track is very physical on drivers with the high speed corners. "At the end, I was hanging on for dear life.

"I am happy to have scored points in both races, and continue fromwhere I left off in Spa. Each time I am in the car, I am learning and improving.

"I know the fans want a podium, and it will come soon. I am giving 100% and can't wait to step up to the podium, but we must all be patient.

"I feel very honoured as the (Zimbabwean Ambassador to Britain) Gabriel Machinga attended the event and gave his support and motivated me with words of wisdom and encouragement. It was fantastic to see so many Zimbabwean flags around the circuit, so a big thank you to all Zimbabweans and Afri-Hype for making this possible.

"What a pleasure to show the world what great people we are with all the smiles on all the Zimbabwean faces . . . we rocked!!!"

At Brands Hatch, Jefferies was wearing his new race suit in Zimbabwean colours, and he thanked his sponsors - Afri-Hype - for it.

Jefferies now turns his attention to the next event this coming weekend in France at the Paul Riccard Race circuit.

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