Zimbabwean driver Axcil Jefferies’ debut in the Formula Two Championship at Nurburgring in Germany ended in disappointment after his car caught fire halfway to the starting grid on Saturday.
The 18-year-old Formula One hopeful was racing competitively for the first time since 2010, a year after he finished third in the Formula BMW Pacific Championship, in his maiden season of car racing.
According to reports from Germany, Jefferies was one of three drivers who failed to complete the race due to mechanical problems. The others were Plamen Kralev from Bulgaria and Russian driver Maxim Snegirev.
According to Autosport.com the damage Jefferies’ car sustained after the fire was enough to see him miss the race.
“The start of the race was delayed after a fiery warm-up lap for Axcil Jefferies, the Zimbabwean driver’s car catching fire halfway to the starting grid.
The damage was sufficient enough to cause Jefferies to miss the race,” said the report.
Prior to Saturday’s race Jefferies had taken part in Formula Two winter testing at Silverstone earlier this year.
He, however, went on to miss the first four races of the championship — two at Silverstone in the UK and the other two at Algarve in Portugal. Despite the disappointing end to his debut, Jefferies, who secured sponsorship from Afri-Hype prior to the race in Germany, was still positive of coming back stronger next month.
Jefferies yesterday said British car manufactures Williams had agreed to build him a new car in time for the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium from June 22-24.
“Car caught fire on warm-up lap. Gutted as I needed seat-time. Good news Williams building me new car for next round in Spa. Staying positive,” posted Jefferies on his page on the social networking site Facebook.
The circuit at Spa, which is also the venue of the Formula One Belgian Grand Prix, is a favourite circuit of many racing drivers and fans.