Sports / Other
Zimbabwe's Jefferies hungry for Formula 1
03 Apr 2017 at 07:28hrs | Views
MOTOR racing ace Axcil Jefferies reckons he is a better driver now after making a triumphant comeback by winning the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Middle East Championship last month, having spent two years on the sidelines.
The 22-year-old whose dream is to become the first African to race in the lucrative Formula One in the modern era, has spent the last two years as a senior race instructor at the, Yas Marina Racing Circuit, the iconic venue of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
But now he is back and readying for Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe Championship which begins in Monza, Italy this month.
"After not racing for a while, normally any driver becomes rusty; however, given the fact that I work at the best motorsport facility in the world as a race instructor, I am very fortunate to drive race cars on a regular basis.
So actually I have improved all-round and my car control is much better than previously," he told Standardsport in an interview last week.
He added: "To be honest, working as an instructor at Yas Marina Circuit has been such a blessing for me. I work with an amazing and professional team and Yas Marina Circuit has one of the best selections of vehicles for race experiences."
Sponsorship challenges seemed to have stalled Jefferies' childhood dream to make it into F1 after he competed in F2 for a couple of seasons back in 2012, regularly finishing in the top 10.
"Of course, like most drivers the dream is to make it to F1, but for that to happen it takes commitment from sponsors. Somehow I feel Africa is not ready yet; hence we don't even have an African F1 race. But I never say never, let's see what the future holds.
"Fortunately, I have secured sponsorship for my racing now as in this part of the world people and corporates understand the power of sport and what it offers in return. I am focused on the future and have moved on and am in a good space," he said.
The next challenge is the Lamborghini Super Trofeo European Championship and Jefferies and partner Rik Breukers (18) from the Netherlands have been going through physical and mental exertions in preparation for the competition.
"I have been working very hard physically and mentally in preparation for the Lamborghini Super Trofeo European Championship and looking forward to partnering with Rik Breukers again. We complement each other very well and push each other hard," he said.
"Although we won in dominant fashion in the Middle East Championship, I struggled as only after the last race did we discover I had a fractured foot so could not brake as hard as I should have been doing. I'm glad that it is healing well in time for Europe as we face much stronger competition."
The Zimbabwean and his partner are set to have their first test of the Monza racing circuit this week as preparations for the first round gather momentum.
Monza hosts the April 21-23 weekend, with action moving to British Grand Prix's Silverstone Circuit, England in May and Paul Richard Circuit in France the following month.
Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium will stage the penultimate round in July, with the Grand Finale set for Nurburgring, Germany in September.
Source - the standard