Zimbabwe’s Axcil Jefferies – Just One Step Away From Formula 1
When we went onto the Formula Two website after being alerted of this young sensation, imagine our excitement when we saw the Zimbabwe flag right next to him. We had been told he was Zimbabwean but seeing the flag there, was a moment of inexplicable pride.
For Axcil Jefferies, it is a no-brainer. He is a Zimbabwean. In his words
I had a few offers from abroad to race, but my manager and I turned them down and we have been patient as Zimbabwe’s economy improves. Zimbabwe is my home, and this is where I learnt my trade. It is my duty to give back. I look forward to raising our flag high again.
Yes Zimbabwe, we have a Formula Two racing driver, proudly waving that flag, in spite of numerous offers to change his nationality. In a sport which has traditionally been dominated by the Europeans and the occasional third world driver, to have the only African on the Formula Two circuit coming from the land between the two rivers is an immensely proud moment. Success-starved Zimbabweans have had to latch onto the fortunes of other nations but Jefferies has given us our own reason to do cartwheels all over the place.
In 2009, Jefferies made history when he and two other racers were selected by BMW for its Formula BMW Asia Pacific cadetship program. The young Zimbabwean was the only African to accomplish this feat and went on to make the nation proud by finishing off the season in a commendable third place.
After a year long hiatus due to lack of sponsorship, Jefferies is now a step closer to fulfilling his goal of reaching Formula One. The continent’s Formula One contender will do what he does best this season as a Formula 2 racer. Formula 2 marks a big leap from his Formula BMW days as it is directly below Formula One, the pinnacle of motorsport. Piloting a 550 Horse power and 300 KM Williams powered beast on some of Europe’s most iconic racing circuits is just the beginning as the 17 year old will compete against much older participants. He’ll also be up against some of the finest racers in the world as the first and only African to compete in the championship, the key reward of winning being a test with Williams F1.
Zimbabwe’s embassy and tourism officials have made a commitment to throw their weight behind the young man. The government has been excited about Jeffries, with Minister Webster Shamu receiving him at the airport on his return from his success at the Formula BMW championships.
Not only that, his car will be painted in Zimbabwe colours, to advertise this great nation.
Now it is up to every single Zimbabwe to rally behind Jeffries. We are talking sponsors, well-wishers and just the general support of every Zimbabwean. His dream is our dream. We fully endorse him. We are proud of you, Axcil Jefferies.