Parsons prepared to keep the heat on at Motegi

Parsons prepared to keep the heat on at Motegi

Talented racer Jake Parsons is keen to continue his impressive results and progress as Japanese Formula 3 heads to Motegi’s road course for round five of the championship this weekend. With four class victories, and strong performances against the much higher specification Championship class cars, the young Australian has every reason to be feeling confident and positive.

“I’m really excited for this weekend, and particularly keen to keep pushing and battling with the Championship class cars, which I’ve done more and more as the season has progressed. The last few races have been some of my strongest and most consistent, and I really want to continue that trend forward,” explained the 23-year-old.

With early forecasts of extreme temperatures, the addition of the typhoon cancelled race from Okayama to the schedule is sure to make this weekend’s event even more gruelling and demanding, something the #10 Noda Racing Academy driver is taking completely in his stride.

“Coming into Motegi I’ve heard that it’s going to be extremely hot, certainly making it one of the most challenging rounds physically. I’m looking forward to having a strong event though, from practice throughout all three races. The training I’ve been focusing on this year is really paying off, so it’ll be great to put it to the test again here and really go for it, especially with the extra 45-minute endurance race being added from the previous round!”

Having driven and tested at Motegi during his debut season in SuperGT last year, Parsons is keen to return to the challenging 14 turn, 4.8km/2.983mi long track, which is unusual among Japanese circuits for its relative lack of elevation changes.

“I have some expereince at Motegi, but only in the GT car, so I’m looking forward to driving it in the formula car now. It’s quite a quirky circuit, with many long straights and 90-degree, double apex corners, which I find a lot of fun. The stand-out section for me though is towards the end, with four corners together in a short distance as a sequence that all lead into each other. It’s unique to Motegi and is probably the most challenging part of the track, but also the most interesting and rewarding. Overall, the long, fast straights might make it tricky for us against the Championship cars, with their extra straight-line speed, but I really enjoy this track and think I’ll be able to go well here. We just need to keep focusing and building on our momentum and progress.”

Following a large break between races early in the season, the F3 schedule has been much more balanced and continuous over the past two months. Tokyo based Parsons strongly feels this is helping both him, and the team, build and maintain that momentum.

“Having races closer together definitely makes a big difference. When you have such a big break in the schedule, it’s almost like going back into an off-season mentality, as your focus is solely on training away from the track to be better prepared for the next race. But now that the races are close together, you have that race focus and momentum again, continuing to take steps forward, implementing the improvements and developments we make each weekend.”

Both Parsons and his NRA team have been working hard to carry forward the lessons and progress made in each round so far this season, which the Melbourne born racer is especially pleased with.

“We’ve focused a lot on set-up together, and I’m really happy that I’ve developed my technical input and feedback too. I understand more about how the formula car reacts compared to the GT car, and in different situations. My training is also making a big difference, as F3 is much more physically demanding than SuperGT, especially now during the peak of summer in Japan. The key factor is that we’re all seeing the benefits of the hard work, both physically and mentally.”

Alongside getting back out on track, Parsons is also looking forward to seeing as many of the exceptionally knowledgeable and passionate fans at the Motegi circuit as possible. If you’re planning to attend the event, be sure to drop by the pit walk/autograph session early to pick up some cool JP merchandise.

Round five of the Japanese F3 Championship takes place at Twin Ring Motegi on 18-19 August

Parsons shines again as typhoon hits Okayama

Parsons shines again as typhoon hits Okayama

Australian racer Jake Parsons continued his impressive form in the Japanese Formula 3 Championship this weekend, clinching two more class wins during a weather shortened round four at Okayama International Circuit.

“I think the weekend went really well for us. We got to fight with the Championship cars again and brought forward the consistency we started building in Fuji, allowing us to battle in bigger packs all race for the first time this season. It’s always good to be able to challenge throughout the race and keep pushing myself, plus it’s great that we’re continuing to move forward in our progress and development as we planned,” explained the 23-year-old.

Originally scheduled to be the season’s first three race event, high temperatures gave way to an incoming typhoon, leading to Sunday’s action on the 3.703km/2.300mi, 13 turn, Okayama track being cancelled.

“Initially it was super-hot, especially during practice on Friday, hitting around 37 degrees, which caused the track to become quite greasy and tricky to read. Conditions cooled down a lot on Saturday as the typhoon approached, making the track a lot quicker. So, it was easier to set-up and balance the car for qualifying and the two races.”

Speaking more about the Okayama circuit, Tokyo based Parsons added that the long straights made it challenging to pass the higher specification Championship cars.

“The two long straights on either side of the circuit made it difficult for us. I could get up behind the C class cars, but their higher top speeds on those straights made it tough to pass. That’s why I’m so pleased that we managed to stay in the battle and make up positions in both races.”

The #10 Noda Racing Academy driver had high praise for his team as he left Okayama. “Big thanks to the Noda Racing crew who had a great car for me this weekend. It was enjoyable racing with them, especially at their home event. We had a lot of support out there too, it was great to see everyone behind us and I’m just so glad we delivered such good results and racing at our home track.

Heading into round five at Motegi, Parsons is keen to continue his physical and mental preparation, in order to maintain the momentum and progress he and the team have built over the season so far.

“Building on the consistency is so important to us all. I’m producing really consistent times through practice and the race now, so I’m focusing on pushing myself to get the best from my driving and the car every time I’m on the track. My technical knowledge has improved this year, allowing me to race better, make better set-up changes, and understand the small tweaks needed to get the car into the right spot. We got the car set-up really quickly this weekend and could just refine it during qualifying, so we’re looking to build on that at Motegi.”

Round five of the Japanese Formula 3 Championship takes place at Twin Ring Motegi on 18-19 August.

Parsons ready to raise the heat at Okayama

Parsons ready to raise the heat at Okayama

As Japanese Formula 3 heads to the Okayama International Circuit for round four this weekend, Australian star Jake Parsons is feeling confident that his intense preparation, and the lessons he’s learned so far this year, will stand him in good stead for the extra challenges posed by the former Pacific Formula 1 venue.

“This is the first three race round that we’ve done this season. It doesn’t really change the approach that much, but it adds in the extra necessity to keep myself well managed physically across the weekend, especially with the intense temperature and humidity. It’s forecast to be averaging around 35 degrees every day, so it’s definitely going to be very physically demanding with the extra race. But I’m confident and excited that my training, on all levels, will put me in a good position to push hard and bring home more good results for the team,” explained the 23-year-old racer.

The #10 Noda Racing Academy driver knows the tricky 3.703km/2.300mi Okayama track well and believes it will give him a good opportunity to battle among the higher specification Championship cars once again.

“We tested here recently and weren’t too far off the Championship cars pace, so hopefully that will give us the chance to challenge for points. I want to push for good lap times, bring home more strong results and ultimately score some overall points, and that will come from focusing on doing the very best I can.”

Speaking more about the 13-turn track, Tokyo based Parsons added that Okayama rewards commitment and courage. “Turns one and two definitely require some bravery. They’re both high speed, and the second corner especially has a wall very close on the outside too. In testing I was pushing it really hard through there and saw just how essential it is to have the set-up, balance and cornering approach right to get everything out of it. I think our commitment and bravery will pay off in our pursuit of points this weekend.”

Coming off three class wins in the series so far Parsons, who won the 2014 AsiaCup Championship, is rightly proud of how much he’s already learned and developed technically as a driver during his return to formula cars.

“It’s really allowed me to grow further in my understanding of the technical side of racing. Being in F3 kind of takes me back to my formula car roots, so a lot of my responses were instinctive, almost nostalgic even, as I had a lot of data to call upon. But in general, the past two years of racing in Japan have increased my technical knowledge a lot, especially with the diversity of tracks we visit. Going from high speed circuits like Fuji, with its 1km straight, to somewhere more technical like Sugo, really makes you adapt to the polar opposites of racing and how to make sure the set-up works for both.”

With Okayama being the home circuit for his Noda Racing Academy team, the young Australian is keen to bring home his best result of the year so far for the crew.

“We have quite a lot of ‘local’ knowledge about the track from the team data and coming off testing I’m feeling very positive too. So, I’m pretty excited to push hard and crack into the Championship class points, which would be extra special for the team.”

Round four of the Japanese Formula 3 Championship takes place at Okayama International Circuit on 28-29 July.

Parsons shines through the Fuji clouds

Parsons shines through the Fuji clouds

Australian star Jake Parsons overcame changeable conditions to clinch another pair of class wins as the Japanese Formula 3 Championship returned to action at Fuji Speedway this weekend.

“We had a really good weekend, especially with the wide mix of conditions from very wet to totally dry. I think we made a lot of progress in understanding the car, especially from my side, with the different downforce levels in the differing conditions. I feel like I gained a lot of knowledge from that. It was really enjoyable to expereince Fuji in a formula car too. I’ve always loved this circuit, as it’s where I had my first Japanese race. I was actually excited to drive it in the rain for the first time too!” explained the 23-year-old.

Driving the #10 Noda Racing Academy car, Parsons took several stand out moments from the weekend, especially his ever-growing consistency during the second race.

“Running the F3 car in the wet for the first time was definitely quite a stand out for me. But also race two was probably some of the best, consistent driving I’ve done. So, I’m looking forward to continuing that going forwards into Okayama.”

Being such a high-speed track, Parsons was prepared for it to be difficult to challenge amongst the Championship class cars on the 4.563 km/2.835 mi, 16 turn Fuji track, but still managed to mix it up with the higher spec cars.

“The power difference in the C class is quite substantial here, and the downforce, especially in the floor construction, is much more pronounced, giving them a ‘stickiness’ I do not have. But I made really good starts and in the second race I made two passes in the first corner. I was able to stay with the Championship field for longer than I expected and just did my best to maximise the drafting. Everyone was running low downforce which made things harder, but we came very close to scoring points in the Championship field, finishing 11th overall. And we were running around two seconds faster that the National class cars were last year.”

With now typical tenacity and focus, the Tokyo-based racer has been training hard on neck and shoulder strength between races, to cope with the higher corner speeds in the formula cars, following his transition from SuperGT.

“I’ve been working hard since the start of the season, and really noticed the gains in my progress, putting in such a strong performance this weekend. My trainer works with some Super Formula drivers which is helping me get closer to maximising my abilities. We’re definitely on target for the trajectory we’re following and aiming for over the coming years, so I just need to keep working hard on making those gains.”

Moving forward to the next round of the series, Parsons is now keen to take all he’s learned from this weekend into Okayama. “I want to use the expereince, knowledge and consistency I’ve honed here in Fuji to take another step forward.”

Parsons had high praise for his Noda Racing team, who worked with him to develop and adapt the car throughout the weekend, as well as the amazing fans who braved the unpredictable weather.

“It’s great to have such a knowledgeable and positive team, who made great set-up calls and were also willing to listen to my feedback. It’s a great environment to work and learn in. I’d also like to give a big thank you to all the fans who came out too. Lots of people wearing JP hats and coming for photos. I saw some JP flags at the end of the second race too, which was pretty awesome! I really felt the support at Fuji which is nice.”

Jake Parsons would like to thank Noda Racing, Protex, the F3 Association, Smart Mind Institute, Isaratti and his media team, Driving the Future, for all their support in making this exciting and productive year possible.

Round four of the Japanese Formula 3 Championship takes place at Okayama on 28-29 July.

Parsons well prepared for Fuji challenges

Parsons well prepared for Fuji challenges

After a six week break in the calendar, Australian star Jake Parsons is excited to get back behind the wheel this weekend, as the Japanese Formula 3 Championship returns at Fuji Speedway. With two class wins so far this season, the 23-year-old is thoroughly enjoying running in the prestigious and competitive series, having always had it on his career trajectory.

“It’s an awesome thing to be involved in, as I love being part of the racing industry here in Japan. From the impact of the manufacturers to the support of the fans, there’s something very real about it. I’ve had fans follow me from SuperGT into Formula 3 which is a great feeling. So far, the season has been going exactly how we wanted. The deal came together quite late, but from the first round we’ve being building and improving, to the point we were setting lap records at Sugo! Now we want to keep developing and improving on that each time out,” explained the young Aussie racer.

Parsons, who one the 2014 AsiaCup, is hoping to use clever strategy to help him contend amongst the Championship class on the high-speed Fuji track. “The high corners speeds here will make it harder, but we aim to maximise the slipstream to lessen the deficit to the higher spec cars. My main focus is to transition to the circuit over the first few days, as I’ve never raced here in formula cars, then it will be business as usual, pushing the boundaries of myself and the car.”

Now based in Tokyo, Parsons has taken advantage of the long gap between races to target his preparation for round three of the series, both physically and mentally. With his impressive mental strength becoming a real asset to his overall driving.

“I’ve continued to train really hard, concentrating a lot of building strength in my neck and shoulders for the high-speed corners. Sugo was quite a physical track, and I wanted to build from there ready for the challenges Fuji will present. Mentally I’ve been continuing to work with Smart Mind Institute on how I transition from SuperGT into Formula 3 and tackle battling with the Championship cars. It can be hard to judge my performance against them, so it’s important I keep track of my own progress and focus on that.”

Heading to the scenic 16 turn, 4.563km/2.835mi Fuji Speedway circuit, in the foothills of the imposing Mount Fuji, Parsons is looking forward to experiencing how different certain areas are in the formula cars.

“I love racing at Fuji, though I there aren’t really any tracks here that I don’t enjoy! Fuji is definitely up in the top though. I think 100R, the long sweeping right hand turn four, will be quite different, as it definitely wasn’t flat in a GT car, but it will be very close to being so in the formula car. With the downforce and lower weight of the cars, the corners speeds will be much higher too. That will be one the critical features in my transition, allowing myself to maximise the downforce, keeping the flow and momentum, with less need to slow for the corners now.”

The young Australian went on to thank his NODA racing team for their efforts in developing the car together, heading into round three this weekend. “The team have been really diligent, working on things since Sugo to give us the best opportunities to get the outcome we need. I have a lot of trust in the people around me and I’m looking forward to continuing to deliver good results. Huge thanks also to the Formula 3 association for their support and the sponsors for making this great, productive and enjoyable year possible.”

Round three of the Japanese Formula 3 Championship takes place at Fuji Speedway on 7-8 July.

Parsons and team continue positive progress at Sugo

Parsons and team continue positive progress at Sugo

Australian Jake Parsons continued to shine in round two of the Japanese Formula 3 at Sportsland Sugo this weekend, taking away two class wins and a track record. The 23-year-old has shown impressive speed and adaptability on his return to formula cars and is rapidly developing as a strong and clever all-round driver.

“We made some really good progress this weekend, having the whole team together and kicking it up a gear as a collective. We were actually able to break the track record in qualifying, which was another great thing to take away from this event. It was great to show that we have the speed and could put it all together into our qualifying, and to break the record is a good indication of what we can achieve. I had two pretty clean races and was also able to battle with the Championship cars, making strong passes at the start and fighting through the race. So overall it was another really good weekend that I’m proud of,” he explained afterwards.

Parsons, who won the AsiaCup Championship in 2014 and was runner up in the 2015 Formula
Masters China series, is enjoying being back in the formula cars again, developing extra skills to
help him succeed in the top-levels of Japanese motorsport.

“We’ve definitely made a lot of progress from Suzuka, growing, developing and taking things up a step as a team as we spend more time together. That’s really showing in the performance and consistency, from both the car and myself, maybe even more than we expected.”

Although Parsons had driven the 3.737km/2.323mi, 12 turn Sugo circuit before in SuperGT, the
higher corner speeds in the single seater cars presented a different challenge. “It almost feels like your constantly in a corner, which is fun but also pretty tiring. There’s a chicane in the middle of the lap that is really different in the formula car. Where you’d be braking a little beforehand in the GT car, in the F3 it’s full attack, bouncing over the curbs. You feel like much more on the limit and that makes the circuit come alive a bit more.”

Having mixed it up with the Championship cars this weekend the Tokyo based star, who drives the #10 Noda Racing Academy car, is now keen work hard and push forward with that momentum heading into round three.

“We’ve shown that our one lap pace is strong, now we need to work on our race pace. I’m working on my physical and mental strength to push the car to limit for the whole race, and as a team we’re constantly working on refining the set-up. We’ve already made a huge amount of progress on that since Suzuka, so if we continue that we should be able to get past some of the Championship cars and score some overall points.”

Always a big draw with the fans, Parsons would like to thank everyone who came out to support him at Sugo this weekend. “I always appreciate our great fans, so passionate and genuine. I had some fans come over to my pit area wearing the JP merchandise which was really nice to see. Thank you all for your support and I hope to keep bringing the team and JP crew good results and maybe some more records through the year.”

Round three of the Japanese F3 takes place at Fuji International Raceway on 7-8 July.

Parsons prepared for Japanese Formula 3 Challenge

Parsons prepared for Japanese Formula 3 Challenge

Young Australian star Jake Parsons is excitedly looking forward to making his debut in the
Japanese Formula 3 Championship in the opening round at Suzuka International Racing Course this weekend.

“Although some people might be surprised by this move after my season in SuperGT, we had a lot of very strong opportunities for the 2018 season and decided Japanese F3 was the best option for my future. This is a real growth year for me, as I’m developing, building and pushing the skills and racecraft I have to greater heights on the circuits I experienced last season,” explained the 23-year old.

Parsons, who firmly established himself on the Japanese motorsport stage last year in the ultra-competitive SuperGT series, has joined renowned Team Noda Racing, owned by former F1 driver Hideki Noda. He will drive the distinctively liveried #10 car in the National class of the series but aims to be strongly competing among the Championship cars.

“This is a whole new era for Japanese F3, as they are going a separate route from many F3 based series around the world. I’m really proud to be part of this progression and especially honoured to have the support of the series during this season.”

The young racer, who now lives in Tokyo, has a strong pedigree in single seater racing, having won the AsiaCup in 2014 and finished runner up in the 2015 Formula Masters China series. He also secured an impressive podium at the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway during his time in the prestigious US based Pro Mazda Championship.

“It’s been quite a big jump from SuperGT to formula cars again! It’s the first time I have gone back-to back on a circuit in both cars, and the higher corner speeds in the Japanese F3 cars are amazing but require a lot more physical strength too. Working with my mind coach and manager, Smart Mind Institute’s Dave Diggle, who comes to all the races with me, has made acclimatizing to the extra speed and physicality much easier though. Mental strength plays a huge part in driving and is something I consider a key part of my racecraft.” Heading into round one this weekend on one of his favourite tracks, the 5.807km/3.609mi,18 turn Suzuka Circuit, Parsons is in a confident mood following two strong test sessions with his new team.

“I’m really looking forward to the year ahead working with Noda Racing’s very professional and
experienced team, doing what I do best and battling for the championship. We’re all feeling very positive going in to the opening round, and excited for what we can achieve together, with some new sponsors, going forward.”

The first round of Japanese F3 takes place at Suzuka International Racing Circuit on 21-22 of April.

For more information on how you could be a partner in Jake’s journey, driving the future of
motorsport and technical innovation, please contact:

Japanese Formula 3 Calendar 2018

Round 1 Suzuka 21-22 April
Round 2 Sportsland Sugo 26-27 May
Round 3 Fuji Speedway 7-8 July
Round 4 Okayama International 28-29 July
Round 5 Twin Ring Motegi 18-19 August
Round 6 Okayama International 8-9 September
Round 7 Sportsland Sugo 29-30 September
Round 8 Fuji Speedway 20-21 October

Back to the future as Parsons returns to Formula racing roots

Back to the future as Parsons returns to Formula racing roots

Australian star Jake Parsons is thrilled to announce he will be competing in Japanese Formula 3 for
the 2018 season, joining renowned Team Noda Racing.

The 23-year- old racer, who firmly established himself on the Japanese motorsport stage, and it’s
passionate fanbase, in the ultra-competitive SuperGT series last year, is eager to take on this new
challenge, continuing to push the limits and build his skills as a driver.

Speaking after the final pre-season test at Suzuka this weekend, Parsons explained. “We were
looking at several options for this season and decided this was our best plan for the future of JP
racing. The deal came together quite late, which is why we’ve only done two test sessions, but
we’re all ready to go for the first race and everyone’s feeling very positive. We’re on track with how
well it’s been going, and the speed’s been good. So, I’m really looking forward to having strong
results and doing what I do best, battling for the championship.”

Excited to be returning to his early racing roots, the now Tokyo-based driver has a strong pedigree
in single seater race cars, winning the AsiaCup in 2014 and finishing runner-up in the 2015 Formula
Masters China series. He also claimed a podium at the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway whilst
competing in the prestigious USA Pro Mazda series.

“I’m really looking forward to the year ahead, adapting to being back in a formula car again. It’s
going to be interesting revisiting all the circuits I learned and experienced last year and learning
even more about them driving a different type of car. For example, turn one at Suzuka is very
different in the formula car, but it’s really cool to have that extra corner speed.”

Driving what is promised to be the ‘uniquely liveried’ number #18 Noda Racing car, Parsons is also
looking forward to working with his new team, owned by former F1 driver Hideki Noda.

“The team are a really good bunch of people with a lot of experience and passion, so it’s going to be
nice to work with and learn from them throughout the year. I’ll also be working again with Smart
Mind Institute’s Dave Diggle on my mental performance, and as my manager at all the races too.”

The talented young Australian, who has made his intelligent race craft and mental tenacity a key
feature of his racing, is certainly feeling positive for the season ahead, and beyond.

“We’re all on track, all looking good and all having fun, but I’m also fully focused and creating a
strong team around me for what is going to be a big year. And, with some new sponsors on board,
hopefully even bigger things to come. This is definitely a big step towards building my career here in

The first round of Japanese F3 takes place at Suzuka International Racing Circuit on 21-22 of April.

For more information on how you could be a partner in Jake’s journey, driving the future of
motorsport and technical innovation, please contact:

Japanese Formula 3 Calendar 2018

Round 1 Suzuka 21-22 April
Round 2 Sportsland Sugo 26-27 May
Round 3 Fuji Speedway 7-8 July
Round 4 Okayama International 28-29 July
Round 5 Twin Ring Motegi 18-19 August
Round 6 Okayama International 8-9 September
Round 7 Sportsland Sugo 29-30 September
Round 8 Fuji Speedway 20-21 October

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Well, here we are in 2018 already! I hope you all had a great holiday season, and this new year is a good one for us all. I am feeling very positive about what lies ahead… but more of that later.

As you know, last year was one of huge change and development for me, moving to a new country and culture and, of course, to a new racing series. It was quite a rollercoaster ride at times, but it was awesome being part of, and truly experiencing Super GT. My focus was very much on establishing myself into the series and finding my feet, so to speak. So, I am massively proud of how much I learned and how much I have grown, not only as a driver, but as a person too. I feel these past years have made me stronger, more confident and prepared for the new challenges ahead, ready to make 2018 about advancement and achievement.

It has certainly been a long season, much longer than when I was driving in America. During my time in Pro Mazda, our final race was in September, but this year Super GT didn’t finish until the middle of November! As a result, I hadn’t been able to visit my family back in Australia as much, so coming home for the holidays felt even more special.  

Spending time down in Melbourne with family is a Christmas tradition that I really enjoy, and a wonderful way to unwind after the intense racing season. Especially as I get to hang out with my Grandpa and uncle Greg, who, alongside my Dad, both helped fuel my passion for motorsport. Greg restores old cars, and his yard is full of them – including the old go-kart I used to watch him race when I was just two or three years old! Almost coming full circle, Greg and I actually went karting together out on Phillip Island, which was fantastic fun, and, exactly as you’d expect, ridiculously competitive too!

It really was an awesome way to spend the holidays, and catch up with my family. Like so many top athletes, I know I couldn’t do what I love without their support, and I’m incredibly thankful to them all.

Although I enjoyed my time back in Australia, it was also good to get back here to Japan too, as it’s truly starting to feel like home now. I love it here, and almost feel like a local! I definitely could have done without the ‘welcome back’ magnitude 5 earthquake though. We regularly have tremors, but that is the biggest one I’ve experienced since being here. It certainly got my attention!

The weather was a big change too - going from the hottest day on record in Sydney to snow and minus numbers here, is quite a shock to the system! I actually enjoy the cooler temperatures though, and I’m looking forward to exploring the snowy prefectures (states) as part of my on-going training regime.

Of course, now the holidays are over, I am fully focused on the season ahead, and making the right choices for my career. I’m thrilled that we have a lot of good, strong options to weigh up right now and feel positive about where we are heading. There will be lots of meetings and discussions before we make the right decision for where I need be – advancing and achieving, challenging for victories and championships.

Keep posted on my website and social media for all the latest news and updates, as we’ll have exciting news coming very soon.

Hold tight though guys, as 2018 is going to be a big and fast year….


What Lies Beneath…

What Lies Beneath…

It’s hard to believe that my first season in SuperGT is drawing to a close, with the final race at Motegi only a few weeks away.

It’s fair to say that 2017 has been quite a big learning curve year for me, as I didn’t do things by halves – moving countries, race series and even style of race car! The change from formula cars to GT was a challenge, but I’m really happy and proud with how I’ve developed, learned and grown as a driver as a result. We’ve had our frustrations at times, but most importantly, overall, we’ve shown strong, consistent improvement, speed and progress throughout the year.

At the last round in Thailand, although we had an unfortunate fuel problem, we were matching the pace of the top ten runners, and in the wet conditions I was comfortably mixing it with the points contenders, which is a huge boost going into the final round. The Motegi circuit is an interesting track, that I feel will suit our car well. I haven’t raced there before, but we tested earlier in the year, so I feel confident going into the event, and look forward to finishing the season on a high.

I’m currently working hard on my plans for next year, keen to take the step forward to start challenging for victories and championships, after a solid year of learning and developing. It’s been amazing to establish myself in SuperGT, as I have always wanted to race here. It’s such an intensely competitive series, that requires 100% effort, skill and commitment from the driver. And these days the work and commitment required outside of the car, whether on preparation, set-up and training or sponsorship and fan events, is just as important as what we do behind the wheel. It’s all part of the ever-evolving business of motorsport technology, and I’m thrilled to be part of creating that future.

Driving in the SuperGT series, one thing I have found is that the cars are much more familiar to fans, being based on high-end road going vehicles. The characteristic body shape of the Audi R8 that we run may be instantly recognizable, but the #26 Taisan SARD car is a very different beast from the version we all drool over in the showrooms.

The biggest difference you will find is the weight, or lack of it actually! Our V10 spec car, has a 5200cc engine and weighs just 1225kg, giving us more power to weight ratio. To make the car as light and efficient as possible, the body panels are replaced with carbon fibre, and every non-essential item is stripped from the interior, right down to the bare frame. Some teams take weight saving to the extreme, even replacing the door handles with string! Thankfully we don’t do that, as I find something quite reassuring about having a door handle.

You definitely won’t find any padded seats, sat nav or drinks holders in this car. Every single item must serve a vital purpose, or it is removed. My only slight luxury in the car is a small cushion to sit on, to help overcome the height difference between myself and teammate Shinnosuke Yamada!

All the GT3 cars are left-hand drive, and where the passenger seat used to be, we have a cool box full of ice that we plug our drinks and cool suit tubes into. Using a button on the steering wheel, these provide us with essential fluids and cooling during the hot, humid races. We also have a rear-view camera display in the centre console, which is incredibly helpful when you’re racing. The rear visibility isn’t great in a road going R8, so the screen makes it much easier to see what is happening behind you on the track, especially with a whole grid of cars battling for the same piece of road.

Another major difference from a road car is how often the components on our race car are replaced, renewed and adjusted. During a race weekend, the car is constantly being changed, rebuilt and adapted to suit the conditions and situations. Can you imagine having to change the springs on your road car every time you went for a carton of milk?!

The engine, gearbox and electronic components are all highly tuned and specially prepared to race specifications. There are so many differences in the car, with such a lot to process. Each time I get into the seat there are lots of electronics to plug in, re-set and manage. It’s never just as simple as get in and go! The custom made steering wheel has many buttons that help us to set-up and adapt the car during races too. For example, we have 24 different settings just for the ABS and traction control depending on the track surface, temperature and weather conditions.

We also have the pit speed limiter on the steering wheel, reducing our speed to 50kph coming down the pit-lane. It feels extremely slow when you’ve been racing at up to 300kph! At least it gives you time to undo your belts and prepare for the pit-stop though. Managing pit-stops and the driver change was actually one of the biggest new elements I had to adapt to and learn coming into SuperGT this year. It can have such an impact on your race, as a couple of seconds fumbling over a seatbelt can cost you vital places on the track. Again though, it is another new skill set that I’m proud to have developed and improved during this season.

I really have learned such a lot this year, and I’m excited to put it all into practice next season, continuing to build, grow and achieve my goals in this awesome series. I genuinely can’t say a big enough thank you to all the fans that have come to the circuits to support me this year. It has been amazing and quite overwhelming at times.

Here’s to finishing 2017 on a high at Motegi, and looking forward to next season!



The Road is Long....

The Road is Long....

It’s hard to believe that we’re now over half way through my debut season racing in Super GT - where did the time go?! 

I’m still loving being over here in Japan, and feel incredibly proud and privileged to be part of the country’s premier racing series. It’s been a huge learning curve for me, but I’m really pleased with the progress we’re making as a team, and especially with my progress and growth personally as a driver. I feel much more involved in the technical development, feedback and set-up of the car now, which is all very positive and important for my future. 

As ever, between races I have been working hard off the track to further my progression on it. Continuing to work with the team, building my physical and mental strength and developing vital connections on my journey to help drive the future of motorsport.

Right now, though, all my attention is focused on the highly anticipated next round of the series, the prestigious Suzuka 1000km next weekend. This will obviously be my first-time competing in the event, and I’m super-excited to be part of such an internationally renowned race. Super GT is massively supported here in Japan, but the Suzuka 1000km is on a whole new level. It really is the ultimate standout, showcase event for the series - kind of like Monaco is in Formula 1 and the Indy 500 is for IndyCar. 

In fact, it’s such a big event that 2009 F1 World Champion Jenson Button is also taking part, racing in the GT500 class. He’s a long-time fan of the Super GT series, and, now that’s he’s retired, is thrilled to be able to join in the challenge! It’s going to be an awesome experience lining up on the grid alongside a driver I watched reach the pinnacle of motorsport when I was a teenager. 
Being our longest race by some distance, double what we did at Fuji earlier in the season, Suzuka brings a lot of unique challenges. Team strategy is going to hold extra importance, with a lot more to coordinate, especially as our team dynamic is changing. Jenson’s fellow ex-F1 driver, Christian Klein, is joining us at Taisan SARD, and I’m particularly looking forward to working with and learning from him throughout the weekend. 

We’ll be figuring out the format of our time in the car during the practice and briefing, but we must make a minimum of five pit stops during this race. I like the fact that we’ll have so many stops, as the single driver change often puts a lot of pressure on the whole team. Having multiple stops gives a little more scope to balance out lost and gained time, and to improve technique. Tyre choice will also be crucial for the race, as we have hard and medium hard compounds to choose from. Again, we’ll be taking our insights from practice, then brainstorming together to find the best option. Unlike many motorsport categories these days, we don’t have to run both compounds during the race, which makes the decision even more important to get right. 
Although I obviously haven’t driven in the Suzuka 1000km before, I feel competing in the Bathurst 12-hour race at the beginning of the year has given me valuable experience and confidence going into this event. And, like Bathurst, Suzuka is the perfect place to hold such a big event. It’s an amazing circuit to drive and has so much to offer; high-speed sections, technical areas and passing opportunities. It’s certainly going to be an eventful experience for us all and I genuinely can’t wait to get out on the track!

We’re keeping a close eye on the weather at the moment, as it’s been unseasonably wet here for the past two weeks. We even had to cancel a planned hike up Mount Fuji during my build up work for the race, which was a big disappointment. So, fingers crossed the Japanese summer returns in time for Suzuka, and that I get to see the view from the top of Fuji one day.

The big race is only a week away now guys, so I hope you’ll grab extra provisions, and a perhaps cushion, to join me on what is going to be a long, but very exciting journey!


Moving On Up!

Moving On Up!

Well, it may have been a while since our last race in Super GT, as the series takes its mid-season break, but it certainly hasn’t been a holiday as the business of motor racing never stops. We’re constantly working on moving forwards, both on and off the track.

It was great to have a chance to return home to Australia for a few weeks though, and have the chance to catch up with my family and friends. As any top-flight athlete knows, it is impossible to reach the heights without their support, and I am incredibly grateful to everyone who has helped me on my journey so far….and beyond!

One of the big highlights of my time over in Sydney was taking a fantastic road trip to the Gosford Classic Car Museum with ten friends. We were massively privileged to drive some stunning cars there, including the rare and utterly awesome Audi R8 V10plus. It was an amazing trip that we’ll remember for a very long time.

I’m back over in Japan again, having stretched my linguistic skills to the limit while moving to and setting up my new apartment! Thankfully now I can focus fully on preparing for round four of the Super GT series at Sugo in a couple of weeks.

I joined my Taisan SARD team-mate, Shinnosuke Yamada, at the Sugo circuit last weekend for an official test, and we made a lot of progress with our set-up and feedback with the car. So, we’re all feeling very positive going into the next race and can’t wait to get back on track again.

Rather excitingly we’re also beginning preparations for the biggest event on the Super GT calendar too, the Suzuka 1000km. The race doesn’t run until the end of August, but it’s such an important and unique event the build-up and work begins now. I’m thrilled to be heading out to Suzuka for a two day test this weekend, as it’s such an iconic track. I’m pretty sure I will get chills when I see the famous Senna vs Prost corner/gravel trap too!

With it being a 1000km race, we’re also gaining an extra team-mate for Suzuka in the shape of former Formula 1 driver Christian Klien. Really looking forward to teaming up, and I’m sure I’ll learn a lot from him over the test and race weekend.

It’s certainly going to be an interesting and exciting few months ahead, as we continue to take big, positive steps forward together, and turn that into results on the track. Keep posted on my social media sites and sign up on my website for all the latest news and updates on my journey - it’s going to be one hell of a ride!

Roll on Suzuka and Sugo!


From Super GT to Super Mario!

From Super GT to Super Mario!

Hi guys,

It’s hard to find the words to explain what an amazing experience it was racing in front of 55,000 people at Fuji during the last Super GT race. Such a fantastic atmosphere to race in! The support and passion of our fans is just incredible, and something I’m proud to be part of. We hit some bad luck during the race, but once again we showed our strong overall pace and made good, positive progress too. Moving to Super GT has been a big transition for me, especially from the US based formula cars I was driving last year, but I’m feeling much more comfortable with the car, and fully cemented in the series now, so roll on round three in Autopolis!

Fuji was definitely a spectacular event for me, and it was even more special having my family over from Australia. It was great having them cheering me on at the track, and being able to show them around Tokyo too. I don’t think I’ll be adding ‘tour-guide’ to my resume/CV any time soon though, as it’s absolutely exhausting!

We did find a really cool, enjoyable way to explore the city before they left though, finishing off our race week perfectly by doing a Mario Kart city tour! First, we dressed up in outfits to represent characters from the Mario Kart computer game, then took to the streets in a go-kart for a tour around the iconic Tokyo sights! It was so much fun, a super quirky way of seeing this amazing city. Though I must admit the sight of my Dad dressed as a giant Pinkachu is an image I could have lived without!

All in all, it was a fantastic way to end a challenging, but inspiring race week with the people I owe so much of my career to. An athlete is nothing without their family and the team around them, and I am so grateful to mine for all their support and more.

As part of team Taisan SARD, over the weekend my teammate Shinnosuke Yamada and I took part in the 2017 Kamiyamada Historica GP. This historical Japanese road rally and hill-climb takes place around three hours out of Tokyo, in the world-famous skiing regions near Nagano. The scenery is stunning to drive through, if a little scary at times with sheer cliffs at the edge of the road!

The team took five of its road cars to the event, which we drove along the rally course, through many different suburbs. It was great fun with people standing on the side of the roads watching us go by and taking pictures. We also did a hill-climb practice, which was a fascinating and unique experience for me. I had no idea what to expect beforehand, but it was a very cool, friendly event to be involved in, and a big honor too, having only been in the country for a brief time.

I’m thoroughly enjoying living here in Japan and rising to the new challenges Super GT is presenting me with. I am growing and developing as a driver each time I get in the car, and feel very positive about the rest of the season ahead. We’re back in action this coming weekend at Autopolis, and I can’t wait to get back out on the track. I hope you’ll come and join us, but be sure to follow us online for all the latest updates if you can’t be there.

Here’s to driving the future!


P.S. Make sure you’re first in the queue at our Autopolis autograph sessions to claim your limited-edition hero cards and fun giveaways! 

Come Fly with Me

Come Fly with Me

Of course, the work involved in motorsport doesn’t stop when you get out of the car these days. As a result, I’ve had a busy and exciting week since the race, visiting Shanghai for some extremely productive business meetings with potential partners and clients.

Click to read more!

My Tokyo Home

My Tokyo Home

Well, this may be my first journal of 2017, but there has certainly been plenty happening, not least of all moving to yet another new country to achieve my racing goals!

Click to read more!