Australian racer Jake Parsons overcame the extreme weather conditions at Okayama to clinch another two national class victories in the Japanese Formula 3 Championship this weekend. As the lingering effects of a recent typhoon took hold, Parsons used his now typical mental tenacity and smart race craft to battle hard on the waterlogged circuit.
“It’s the first time we’ve had a weekend that’s been totally dominated by the rain like this, but it actually went really well for us. In the opening race we were able to take the fight to the higher specification Championship cars, which we hadn’t quite been able to do in the rain at Fuji. Finishing in 10th position gave us points in the overall championship for the first time this season too, and it’s great to have achieved that at the team’s ‘home’ race track. So, all in all, a great weekend,” explained the 23-year-old.
Driving the distinctively liveried #10 Noda Racing Academy car, Parsons came home 11th in the similarly drenched second race, which was started under the safety car. The worsening weather eventually leading to the third race of the weekend being cancelled. Speaking afterwards, the young Australian star felt particularly pleased with his progress through the challenging wet conditions.
“The spray out on the track was just insane, making the visibility very difficult. It was probably the most significant wet race I’ve done in a formula car, with the level of spray and aquaplaning, especially through the esses section. I’ll definitely remember that race for a long time and take a lot of knowledge from it too.”
Although Tokyo based Parsons hadn’t driven on the 13 turn, 3.703km/2.300mi Okayama circuit in the wet before, the team’s extensive data and experience from their home track helped create a strong baseline setup for Parsons to build on.
“We had a really a good base to begin with and from there I was able to tweak and refine the car to my style and the changing conditions. I feel that my technical ability and awareness is much stronger now, and I’m able to drive the development of the setup much more. Our knowledge and experience here definitely helped us to battle with the C Class cars. The rain probably helped us in some ways too, creating more opportunities, however, there were a lot of pros and cons to the conditions to be honest. I’d say it was our great team work, progress and consistency that made it possible for us to capitalise on the opportunities that presented themselves.”
Given the difficult conditions throughout the weekend, Parsons particularly wanted to thank the loyal fans who endured the weather to offer their incredible support at Okayama. “It is always great to have their support, and especially so through all the rain and delays. You are the best!”
Heading into the closing stages of the 2018 season, the talented Australian is carrying a lot of confidence forward now, taking much from his growing experience and consistency in all conditions.
“Having more wet races under my belt now, I think that the extra confidence from experiencing this weekend will pay dividends in the remainder of the season, and beyond.”
Parsons is now busy putting all his experience into preparing for an exciting opportunity next weekend, as he joins the Craft Bamboo team to race LMP3 at Zhuhai, a track he rates as one of his favourites and is very familiar with, having won there during his Formula Masters season in 2014.
“I’m really excited for the race, as I love experiencing new cars and series. It’s going to be a good one, especially on one of my favourite circuits to drive too.”