Always keen to keep expanding his racing knowledge and experience, talented Australian driver Jake Parsons is undertaking a new challenge this weekend, joining China’s premier prototype championship, the FRD LMP3 China Endurance Series, for round three at the Zhuhai International Circuit.
“I’m super excited for this weekend, and especially heading back to Zhuhai. It’s been quite a long time since I was there, with my last race being in 2015. I’ve had wins and podiums there, so I’m really looking forward to returning as it is one of my favourite tracks. To go there with a new car and team is a great challenge that I feel I’m well prepared for. I’m feeling very positive and can’t wait to get out on track and dialled in,” explained Parsons.
Running with the renowned and widely successful GT team, Craft-Bamboo, the 23-year-old will race the #95 Ligier JS P3 car, partnering experienced English driver James Winslow in round three of the season. Although he’s not raced in the series before, Parsons is feeling confident heading into the event, carrying forward the knowledge he’s gained from both GT and formula racing. Especially coming off an impressive run in the extreme wet conditions at Okayama in the Japanese F3 series that saw him clinch another two class victories and score points in the overall championship.
“I’ve driven a P2 car and I briefly tested a P3 car last year, which will all help me this weekend. But I think the experience I’ve gained from driving Japanese F3 this season will help me adapt to the Ligier too, as the style of the LMP3 cars is very similar to that of a formula car. I really like the LMP cars, and I think it will be a pretty smooth transition, especially coming out of an intense event last weekend in the formula car. I have a lot of momentum behind me now and I’m ready to jump into this great, new opportunity.”
For Parsons, the 14 turn, 4.319km/2.684 mi circuit is a particular favourite, with good memories of his previous successes at the challenging Chinese track during his 2015 Formula Masters China campaign.
“The layout at Zhuhai is quite interesting because it has so many straights into tight corners, which creates a lot of passing opportunities. That always spices things up, which is great for the drivers and spectators. The combination of high speed and tight corners is always fun, because you’ve really got to commit into the braking zones. That mixed with the good memories it holds, make it a really enjoyable and successful circuit for me.”
Based in both Hong Kong and Silverstone, the independent Craft-Bamboo team has many years of International motorsport success, priding itself on both driver and car development across a vast range of series.
“I’ve never raced with the Craft-Bamboo team before, but I have a lot of respect for how well they run their programs from my time competing in Asia. They’ve always been very competitive and professional, so I’m really keen to work with them now and hope this can open the door to doing more together in the future.”
Speaking about the young Australian joining the team, Daryll O’Young, director of Craft-Bamboo Racing, added, "We are really excited to have Jake join our line-up for the coming round of LMP3 this weekend in Zhuhai. Although Jake is young, he has a vast amount of experience behind him, so we expect him to adapt to the new car and team quickly. It will be a benefit for Jake to be paired with James Winslow, as James can pass off his LMP3 experience. I expect the two drivers together to get up to speed quickly and be in a position to contend for the win come race day."
Parsons is keen to race alongside his experienced teammate Winslow, having already learned from him during his earlier career.
“I first met James (Winslow) back in 2014, as he was coaching for the AsiaCup when I was champion in the series. So, it will be great to race alongside him, in a peer situation, and I’m sure we’ll be a strong team. James has a lot of experience, so I know I will be able to rely on him and learn a lot from him over the weekend too.”
“I want to show my experience and really own my driving in the P3 this weekend, pushing myself with a great team. If I can do that then I’m sure our results will be strong. Overall, I’m really excited to be back racing in Asia, increasing my time there and building for the future.”
Round three of the FRD LMP3 China Endurance Series take place at Zhuhai International Circuit on 15-16 September.